The use of hashtags on social media has become a common practice not only for regular users but brands as well.
Hashtags are great social media marketing tools that help tie campaigns to certain keywords, allowing content to be discoverable. Further, it gives people an easy way to join conversations and engage with other social media users based on a common theme or interest.
However, some people are not aware of how to use hashtags properly and effectively. To make hashtag marketing work for your brand, it is essential for you to learn what and what not to do. Here are a few guidelines that will help you out in following hashtag etiquette.
Don’t: Use hashtags that are not relevant to your brand
Lots of people make the mistake of using popular or trending hashtags just to ride in on conversations. While some marketers do this, it is imperative to know exactly what the conversation is about before joining in, as there’s no point in using a hashtag if you can’t successfully tie it back to your brand.
Do: Create hashtags that are relevant to your brand
Using trending hashtags can help bring you short-term traffic. However, it’s more important to have a real purpose for using one. It’s best to create your unique and memorable branded hashtags, which can help your audience identify your brand with.
Take note that branded doesn’t necessarily mean mentioning your brand name. It just means that it should represent what your brand stands for. It could be a condensed company tagline, the name of your campaign, event, or contest.
Branded hashtags are more interesting and encouraging for your audience to share them online.
Don’t: Hashtag everything
Overusing hashtags is a common error in social media and terrible hashtag etiquette. In fact, some even use more hashtags than words in one post, thinking that doing so will result in more interactions. However, the opposite is true.
Using 10 or more hashtags in your status update will make it seem like you’re spamming, and even make your brand look inexperienced and desperate. More importantly, it annoys most people and takes the focus off of your message.
Do: Use specific and targeted hashtags, and do so sparingly
Quality is better than quantity when using hashtags. So, instead of using too many generic hashtags that are not relevant to your brand, use more specific and focused hashtags that align better with your target audience.
Social media analysis can help you figure out which hashtags you can use. The more targeted your audience is, and the more specific your hashtags are, the better the engagement will be.
Don’t: Make the hashtag too long
Some people put together so many words in one hashtag, making it difficult for the audience to understand. This makes the hashtag complicated, ineffective, and less attractive for people to use.
Do: Make it short and sweet
When it comes to creating hashtags, a short and sweet one wins because they’re supposed to make things easier for people to find and engage in conversations. Try to limit your hashtag to two or three simple words only so as not to make it too complicated for your audience.
Don’t: Use spaces and punctuation marks
If you plan on using two or more words together in your hashtag, do not put spaces in between, as this will break the link and instead only tag the first word in your post.
You want it to be like this: #contentmarketing instead of #content marketing.
If you wish, you can use uppercase letters and make it #ContentMarketing instead, just to make the words easier to distinguish from each other. Similarly, using punctuation marks and other special characters will make your hashtag ineffective too.
Do: Spell check
As with everything you post on social media, you must always check the spelling of your hashtags. No one will be able to find your post if your hashtag is spelled incorrectly. Besides, you don’t want to seem like you rushed into typing your message and didn’t care enough to check it before posting.
Hashtags can be a vital marketing tool for businesses—only if used correctly. Taking the time to learn some of the best practices will help your brand gain tremendous benefits from paying attention to hashtag etiquette.
Alleli Aspili is a Senior Specialist for Business Development in Infinit Outsourcing, Inc., an ISO-certified BPO company that caters inbound call center, finance and accounting and healthcare outsourcing to SMEs. Responsible for maintaining Infinit-O, Infinit Contact, Infinit Healthcare, Infinit Datum and Infinit Accounting online brand and content.