Using Hashtags – Going From Noob to Ninja

No, hashtags are NOT just for kids wasting time on social media. And no, they are NOT only for social awareness campaigns and trendy celebs.

Using hashtags can be a huge help in your business marketing. Provided you know how to use them like an expert. So let’s start turning you from a hashtag noob into a hashtag ninja.

Noob?

using hashtagsOK, so you have a business with a presence on the internet and you want to see what social media can do for your marketing. To newbies (noobs), the whole social media thing can seem daunting. Facebook? Fair enough, not too difficult to see what’s going on and be involved. Twitter can seem more of a mystery to some. Despite stereotypes, Pinterest reaches much farther than just crafting. Instagram may look like just pictures, but there is immense power in those pictures.

What do they all have in common? Users are using hashtags.

Do Hashtags Matter?

using hashtagsWhen you see something like #UsingHashtags or #MarketingNinja on social media, the hash symbol (#) creates an online tag to a post or comment. And it works in each social media platform. People can click the hashtag that interests them and they will be taken to a large selection of posts, comments, tweets, etc, featuring that hashtag. Suddenly they can see who has been commenting on an issue and participating in the online conversation about it.

If you (or your business) use that hashtag and feature prominently in the list of results, that’s free and powerful marketing. Provided you do it right.

Hashtag Etiquette

Yes, there is some etiquette to using hashtags. Obviously, you don’t want to be rude, crude or obnoxious. Also, the shorter and catchier, the better. Use single words where you can, but sometimes you need multiple words. Put no spaces between the words and capitalize the start of each. eg #UsingHashtagsIsEasy. Don’t string long sentences together and also (usually) don’t use the name of your business, or else risk it looking forced or “lame”. If you use an existing hashtag, great. If you create your own (something “ninjas” can make successful), either make a catchy abbreviation of an topic or event, or else comment on it.

Using Hashtags Correctly

There will be a few lessons to learn on your way to becoming a ninja, but you can get your black belt with learning and application.

  • Length: Keep them short and simple so followers aren’t trying to decipher the context.
  • Be Relevant: Not sure what to use? Look at what’s trending and use an existing hashtag. Just make sure it fits the conversation.
  • Use Sparingly: Do not create a post that has four or more hashtags. It looks weird and forced. The result will be that people don’t take you seriously.
  • Use them in every social media platform. Give yourself a better chance of being found in all of them.

Making Hashtags Work for Your Business

using hashtagsJust get in there, research a little farther, and have a go. Better yet, talk to third party online marketing experts who have done detailed research into this and the subtleties of social media marketing.

Look into some of the most successful hashtag campaigns for marketing. See what made them take off and how businesses made the most of being prominent in people’s social media feeds.

So, get using hashtags. It’s another arrow in the quiver for helping potential clients find you and for you to connect better with existing clients.

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Results Professional Marketing and a clickable link back to this page.

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