7 Great Ways to Use Hashtags(#)
These days, almost every sentence is completed with a hashtag. Right from #tbt (ThrowbackThursdays) to #royalbaby, no major world event today can avoid hashtags. With hashtags becoming ever so popular, one would think they are quite simple and straightforward to use. Well, surprisingly most people don’t know how to utilize them to their full potential. We at The Spaceship Design take you through some of the best practices while using hashtags.
Before we dive in, let’s understand the purpose behind hashtags. Hashtags are used on social media to categorize messages. A person called Chris Messina is credited with first suggesting the use of the ‘#’ symbol on Twitter for this purpose. Hashtags are essentially a creative solution to a problem that does not yet have a technical solution.
Hashtags are used to sort content from the millions of posts on social media. They also help people easily find what they are looking for. Using popular hashtags conveys that your brand is current and trendy. This makes you relatable to your audiences. In order for a post to stand out in cyber space it is crucial to use the right hashtags in the right way. So what is the right way to use hashtags? Here are a few pointers.
- Make Sure You Are Unique: The more unique your hashtag the greater the chances of your brand being identified. Also when you use generic hashtags, it works against you because other brands that are using the same also get promoted. There are a number of websites which allow you to check and analyse all the hashtags currently being used. A simple online search will help confirm how unique a particular hashtag is. Some social networking sites like Google+ even suggest hashtags for you.
- Have a Hashtag Strategy:
It’s not enough to randomly hashtag every post. Just like SEO keywords, hashtags too need to be well-thought out and planned. As a brand you need a strategy that spells out exactly which hashtags you wish to focus on. You could also create your own branded hashtag using your name, USP, tagline or anything uniquely relevant to your brand. These can even be trademarked.
- Make Them Readable:
In the online world lower case without spaces is preferred. Beginning with email ids everything we read is a long string of lower case alphabets. Very often these can be misread and misinterpreted. So every once in a while it’s good to step away from this trend. Using capitalizations in the right places makes your hashtag more readable and understandable.
- Keep It Simple, Stupid:
The famous KISS strategy is perhaps the most applicable when it comes to hashtags. Keeping your hashtags short makes them usable on any platform, memorable and leaves space for comments and links.
- Keep Them Versatile:
Hashtags need to adapt to any social media platform and each platform has its own regulations. On Twitter for example you only have space for 2-3 short hashtags. Pinterest & Facebook limit the overuse of hashtags. Instagram on the other hand allows users to add up to 30 hashtags. Create your hashtags keeping in mind the social media platform you want your brand to be visible on.
- Beware of Bashtags:
That’s not a typo. A Bashtag is a hashtag that is used to criticize. A famous example is of McDonalds #McDStories going wrong. The campaign intended for people to post positive stories about their relationship with the brand. It however turned badly against them. So what do you do in these situations? Unfortunately there’s not much you can do except stop using the hashtag and publicly apologize. However, careful planning and tracking can help prevent a bashtag situation in the first place.
- Keep An Eye On Your Hashtags:
As you can see, tracking the performance of your hashtag and the audiences’ responses is of prime importance to your brands image. There are a number of sites that give you a detailed analysis of the performance of your hashtag and those that you are following. These can help guide your hashtag strategy better.
Hashtags appear to be simple to use, but there are nuances that a lay person may not realise. Using a digital marketing agency such as The Spaceship Design will help you maximize the use of your hashtags. After all, #liftoffwiththespaceshipdesign