As we’ve been perusing all the 2015 prediction articles, it’s become apparent that industry leaders believe hashtag marketing will surge this year. While hashtags started as a means to categorize and search for content, they have evolved and are less about search and more about context. Hashtags have become a marketing mainstay, taking over Twitter feeds and Instagram accounts. Simply put, hashtags are here to stay.
Why Use Hashtags?
Just because everyone is using them doesn’t mean you need to go overboard. There are right and wrong ways to use hashtags. From a business standpoint you want to use them strategically. According to this article by Stephanie Frasco, VP Social Media Marketing at Convert with Content, there are 3 main reasons for using hashtags.
- Community Building
The best way to use hashtags is as a community builder. When people use hashtags they feel like they are a part of something. It should be used to quickly identify your fans, and for fans to easily identify each other.
Just like the community building benefits, hashtags can also help you brand your ideas, images and messages. If you want something to stick you have to be consistent!
- Trending Topics
The third way to use hashtags is to use those that are trending. Because trending hashtags indicate that there is already conversation around a specific topic, you know that they will be popular and heavily used. If there is a connection between what is happening in real time and your business, use the hashtag.
How Many Hashtags Should You Use?
Do you remember this video from Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon? It’s a humorous example of how people can get a little carried away with using hashtags. So how many hashtags should you use? Since the answer depends on the social medium used, we’ve broken it down by platform.
Research has shown that hashtags don’t increase reach, so don’t break your back trying to fill your posts with hashtags. One hashtag is enough, and not on every post. Make sure the one used fits one of the three criteria above.
Twitter invented hashtags, so of course they are very effective on that platform. We recommend using 1 or 2, and the most you’ll want to use 3. If you have too many hashtags the whole tweet looks blue and it becomes very hard to read.
Research on this platform indicates that 7 hashtags are optimal. We recommend 3 hashtags for the reasons above, then up to 4 additional descriptive keywords as hashtags. The more the merrier here.
No need for hashtags on this site unless you are using it as a community builder or branding tool.
Google has a great search engine so it is important to include hashtags on G+. They sometimes show up on search so it is a smart move to use them. When you post a message on G+ it automatically categorizes your post with a hashtag, which is another indication that hashtags and G+ play well together.
No need to go crazy with hashtags outside of the three main reasons listed above. Pinterest search is so strong that you really don’t need them to find content.
Putting together the right marketing strategy is essential for online success, and adding hashtags to your current marketing mix is a simple, quick and effective way to create a customer community, boost your brand and be a part of what’s happening worldwide at any moment.
BizzyWeb’s Buzz Builders online marketing services can help your company generate leads, optimize your site, promote your products or retain your customers. Get started today with a FREE BUZZ Report to see what you’re doing well, where you have room for improvement and how BizzyWeb can help you create a plan to get REAL results!