What is a Hashtag and How Do You Use Them?

By Desiree Doree

hashtag

It’s the classic question: pound sign, or hashtag? Depending on whether you are dialing into a conference call or posting that cute pick of your doggo on Instagram, it could be one or the other.

Hashtags (the posting on social media version of a pound sign) can be used to drive traffic to your Instagram, Twitter, and even LinkedIn accounts. They can be a great addition to the content you already generate but sometimes hashtags don’t get used in the best ways.

How you can use hashtags:

  • To attract new followers

Hashtags on Twitter and Instagram are a great way to get new followers. Upon conducting hashtag research, social media managers can maximize on popular hashtags to target specific audiences or draw in new engagement. Popular hashtags are likely to show up in searches and therefore will be seen more often.

  • Create a custom hashtag to keep track of posts

Generating a custom brand hashtag will help you to keep track of your posts as well. Finding hashtags that have never been used before is the best be here – at GetUWired, we use #GUWMarketing or #GUWMarketers.

  • Incorporate it into a giveaway

When hosting a giveaway – like a photo contest – requiring participants to use a custom hashtag will help keep track of photos that are submitted which will help make it easier to choose a winner!

Do

  • Conduct hashtag research – don’t just pick top used hashtags. Dive deeper and see if posts that use those hashtags have a lot of likes, which other hashtags they use, are they even comparable to your brand?
  • Use your hashtags with images – when hashtags are incorporated into posts with just text, they are less likely to be engaged with.
  • Place hashtags at the end of your post – on platforms like Instagram and Twitter, tack on your hashtags at the end of your post. If not, your content will look cluttered and be difficult to read.
  • Make custom ones for contests and campaigns
  • Use two or less hashtags on Twitter

Don’t

  • Use hashtags that have nothing to do with your brand – after you have conducted research, you should have a better understanding of which hashtags apply to your brand and which ones don’t. This still does not mean that whichever hashtags have the most use becomes the one that you use – think outside the box, generate some custom hashtags.
  • Place them on every single post – not every post HAS to have a hashtag. They are meant to add to your content, not BE your content
  • Use them for every word or create long hashtag strings – this makes your content difficult to read, and at times, looks unprofessional

We can create YOUR social media strategy!

If you need support, GetUWired is here to help! Contact one of our marketing specialists today for a FREE 1-hour consult by giving us a call at 877-236-9094 or visiting us online at www.GetUWired.com!