It’s time we all gave hashtags the respect they deserve. They aren’t just for fun, they are powerful tools.
With information overload on every social network, hashtags have become the only way to make sense of the incredible data we create.
Without hashtags, social networks are an unorganized mess. With hashtags, social networks highly organized feeds of information.
You can find unique and high-quality content on any topic. Easily accessible, live conversations happening right now.
Some of them may even be about your niche.
What’s a Hashtag?
Think of a hashtag as a live online conversation on a topic.
Using them allows you to jump into these conversations. And because of this, they hold a ton of power.
You’ve no doubt seen the hijackers. Link-spammers. Desperately seeking clicks. Don’t be one of these people. It’s desperate and a waste of your valuable time.
The key is to find the conversations relevant to you. And once you find them, to find ways to add value.
The Right Way to Use Hashtags
A huge part of your social media presence is one thing: accessibility. Can your audience find your content?
Half the battle is making sure that the answer to that question is a resounding yes. And the easiest way to make your content accessible, is to use hashtags.
Hashtags make your content discoverable. Not only to the people following you, but to everyone on that platform.
By creating content tailored for your audience, with relevant hashtags; you make yourself easy to find. Now everyone who follows that topic will be able to see your content.
With the right hashtags, your content has more reach.
Hashtags are a powerful way to give your content new legs and make yourself easy to find. If you want to maximize your social efforts, master them.
13 Tips on Creating Effective Hashtags
1: Use Them Sparingly
#While it may be #fun to use a #hashtag every 3 #words, don’t.
It messes with your audience’s ability to read your content and looks spammy. Your content should never exceed 3 hashtags. I even recommend keeping some of your content hashtag free.
Hashtags are just like call-to-actions, they’re more effective when used in moderation.
2. Keep It Simple
You don’t have to reinvent the wheel to use hashtags effectively.
Actually, it’s better if you don’t. There’s no problem with adding to other active, effective hashtags. Keep them simple and consistent.
3. Be Trendy
Trending topics are great way to jump into an active conversation.
Don’t hijack trending topics with links, but if you see a trending hashtag that’s relevant, check it out.
Start by listening, but if you can add value, jump in! Trending topics are a great way to reach engaged and passionate users.
4. Be Selective
Popular topics like #Blogging can be very noisy. It’s hard to stand out in a feed that ticks 100 tweets per minute.
But if you are more selective with your hashtags, you can put your content in less competitive feeds. Instead of trying to compete with the world with #Blogging, try something less competitive. Something like #ProBlogging or #BeautyBlogging.
Find at least 1 subtopic for every major hashtag you use.
5. Have a Plan
Don’t just wing it, do the research. Get to understand the hashtags relevant to you.
Search for hashtags related to your niche and look for some to organize your content throughout your social networks.
You can start by deriving hashtags from your SEO keywords and blog categories.
6. Be relevant
No matter what hashtag you use, make it relevant.
Just because your audience checks #Blogging, doesn’t mean you should use it in every tweet. Use one rule: if a piece of content adds value to a conversation, hashtag it. If it doesn’t, don’t.
7. Cut the B.S
Some hashtags are just plain B.S. There’s no need hashtag pronouns, silly words, and other gimmicks.
Hashtags are meant to help people find you. Instead of messing around, take the time to understand them. Incorrect use can even look unprofessional.
8. Create your own
Creating your own hashtag is a great way to organize information on a particular topic.
For example, say you want to launch an ebook. You can create a hashtag with the title and put all relevant social content about the book there.
Then when your audience needs information, it’s all there in one feed; organized by your hashtag.
9. Test them
Next time you use a hashtag, click on it.
Check out the feed that comes up. Is it just a random jumble of information? Or is it an organized list of quality content?
If it’s a crowded mess of information, you might want to try another one.
10. Be consistent
You can either hashtag with #caps or no #Caps, just be consistent.
You can also place your hashtags before links or after links. It doesn’t really matter where you put your hashtags, just keep it consistent.
Try to keep your frequency consistent. If you have 10 posts with 1 hashtag and your next post has 4, it might throw your audience off.
11. Join a chat
The most effective way to use hashtags, is to join live chats.
Hashtags can become chatrooms. Places where people meet for a certain amount of time and talk to each other through a certain hashtag.
These places are one of the best places to find and connect with passionate members of a niche. Find the Twitter chats that are relevant to your niche and join one.
Here’s a list of a ton of chats on Twitter. I highly suggest you check it out for the ones relevant to you.
12. Live chat an event
A great way to utilize hashtags is to live Tweet something.
Whether it’s something like the #Olympics or a smaller event; live tweeting an event is a great way to boost your reach.
Usually these hashtags have engaged users checking them religiously, so adding value to them can bring a huge return.
13. Entertainment value
Okay, I won’t be a total #BuzzKill. I won’t be a #HashtagGrinch.
It’s okay to use hashtags in a humorous or expressive way to add value to your content #KnowWhatIMean. Specialized hashtags like this can actually increase your engagement.
But remember to use them in moderation. Too many can look unprofessional and spammy.
Hashtags are live online conversations across networks. You can access any of them, you just have to know where to look.
Finding and using the hashtags relevant to you, gives you more reach. With them, your content is much more accessible.
But be careful, because they can be abused. No matter what you’re hashtagging ask yourself one question: does it add value to this conversation?
What are your tips for creating a better hashtag?