Social media users and marketers are familiar with hashtags. People use the pound sign before the phrase to follow the topic of interest or to make their publications visible to a specific target group. Content marketers understand the features of hashtags, so they are often included in messages. However, not less often it does not bring visible results.
This article will tell you how to use hashtags correctly and what tasks can be solved with their help.
What is hashtags and where are they used
A hashtag is a keyword or phrase marked with a pound sign. Here are some examples of hashtags: #Moscow, #KlitschkoPovetkin, #love, #cool, etc. With the help of hashtags, social network users group thematic messages and create information channels. Marking a hashtag own message, the author includes it in the appropriate channel.
Most of the popular social networks, including Facebook, Vkontakte, Twitter, Google+, YouTube and others, support the functions of hashtags. Replaced keywords are published into clickable hyperlinks after publication of the message. By clicking on the link, the user receives a tape of messages marked with the corresponding hashtag.
How to use hashtags
As noted above, most content marketers understand the power of hashtags. In other words, they know why to use this functionality of social networks. Hashtags increase audience reach, increase brand awareness, help attract customers to an event or trend. Another thing is not all marketers know how to use hashtags in practice. The recommendations below will help you fill this knowledge gap.
How to choose hashtags
Choosing the right keywords is half the success when using hashtags. Imagine the following situation. You are posting a search engine optimization article on Facebook. In order to be noticed by users interested in search marketing, you add the #SEO tag. In this case, your content will remain almost unnoticed, since the English-speaking audience of Facebook uses this hashtag.
In order for your publication to be noticed by Russian-speaking users, use the not quite correct, but clear to everyone hashtag # SEO.
By the way, do not confuse it with #CEO (Chief Executive Officer). In this case, your note is definitely not approved.
When choosing hashtags, put yourself in the place of your target audience. Think about what keywords your potential customers use to find. Your publication should match the users' expectations.
Avoid using too common key phrases. The simplest example is the hashtags # marketing and # SEO. If your target audience is search marketers, it’s enough to use the specific keyword "SEO". And if your message should be seen by users interested in marketing in a broad sense, use the appropriate tag.
Be sure to check the selected hashtags. For example, if your company sells dust, do not rush to use the hashtag # DDT. It is popular among fans of the same musical group, for whom your publication is not interesting.
To verify a keyword, use the hashtag search function, which is supported by popular social networks. For example, to check whether the hashtag #Mirage is suitable for posting on Google+ about the French Mirage aircraft, use the search form at the top of the page.
How many hashtags to use
In social networks focused on visual content, it is customary to mark messages with a large number of tags. With each new label, the number of views of the publication increases.
However, in networks focused on mixed content, this approach does not work. Users perceive messages with a large number of hashtags as spam. In addition, a large number of hyperlinks in a note reduces its readability and visual appeal.
When posting content on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, use no more than one or two tags. In addition, at least half of your publications should not contain hyperlinks. Hashtags distract users from the content of the notes, so do not include them in every message.
How to increase audience reach with hashtags
Using hashtags to increase reach is similar to using keywords in natural search and contextual advertising. For example, if you sell kitchen furniture, then you use the phrase "kitchen furniture" in PPC campaigns. And in order to increase the coverage at the expense of users using specific requests, you include in the campaign, for example, the landing phrase “furniture for built-in appliances”.
However, PPC campaigns and natural search have significant differences from the use of hashtags. Using long tail keys, you reduce the cost of contextual ads and increase your reach. But as a hashtag low-frequency keywords are not suitable. For users to notice your content, tags should be popular. Notice again, you need to use the most popular tags to increase your audience reach.
Popular hashtags are often too general. Because of this, the number of views of your content remains low, despite the increase in coverage. This problem can be solved by combining marks. Include two tags in one post. One of them should be common and popular, and the second more specific. For example, you can include in the publication a general tag # internet marketing and a more specific mark # internet shop.
How to organize publications using hashtags
If you sell several products, you probably try to talk about each of them in your publications. The problem is that most of your existing and potential customers are only interested in notes about the product they are using or planning to use.
For example, a certain Big Bank sells customers mortgage and consumer loans, deposits and cash management services. Marketers can use two hashtags in publications. First, content can be marked with the #bigbank brand tag. Secondly, publications can be systematized with the help of specific tags # mortgage, # consumer credit and # РКО.
Please note that in this case, quite popular general keywords are used as specific systematizing hashtags. Thus, they not only help streamline the posts, but also increase coverage.
How to demonstrate creativity with hashtags
In most cases, brands use hashtags to increase the visibility of their content. However, sometimes the tags demonstrate the creativity of the company's employees and start new trends. For example, the well-known television channel TNT used the hashtag # feel your year to draw attention to the New Year's airwaves.
It should be noted that there are no universal recipes for using tags to demonstrate creativity and create new trends. Your task in this case is to show that employees of the company think and act outside the box. If you are lucky and the new hashtag becomes popular, it will work for your image for a long time.
What makes hashtags an effective SMM tool
Hashtags can increase the visibility of your content and expand your business audience. Also, tags can annoy users of social networks and force them to unsubscribe from the brand page. First of all, the effectiveness of using tags depends on the ability of the marketer to choose the right keywords. The specialist must find a middle ground between the popularity and specificity of hashtags.
Also, the effectiveness of the use of tags depends on the skill of the specialist to dispense keywords. Using a maximum of one or two tags in a publication, you solve marketing problems and do not risk getting "spam". And using creative hashtags, you can start a new trend and draw additional attention to your brand.
What kind of hashtags do you use to get business information and increase the visibility of the content?