Need to unravel the mystery of #hashtag use? In our last blog we discussed the ‘what’ and the ‘why’ and in this post I’d like to talk about the ‘how’ of effective use for hashtags. If you are still wondering about exactly what a hashtag is, I suggest you meander over to the last post on this subject to get a real feel for this social media promotional rage.

Popular #Hashtags

The most popular hashtags are not necessarily the best brand fit for you. They also differ from social media platform to platform. The point is to use the popular ones sparingly as they are not brand or industry specific. So, how exactly do you find hashtags that are a better brand fit?

Try to discover what’s trending, take notes of hashtag use on specific platforms, pay attention to the influencers. This is when RiteTag and Hashtagify come into use. I’ve outlined these tools in the last post, that can help guide you and give analysis reports of the direction you’d like to go.

Twitter

If your business has a new campaign, product or announcement, you can create a hashtag specific for this. Hashtag-no spaces-not case sensitive but using capital letters help to make them easier to read, such as #ReadThisbetter. The first letter after the hashtag should be capitalized. If using a tool to monitor Twitter use, be sure to include your original hashtag to monitor this conversation. Discover if this hashtag you create is in use at all before you begin to use it.

Twitter suggests to use 1 to 2 per tweet. More is OK but this is their suggestion and you only have a 280-character limit. Twitter shows what’s treading in their topics so you can review this board. You can also type in a hashtagged word into the search bar to find the content generated by a specific one. Hashtags can be used anywhere in the tweet, in the beginning for emphasis, at the end or in the middle of the post to highlight a keyword that needs definition. They are also used for a Retweet as you reply. Popular hashtags are not to be ignored, but can be used for fun, such as #ICYMI or #ThrowbackThursday. These popular hashtags join your brand in a much wider conversation across social media networks. Twitter has a really concise guide, overviewing the do’s and don’ts of hashtags.

Facebook

You can include a hashtag anywhere in your Facebook posts. They are perfect when added as a link to other related hashtags, optimal use is 1 to 2 per post. They are useful when used to link private groups with similar theme and content. In the Facebook search bar you can search for specific posts using the hashtag and this will give you a feed of other posts in that group.

Since hashtags are used for private groups topics or theme on Facebook, it is hard to monitor how users are interacting specifically to your brand. A trick to monitor your brands hashtags to see the public profiles joining the conversation use the URL facebook.com/hashtag/____________ ( add keyword search at the end. You’ll get a good snapshot of who is included in this conversation.

For detailed official Facebook content Best practices guide, can help detail the processes for you.

Instagram

You can add a great caption to your photo or post and add a hashtag anywhere in the comments. The hashtags help by organizing and categorizing photo and video content. Instagram also gives you the option to add hashtags to your brand bio profile and up to 10 in your stories. Optimal number to use is 5 to 10 and you can only add them to your own posts, cannot tag other users photos or videos. You can use up to 30 on a post and 10 on a story. Instagram has provided a guide to use hashtags effectively on the site. This link will give you all of the information needed to make Instagram work for your brand. If you need to search hashtags in Instagram go to the Tags tab of Instagram’s Explore section and you can see the content included there. Some tips is to post the hashtag in the first comment for followers. If you have a business account, you can access their insights to view the hashtag engagements received from your profile.

You Tube

Attempting to improve discoverability on YouTube for brand videos? According to YouTube, hashtags can improve a video’s findability on the YouTube platform. Hashtags on YouTube work like other social media platforms (for example, Twitter and Facebook). Technically they work the same as the other platforms to funnel and define a video search.

When doing a hashtag search, they appear in two places, once in a YouTube video page you will see a hashtag above the title of the video and inside the video description box. The way they generate more viewers for you is they lead people to your video from others with similar footage. Users do searches for hashtags only, so using some in your video gives you a better chance of having the video found and viewed. The objective of including the hashtag is also to give YouTube a chance to understand your content better and provide some SEO.

So add hashtags to your videos and inside the description of the video content. The first 3 will show up above the video title or added to the title itself. If you are considering posting video content check out the current videos uploaded with similar hashtags. Check out the trending videos and add these hashtags to your video also.
YouTube tip is to type in “#” into YouTube search. And YouTube will show you hashtags that are most popular on YouTube within that hashtag line. This information will help if you are focusing on brand videos you’d like to upload.

LinkedIn

On Linkedin hashtags are slowly making a comeback and providing more possibilities for use. They work the same as other social media outlets to boost brand credibility and reach an audience that values your conversation. and this guide from LinkedIn gives an over view of usage. In an updated (September 2020) PRAVEEN KUMAR -Digital Marketing Practitioner gives a really in-depth presentation on guidelines and ways of enhancing your LinkedIn experience.

Remember that hashtags that solicit likes don’t engage your followers and don’t add any meaning to your social media posts. After this two part tutorial you should better grasp the ways to enhance and engage your brand conversation.