Hi guys, I hope you’re good. First I want to start off by saying, please share this if you like it or if it helps you.
So I decided to write this post detailing hashtags. I was speaking to a business owner last week and somehow, we started talking about hashtag use on Twitter and Instagram.
I asked, “What do you know about hashtags?”, turns out he only knew that they are used to find other similar content. He’s right but if you know about hashtags, you know that they are a lot more to hashtags.
For my silly question of this post, “Who would win in a fight, an Eagle or a Buccaneer?” They may be silly but I really want answers to this. Thanks in advance.
I watched a couple of videos and read some article about hashtags, some people have reasons why hashtags should not be used and I will share them and also express why it is still better to use them.
In my opinion, “(echo) Houston, we are a go on #hashtags, go go go!”.
I really think they are great. My social media life has changed so much for the better. Suddenly I was getting more comments from people that were interested in what I was doing.
Okay, enough intro, I’m going into my rant. These are some of the reasons why some people think using hashtags is a bad idea.
BAD REASONS WHY
- Takes Up Space On Twitter: Twitter allows you to type a maximum of 140 characters. I say 120 so you can also people retweet and add their tweets to yours. Some people think using hashtags takes up very much needed space. But you know what else takes up space, that’s right, space itself. Consider brainstorming on how to write short and effective Twitter content.
- Disrupting Your Caption Message: This is for Instagram. It might look spammy when your caption comes right before a bunch of hashtags and I used to do the same thing but I found a better way to separate hashtags from captions. Using it in the comment section, I’ll explain this in the “Good Reasons section”.
To read more on why hashtags are bad, read this NiemanLab article.
I assure you that the pros of hashtags outweigh the cons. I’m not saying that hashtags are not bad, and I’m also not saying otherwise. I’m only trying to explain hashtags as well as my opinion about it.
Remember this quote:
“Anything that’s good is equally that bad.”
Before I explain the good reasons why I’ll talk about how to use hashtags and how not to use them.
HOW TO USE THEM
- Be Specific: Do not try to fool around with them or use a complicated word for a hashtag. For example, this post; I would use one like #hashtags and not #whatyouneedtoknowabouthashtags. I’m sensing you already get this. The latter is not specific at all, it’s too long and no one would search for that on Instagram or Twitter.
- Use Relevant & Unbranded Hashtags: For relevance, this using something that makes sense. You should try putting yourself in a reader’s shoes to do this or ask a friend or family member. And make sure it is relevant to whatever your post is about. For branding, create one for your business or brand, this will help you in a way I’ll explain in the “Good section”. For example, Nike has #nike, Adidas has #adidas or #yeezy, and I have #webprobie.
- Use Examples: Using the Instagram search box, look up hashtags relating to your content to find the most popular hashtags to use. Remember not to use all popular ones else your content will only be popular for about five minutes.
- Comment Section: Like I said earlier, using hashtags right below your caption might disrupt the message you’re trying to send. The best alternative is to post your hashtags as the first comment right after you post. It has the same effect and better because when other people comment, the hashtags disappears but is still working.
- Mixing It Up: More on #3, do not use only popular content, mix it up with some less popular so you still rank higher for those ones. Do not keep using the same hashtags every time. Mix it up every month so you may find better things that are more effective.
HOW NOT TO USE THEM
- Keep It Short: Lengthy hashtags are a very bad idea and seriously, they do not work. It’s useless to use a hashtag like #howtogetstartedwithsocialmediamarketing. To keep it short and specific, a more effective one would be #socialmediamarketing. By the way, that has over 3.5 million posts on Instagram alone.
- Balance The Number of Hashtags with Words: This means exactly that – try to keep the number of length of hashtags you use with the words you use.
- Twitter & Instagram: These two sites limit the number of hashtags you can use in a single post. On Twitter, I advise not using more than 3 hashtags. While on Instagram, you can use up to 30 hashtags.
- Do Not Hashtag Every Word: I was thinking about doing this to the title so you understand this. Hashtagging every word in your message is annoying. You know what I do when I see a post with the first three words with a # in front of it, I keep scrolling. It looks spammy for sure and frustrating, and like you are begging for attention.
- Never On Pinterest & Facebook: Pinterest does not allow hashtags and you could be penalized in rankings if you use them. It was said that Facebook now allows the people to them but I doubt it will ever rise like Twitter and Instagram so it is a waste and has no effect, in my opinion.
Finally, the part I have really been waiting to get to, the Good Reasons Why you should be using hashtags. I have more than the bad and I’m glad a lot more people support the use.
GOOD REASONS WHY
- Reach Specific Target Audience: By using hashtags, you are narrowing the number of people that see your post to those that are searching for it. This way, you are guaranteed a very good deal that your post reaches your target audience. If you don’t have a target audience, read my article in which I explain how to find your target audience.
- Increasing Post Engagement: Relating to the above point, when you are reaching the people you want and IF your content is interesting enough, there is an increase in the chance that people engage with it. This means likes, followers and most importantly comments. An example is a post of mine. Follow the link: http://bit.ly/webprobiepost.
- Monitoring Your Reputation: When you use a hashtag you created for your brand, it is easier to track what other people are saying about you and your business. By searching your hashtag, you can find what other pictures have been posted using it. Example, most times when I see a Bentley, I take a picture, post it and #bentley.
- Keeping An Eye On Your Competition: By knowing what hashtags your competition uses, you can “listen in on them” and use what you find to make even better content for your brand. Look for where they lag behind and better your there. Know where they flourish and take some cues there. This is not copying to clarify, it’s researching to make your business better.
- Keep Up With Latest Industry Trends: By looking up hashtags, you can also know about the newest changes in your industry and use information like that to improve your content.
- Promoting Your Content: In the context, your content means events, contests, sales, deals, etc. To make this easier on your eyes, take the post below as an example for this.
- Getting User Generated Content: I love Mercedes so I’ll use that as an example: You know when Mercedes post a picture of some random person who is not a model with one of their cars and then they tag that person. That is getting user generated content. Tagging a customer increases engagement and they probably just got that person a thousand followers…lol maybe. The point is you could do the same by using content from people that post your products or pictures. More content for you.
Okay so that is it for this post and as you can see, I am all for hashtags.
Please, share this if you liked it and even if you did not. If this helped you, help others know this too.
Thanks for reading.