It’s hard to believe that it was only eight years ago that Twitter’s first Tweet was sent out into the world and a year later, in 2007, the #hashtag made its first appearance on Twitter via Chris Messina. At the time, Messina had no idea that his simple idea to create groups would eventually be adopted by fellow social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and others. But this is exactly what occurred, making the hashtag an integral part of social media conversations today and essential to business marketing campaigns.
However, there is an art to the hashtag that must be learned before one can achieve social media marketing success. first hashtag use While the use of hashtags through social media is not necessarily a new function, many people still feel uncertain about how to use them and why they should use them. These are reasonable concerns since these answers are not inherently known. Choosing the right hashtag with the right message to drive your brand and engage your customers requires a certain amount of knowledge and finesse.
Luckily, If you’re new to using hashtags, social media or social media for business purposes, here are some tips to bring you up to speed: Do your research. Before using a hashtag, verify that it is an established hashtag and that its use is parallel to your purpose. The importance of this cannot be stressed enough. If you don’t do your research, you run the risk of getting hashtag hijacked and negatively impacting your brand. Create or use a hashtag that will positively benefit your business.
If done correctly, it could easily become a trend. Creating a unique hashtag will also allow you to keep track of your campaign and your audience. Only use hashtags when they are relevant to the topic of the Tweet. Make sure your hashtag message is obvious. If it’s a mystery to others, you run the risk of alienating your readers or, worse, you could end up at the mercy of the internet. Tweets that contain one or more hashtags are 55% more likely to be ReTweeted than Tweets that do not. Tweets with hashtags receive 2X more engagement than those without hashtags.
Tweets with one or two hashtags have a 21% higher engagement than those with three or more hashtags. Tweets that use more than two hashtags usually show a 17% drop in engagement. Tweets including quotation marks were 30% more likely to be ReTweeted than those that did not. Be succinct. Statistics show Tweets which use 100 characters or less get 18% more engagement. Limit the length of your hashtags.
If your hashtag is longer than your tweet, you’re doing it wrong. Jimmy & Justin are perfect examples of this: To save characters when posting a link, use a URL shortener. A quick Google search will turn up several options to choose from. #Don’t #hashtag #every #single word. This just makes you look like you discovered the hashtag yesterday and want everyone to know. This can make you very popular with tweens though, if that was what you were going for. Remember, your posts are public.
Use common sense before sharing anything that could affect your business or career, unlike these fine folks. This is also why it is important to have a business plan of action for a social media crisis. Finally, be aware that there are always easier ways to go about using Twitter, but they don’t necessarily come without a price. Don’t engage in spammy behavior that degrades your reader’s experience and ultimately leads your posts to be filtered from the search results. For more information from Twitter, click here. While these tips are many, they are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to running a great social media campaign.
The purpose of this is not to overwhelm you but to keep you informed and to help you be better prepared. With 271 million users worldwide, 500 million Tweets per day, and 78% of users active on mobile, social media is, unquestionably, a powerful opportunity for your business, never mind the fact that Twitter is not the only platform to utilize hashtags. In the end, what it comes down to is developing an honest social media marketing strategy that follows these best practices for using hashtags to increase your business’s visibility, audience, revenue and success.