By Lisa Hester, Senior Account Manager
The following is part II of a two-part series on the use of hashtags. Part I was shared 6-4-19.
As mentioned in the last blog post, the first hashtag was created on Twitter in 2007. Today, hashtags are used to invoke humor, fuel social movements and drive marketing strategies. And they are used widely. In fact, 75 percent of social media users use hashtags, according to AdWeek.
And although hashtags first showed up on Twitter, over the last two years, Instagram has become a more popular place for them. While the mentions of hashtags on Instagram has continued to grow, there have been 60 percent fewer hashtag searches on Twitter and 86 percent fewer searches on Facebook, a recent Forbes article states.
Reiterating from the previous post, hashtags are a good way to build your company’s brand, boost a PR/marketing campaign and keep in touch with your audience. But before you start getting creative with your brand’s hashtags, make sure you know what constitutes a good hashtag and know when to say when.
Here are a few tips and tools.
* Simplicity is key. A strong hashtag is fewer than 10 characters.
* See what hashtags competitors are using. You want to be similar in content, yet stand out to avoid confusion. Also, use tools such as Hashtagify.me, which shows you what hashtags influencers in your industry are using.
* Start out well-equipped. Dabble in your own searches for hashtags on subjects that pertain to your brand and even on unrelated subjects. Know what’s out there and currently in use. See what’s working, what’s successful. And when you’re ready, try RiteTag.com, for example, which provides suggested hashtags based on real-time data.
* Consider carefully your audience. While you may believe it’s best to make your hashtags broad enough to capture a wide audience, the objective, in fact, is to be somewhat limiting. Make your hashtags narrow enough, specific enough, to home in on your primary audience. Your goal should be to make that key audience feel a connection to your brand, like they belong, like you are a good fit for them, like they can relate to you and vice versa.
* Be unobtrusive. Don’t turn your audience off from the onset. Keep your brand name out of the hashtag. Remember, you’re trying to pique your audience’s interest before “selling” them on your brand. Guide them to you by way of their interests and desires.
* Don’t overdo it. Limit usage to just 1-2 hashtags at once. More than that becomes cumbersome and confusing.