Social Media Matters: Hashtags and How to Use Them

Posted on June 9, 2016

For business owners and aspiring social media managers, using hashtags to help promote your social media content can be anywhere from tiresome to downright irritating. Everywhere you look online, content is filled with strange mashups of words and phrases all written with the “#” at the beginning, and they seem to serve little no purpose other than taking up space. To the seasoned social media guru however, hashtags are worth their weight in gold…or at least in golden opportunities to promote content. Hashtags help guide your content through the umpteen millions of new posts, tweets and pins and make sure that the traffic you receive is the kind you want. Whether it’s engaging your target audience, enhancing your overall digital brand, or linking your content to larger trends, hashtags are heavenly.

Hashing Out Hashtags
From a business perspective, many online old-timers sneer at hashtags because internet search engines already perform a similar function. Web crawlers comb the internet looking for keywords in online content, which in turn are flagged for future search results on Google and other web browsers. With the advent of social media however, personal privacy settings and social networks can prevent web crawlers from pinpointing similar content, leaving potentially important information out of search results. Hashtags however make the content of your posts accessible to those with similar interests, even if those people are not yet a part of your social network. Using common hashtags like “apple” or “catvideo” also increase the likelihood that your content will appear to people searching for content surrounding a specific topic or theme.

Hashtag Wisely
Creating a hashtag is as simple as adding a word or phrase to posted content: #hashtagusage. Most often hashtags are added at the end of a post, but depending on the purpose behind the tag it’s possible to place the hashtag wherever you’d like. Keep your tagging in check though, as cluttering up a perfectly good post with dozens of hashtags or hashtags that are excessively long severely decreases the credibility of your content. Don’t be afraid to get creative either; changing #kittensandpuppiesdancinginjuly to #puppycatdance streamlines the hashtag without decreasing it’s networking potential. Think of hashtags like an amusing but informative blurb that summarizes your content and groups it together with similar stories. You want the blurb to mean something and stand out as much as you want it to inform, so always think short, simple and specific. Keep to that philosophy and your hashtag campaign seeds will blossom into real success!

And for your hashtaging pleasure:
#socialmedia #hashtag101 #BlueTie #Joshuaerood

Author: Joshua Rood

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