4.021 billion people worldwide are internet users, among which 3.196 billion use networks. Social media appears to be the best platform for influencing potential customers. Many business owners are already making a profit of it, creating accounts to promote goods or services they offer. But do they take all advantages of social media marketing?
In this article, I’ll tell you about one thing many people overlook — hashtags. If you’re looking for ways of improving your social media marketing, get ready to find out one of them.
How Hashtags Work
A hashtag is a metadata tag frequently used on social media platforms, such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc. to categorize content and make it easier to find other posts with a similar subject. In other words, if you add ‘#’ before any word in your post, people will be able to click on this word and see all the posts using the same hashtag.
You obviously have seen annoying texts with way too many hashtags, like this one:
These texts look like something useless, and you often don’t even bother to read them. Some users add hashtags to express their emotions, feelings or to comment on the post itself. Few people know how to use them to get most of it. And the majority thinks it’s just cool to have lots of hashtags. So, what’s the use of hashtags for a marketer?
More and more people are looking for information using hashtag searches. It’s kind of a new way of searching, and brands should know how to take advantage of it. I came up with three types of hashtags and profits each of them can make for your business:
- Common hashtags. Drive long-term traffic.
- Brand hashtags. Increase your brand awareness.
- Campaign hashtags. Encourage backlinks.
This type is an easy way to highlight keywords, categorize content, and make it more discoverable. These words aren’t used to define your brand and marketing. Add hashtags that are relevant to your content, and people will find your posts while searching the topics related to their interests.
This step will bring long-term traffic to your website: traffic to your account provides exceptional benefits to any webpage associated with it.
For example, if you created a post about search engine optimization, add ‘SEO’ hashtag. Anyone searching through a social network for ‘#SEO’ will be presented with the list of posts containing this hashtag, including your one.
Unfortunately, common words, like ‘SEO’, are too popular for your post to stay visible for a long time. On the other hand, choosing rarely used hashtags, you risk your post to be unnoticed. Where’re you to get the perfect keyword for every piece of content? SEO tools, such as Ahrefs, Serpstat, Key Collector, etc. cope with this task perfectly.
Personally, I prefer to use Serpstat. To find keywords relevant to your topic, follow the pattern: enter the word describing it best of all and click on Keyword Selection. You see the list of all the words in some way connected to your subject. Pay attention to the Keyword difficulty column and choose those words with a level of competition from 21 to 40.
It’s the most natural part of hashtag marketing: use your company’s name. The brand hashtag should be unique for your business. It’ll be your signature tag. Make it your central business tag for your customers to use it anytime on any social platform. It’ll contribute to the promotion of your brand.
Using your business slogan as a hashtag is even more efficient. To make it work, create such a slogan which people can use in everyday life. It has to be short and easy to remember.
For example, Nike created brand tagline ‘#JustDoIt’. Due to quality marketing, the phrase gained great popularity. This hashtag is used not only when people buy Nike clothes but also when they just talk about challenging moments of their lives. Anyway, mentioning this phrase you’ll think of Nike on the subconscious level.
When launching a new campaign, create a hashtag using its name. Again, the word or a phrase should be unique and easy-to-remember. Make sure that no one else mentions this hashtag on social media.
To engage your audience, you may even ask them to think of the hashtag for the current campaign. Announce a small prize for a winner, and you’ll see whether your readers are ready to enter into a dialogue or you should work on this problem.
One more idea for getting feedback and backlinks is to launch a flash mob or a contest. For instance, you can suggest your audience to make a text, photo, or video on your subject. The participant should publish it, use your brand or campaign hashtag, and ad a link to your website. First of all, this campaign brings your customers together. Moreover, you can get more backlinks and attract new potential customers.
To Sum Up
Hashtags may be extremely useful for improving your social media marketing strategy. Let me remind you of three the most important things about hashtags:
- It’s easy to overdo it. Use only a few of them which are related to your content.
- Choose less frequent but popular. The more articles use a common hashtag, the less your post visibility is.
- Brand and campaign hashtags help you engage people and get feedback.
This story originally appeared in Social media Today. Image courtesy of Getty Images.