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Hashtagging 101

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Hashtagging is key when it comes to creating a solid brand footprint across all social media platforms. From Twitter to IG and Facebook to TikTok, hashtags help your current and potential clients find your online marketing presence and learn a great deal about your brand before engaging with you for the first time. Hashtags also help you stand out in your respective niche and align you with your marketing and brand goals based on industry… if you use them in an effective way. 

Hashtags have been shown to create worldwide trends, elevating brands to another level in their industry. Do you remember the famous #IceBucket Challenge that raised money and awareness for ALS? The campaign was shared across social media over 2 million times and big-name celebrities took part in their own social media ice bucket dumping challenge. Hashtags have also been used, more recently, as a way to ignite social justice through social media. Think: #BlackLivesMatter and the #MeToo movements. Hashtags have an impactful way of lifting voices and sharing relevant information across the web. 

There are various ways you can (and should!) use hashtags on social media. On the flip side, there are also things you definitely want to (and should!) avoid when it comes to hashtagging your content

Do…

  1.   …include a # symbol before each word you want hashtagged.
  2.     …background research on industry-leading hashtags.
  3.     …maintain a working list of must-use hashtags for each post.
  4.     …branch out, research, and include post-related hashtags. 
  5.     …educate your team on the importance of hashtag inclusion and usage.
  6.     …brainstorm and use branded hashtags to extend your brand footprint and make your brand synonymous with each related word or phrase. 
  7.   …perform monthly maintenance on your current list of hashtags and weed out any that are out of trend or no longer relevant to your marketing goals. Add in new ones that are relevant to the month or season. 

Don’t …

  1.     …cause content exhaustion from hashtag overuse. Use targeted and effective hashtags. Quality should far outweigh quantity. 
  2.     …include spacing or punctuation in your hashtag. When hashtagging phrases items, such as, “content creation,” avoid adding a space or separating the words. Your hashtag shouldn’t read, #content creation, but rather, “contentcreation.” This same principle applies to punctuation. If your word or phrase normally includes it, nix it for the hashtag. 
  3.     …hashtag irrelevant words. There is no need to hashtag every word on a post, especially articles like “a” or “the.”
  4.   …use all capital letters. We understand that you want your hashtag to stand out, but bolding them, writing them out in all caps, or making them bigger than the rest of the content will do quite the opposite. Often, hashtags in all caps make the post look sloppy and less professional. Avoid it at all costs.
  5.   …include hashtags that have no relevance to your post. Although it may seem like a great idea to include the most used hashtag in the world right now, it’s not going to help you gain the right following or views. Yes, you may be seen more by default, but we promise it won’t amount to much. Stick to hashtags that are meaningful to your post and ignore the rest.

Hashtags are a wonderful way to build upon your brand footprint and create a solid social media presence. Understanding how they work and how to use them most effectively is imperative to your hashtag use successes. With proper and planned implementation, hashtag usage across social media should increase your following, raise brand awareness and validate your spot at the top of your industry. To learn more about the importance of hashtags or to get started on creating a hashtag strategy that works for you, contact us, we would love to help you elevate your social media presence today.

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