Are you using hashtags the way you should?

It is almost a fact that if you are a social media user you have used a hashtag in any of your posts. Whether you’ve used them to increase your search results or simply as a way to joke with your followers, the “#” symbol in a post is no stranger to you. But, do we really understand how it works and what it is really for? That may be a whole other story.

The modern use of hashtags in social media began and became popular on Twitter, as a way to group many tweets with a similar topic. This is specially useful if you want to know what people think or say about a brand, a political statement, an entertainment event, or even a natural disaster. Of course people often use them randomly, some use it as the punchline of a joke, and some can even become a meme.

So which platforms support the use of hashtags?

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Google+
  • Tumblr
  • Pinterest
  • Youtube
  • Kickstarter
  • Vine

Businesses can benefit from the search of hashtags. For example, someone looking for kitchen decoration ideas in Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest could search for “#KitchenDeco” and find posts made by businesses who provide interior design services, carpenters, natural stone provider’s, kitchen supplies stores, etc.

So what’s the secret for a successful use of hashtags in social media that could actually translate into sales? Here are a few tips.

Educate yourself
Most social media platforms have their own guides on the use of hashtags, where you can find the most popular and relevant for a specific topic. This can increase the engagement of your posts.

Be Specific
Coming back to the example of someone looking for kitchen decoration ideas, if that someone’s preference is leaning towards a granite countertop, it would be more easy for them to find what they’re looking for if they type “#GraniteCountertop” than just “#Countertop”. This means your business posts need to have simple but specific hashtags that can make it an easier find for possible clients.

Keep it Simple
Keep in mind that hashtags like “#SuperBeautifulHairStylesToRockTheSummer may look fun but are not as effective as a simple #SummerHairStyles, for the simple fact that it’s easier for someone to type the exact same words you used if there are no more than three words per hashtag. The same way, a post with more hashtags than words is not only ineffective but it’s also hard to read and understand. Remember that you must add some content that enriches the wider conversation that makes your post interesting and engaging.

Make your own hashtags
Now that you know these tips, you should definitively create your own hashtags for your business. Your hashtag doesn’t necessarily need to have the name of your brand but it does need to represent it, it needs to reflect your brand’s personality. And most importantly: always remember to use it.

Track your results
Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Youtube all have analytic tools integrated to help you track the results of your posts and engagement of your followers. Taking a look at this information will help you to create more content that is more accurate and interesting for the demographic characteristics of your followers. There are other paid services that offer the same data.

Hashtags are an excellent strategy to increase your views and interaction with potential clients. It’s an excellent and economical way to make your brand stay in the mind of the consumers. Go use it!