The Art of #Hashtags
They’re trending. Hashtags, that is. They’re used everywhere on social media these days. They started gaining traction on Twitter in 2007, when it was first used in a tweet by former Google developer, Chris Messina. Almost eight years later, the hashtag is stronger than ever. It’s now being used on a number of other social media sites, like Facebook, Google+, Instagram, and more! Crafting them, and making hashtags work for you and your business is not always an easy feat though. Here’s how to create the best hashtags to gain the best traction for small businesses on social media.
What Is a #Hashtag
These words connected to the pound sign create hyperlinks to search results or streams of other users and messages using the same hashtag. It’s basically a way for you to keep track of a conversation or topic on social media sites. Think of it as SEO on steroids for the social world of the web. And that’s why they are such a big deal. Not only do they allow you to track a conversation or topic, and put in your own two-cents, but they also help influence your SEO and rankings for keywords.
Hashtags are also a great way to create brand awareness, build brand loyalty, push social media campaigns, and increase engagement on your social posts. Tweets that include hashtags have been found to get double the amount of engagement as those that don’t include them.
How to Craft an Awesome #Hashtag
Start with the fact that you ALWAYS have to use the “#” before anything you want to tag. Next, decide what conversation or topic you want to tap into with your hashtag. Are you entering into an existing topic, or are you creating an entirely new one? To create one, think about the topic of your social post, and focus on one of your keywords. If you are an HVAC company in Dallas, for example, writing a tweet on air conditioning tune-ups, you might want to include your three main keywords followed by your location. Your hashtag would look like this: #AirConditionerTuneUpDallas. This is a great way to structure your hashtags because it promotes one of your main services and pinpoints your location. This will be more likely to show up in searches when people in the area look up AC service. See where we are going with this?
#Hashtag Best Practices
We know hashtags take a little bit of time to get the hang of. Many people know they are important to use, but don’t know how to harness their power. Here are some great best practices tips for #Hashtags to get you started:
- Always use the pound symbol, or ‘#’, to start a hashtag.
- Only include letters and numbers in your hashtag.
- You cannot have spaces between words. If you put spaces in, everything past the first space will not be included in the hashtag, making it irrelevant.
- You also cannot include symbols in your hashtags. They will not link to the hashtag, and everything behind it will be left out as well.
- Capitalize the first letter of every new word in your hashtag, as we did the in example above. This helps people read the hashtag more easily.
- Use hashtags in posts to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+, Pinterest, Vine, and Tumbler
- Don’t overload your social posts with lots of hashtags. It’s annoying and looks like spam. Use 2-4 relatable hashtags per post. No more!
- Same goes for the amount of words you put in a single hashtag. #LotsOfWordsInOneHashtagIsHardToReadAndAnnoying
- Use words that are easy to remember and easy to spell
For the ultimate #SocialMediaMarketing and content tips, check out our Lure Creative blog. Interested in social media help? Give our team of super hashtaggers a call at (913) 649-4040.