As a follow up to my stuffing article, I thought I would also include the proper way to write hashtags. With Facebook’s new “public conversations initiative,” hashtags have migrated to Facebook’s domain in order to help build group conversations. This is a great move for businesses because it takes something people are already using, and transfers it to Facebook’s ginormous user base. There are many ways that hashtags help build conversations about business, and tracking or learning from those conversations is very informative and a great business practice, however, what happens when it’s time for you to make up your own hashtags? Here are some helpful tips:
Short and Sweet
The most important thing everyone says about hashtagging is that the phrase you choose needs to be short, sweet and to the point. It was harder with Twitter to get away with long hashtags because of the 140 character limit, but with Facebook, it can be easy to get sucked into the ridiculously long tag. A hashtag should be SEARCHABLE, but if you are creating a complicated hashtag, you are lowering your chances of someone finding you, or giving you a second glance.
Don’t Use Spaces
Don’t put a space between words. For instance: #space jam should read: #spacejam
Encourage The Buzz To Spread Viral
Twitter allows users to either follow their friends, and hashtags. This means that if you choose a hash tag that becomes popular, and you continue to use it, it will catch on and spread naturally throughout Twitter and Facebook. Keep a couple of hashtags that are only used for your brand and encourage your followers to use it too.
Don’t Over-do It
Please, don’t hashtag every word! It’s not helpful for you or your business to have a cluttered un-planned hashtag strategy. You have to be smart and manipulate social media to work for you. I have said it before, but there is no easy way to do social media SEO, so don’t try to find one.
Make It Relevant
Don’t choose a hashtag just because it is popular. If it doesn’t have anything to do with your content, don’t use it.
Followers Know Your Hashtag
Often, people will miss the memo about what hashtag matches your brand. For instance, if I had a company called Yogurtopolis, and my hashtag was #YumYogurt, I would make sure that nobody used #yummyyogurt, or #yogurtland or #yumyumyog because that wont help my hashtag spread. Everyone needs to use the same hashtag, with the same spelling, in order to get the job done.
Make your post unique. Don’t use generic things like #plaidpants2013, use something like, #90srback2013. Try to be clever, witty and fun. This will make your hashtag more popular and spread easily.
Begin A Game
This is a fun one! Start a game with your followers about something that fits your niche. It will help you gain traffic and have people talking about your business in the process. Try giving a shout out that you challenge people to name all of the hot designers for fall, and encourage them to use your business’ hashtag in the post. Then, when all these people keep tagging you in their tweets, you will have new potential customers wondering what your company is all about.
Keep it Relevant
Don’t add random hashtags to your business’ Twitter feed. For instance, “I went to the gym today,” is not an appropriate post. It has nothing to do with your business, who you are as a person, and it will just make people think that you are ditzy and lack focus.
How do you use hashtags to help your business? Do you find it easier to promote your business on Twitter or Facebook? Leave a comment!