Hashtag advice you should listen to

I have said it before and I will write here again, “The hashtag is the most powerful tool in social media.” Pretty bold statement, right?

TWEET THIS “The hashtag is the most powerful tool in #SocialMedia.”

We’ve gained a bit of a reputation for our favoritism of the hashtag as it’s a frequent tool used in our speeches and, heck, it is even in our Twitter profile photo!

If you still are not sure what a hashtag is, check out this FAQ video. The hashtag allows the hundreds of thousands of messages which are tweeted and posted every second of every day to be collated around conversation topics and keywords. It is how audiences spread the word at events, how real world communities group together online, and how people, businesses, organizations, and nonprofits brand themselves and improve their bottom lines.

Learn more: What is a hashtag?

Hashtags began on Twitter, and have spread to Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and more social media platforms. They are most frequently and successfully used on Twitter and Instagram but still work, to varying levels of success, on the other platforms.

The answer to the question you are thinking right now is: YES.

You should be using hashtags in your posts and tweets, no matter the platform. If you want to get more awareness, gain audience, or manage a social media campaign, hashtags are imperative to your success.

Here are a couple of tips for succeeding at implementing hashtags into your social media marketing:

Check it before you hashtag it: Before you strategically begin using a hashtag be sure to check it out on a site like HashAtIt to make sure it is not being used by competitors or connected to any junk you don’t want to be associated with. TWEET THIS

See what others are doing with hashtags: Search your industry or geographic area for any and all relevant hashtags your peers and influencers are using. Then begin using those. No need to create what is already successful and has audiences connected to it. TWEET THIS

It’s not funny: Do not use hashtags to call out the punchlines to your jokes. #AintIAStinker might have worked for Bugs Bunny but it will not work for you and it chews up valuable real estate in tweets where you are limited to 140 characters and on other platforms where shorter posts perform better. TWEET THIS

Know the numbers: Loading up your content with tons of hashtagged keywords and phrases may seem like a great idea but it makes you look like a spammer and turns off new visitors. 2-3 hashtags work best on tweets and Facebook posts. Studies vary as to what is a sweet spot on Instagram but we have found 6 to be a good number. We also include the bulk of those hashtags in the first comment to an Instagram post not in the original caption text. TWEET THIS

Use what you abuse: If you are going to use the hashtagged keywords and phrases in your content, be sure to click them and engage with others online who are using the same hashtags. One important aspect of hashtags is community building…so be part of the community! TWEET THIS

Be the same everywhere: If you are creating a campaign, theme, or contest revolving around a hashtag be sure you are using the same identification on Twitter as you are on Facebook as you are on Instagram, etc. There is no reason to quadruple your work if you do not have to. TWEET THIS

Make it easy on the eyes: Our house policy for hashtags and web addresses is to capitialize the first letter of every word to make it easier to read and remember. #HamburgerHeaven is a lot easier to read than #hamburgerheaven, right? Test it with your message and see what you think. TWEET THIS

These points are by no means the comprehensive guide on how to use hashtags but they are set up to help you improve your outreach with an important, some say the MOST powerful, tool in social media.

If you need any help, feel free to reach out at any time and be sure to connect, follow, Like, and subscribe to our platforms to stay up to date with what is new and working well in modern communications!

Thanks for the time,

You may also be interested in:

Breaking down hashtags on Facebook

How not to look like a spammer on social media

Better know a hashtag: #Missouri edition

Gus Wagner

Gus Wagner is the President.Owner of The Rocket Group – an award-winning marketing and communications firm. The Rocket Group has specialized in building effective tools across traditional means and new media for clients in businesses, organizations, and nonprofits since 2001. Gus is also a five-time certified Social Media Strategist, a former Chief of Staff in the Missouri State Senate, a retired national champion amateur hockey coach, and a would like to be a singer/songwriter. His Welsh Corgi, Taffy, lets Gus and his wife, Farrah Fite, live with her in Jefferson City, Missouri.