A hashtag is a word or phrase without spaces preceded by a # sign that is used to tie social media posts or other content together and relate them to a specific and relevant topic. The hashtag sometimes functions like a tag, helping you remain visible on websites loaded with content, drawing people’s attention to the content you want them to see (i.e. #SochiOlympics2014).
Hashtags play a big role in the SEO of your content and your website, as they are directly related to the core keywords that they are based on. Use of the correct hashtags can ensure that there is long-term and relevant traffic to your website, and they will also keep your content visible in streams that are popular and relevant.
Hashtags are also god for remarketing old content that isn’t showing up on current feeds anymore, preventing the content that you have worked so hard on from collecting Internet dust and becoming a waste of time and resource. Hashtags help your small content become a part of a larger discussion.
When you click on a hashtag, the social network it is on will automatically direct you to a feed of other messages and content connected with the same hashtag and topic.
All too often, hashtags can be misused and overused, making them completely pointless. If your goal is to use hashtags to increase your content views and connect your website or content to a larger platform discussion, follow these steps to using hashtags effectively as a start:
Don’t just choose any word for a hashtag. Think about why you are adding a hashtag to your content and what keywords would be relevant to the content you want to share. The hashtag isn’t specifically for your readers only, but more-so to have your content seen by others that will discover you when they click on a relevant hashtag related to yours.
Hashtags are great for organizing information and discovering new content, but there is such thing as overuse and abuse of hashtags. In fact, you don’t even need to use them in every post you make, and you should only use 1-2 hashtags in any post if you do use them. Too many hashtags could end up looking like spam, especially if you are hashtagging multiple words together (i.e. #ThisIsJustTooMuch). Hashtags are only effective if they are relevant and direct the reader to another relevant piece of content.
In order to make effective use of hashtags, you should use them consistently across different social media platforms. Using the same hashtags on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook will help it relay back to your specific campaign from all of the different platforms, and will also let you track internally. Doing so also helps your followers on the various platforms, because it ensures that they will remember seeing it on various platforms, thus remembering your brand and the hashtags that relate back to it.
Test The Tag
Throwing a pound sign in front of a word doesn’t automatically make it a useful hashtag. Test our your hashtag and make sure that it is something relevant and in use. Click on the hashtag to see what other kind of content it takes you to, which is what your readers will be directed to. If you click on the hashtag and all you see is a pool of irrelevant or empty material, try another one. Examples of pointless hashtags are ones such as #You and #Help. They won’t take you or your audience to anything meaningful.
By misusing hashtags, you’re only hurting your cause and directing your audience away from the content you want them to be paying attention to. Having a strategy for your social media networks can make the biggest difference when it comes to how your audience engages with you and your posts. For any business, it’s important to be seen and heard on social networks, and Search Control can help you do just that. Call us today at 602-378-0246 to talk to our team about how to get started.