Hashtags are an extension of what people are searching for.

Optimizing for them can result in more traffic and especially high converting traffic to your site.

Hashtags have many benefits.

It helps readers follow a channel categorized on their interests and attract followers based on that.

So what should you do to get the maximum exposure?

But, where these hashtags come from in the first place

Chris Messina, former Google employee worked as a designer on Google + and he’s the first person to be credited tweeting with a hashtag back in 2007.

After that there was no looking back.

RadiumOne estimates that 75% on social media employ hashtags on their posts. Comparatively the number of people who know how to correctly use hashtags is very small

Betraying its simplicity of use all one needs to do is use the # symbol before a single word or group of words. You may also add numbers or phrases with and without space.

Here’s the lowdown on correctly using hashtags

To use with a category or specific keyword don’t use too many keywords into a single phrase in a hashtag

Hashtag related posts are publicly available through search on that channel.

Hashtags are particularly good for creating engagement. Tweets with hashtags sport twice the engagement than those without and 55% more retweets

  • Use relevant hashtags rather than packing hashtags based on what’s trending despite being non relevant to the topic.
  • Twitterati is a vocal bunch and if they don’t find what they’re looking for they are going to be pissed.

As a brand you can and should participate in active discussions surrounding topics that are trending. But be careful to not shoot yourself in the foot. It’s easily for the uninitiated intern to say something dumb and social media being what it is it can spiral out of control.

Also conversations are meant to promote brand awareness and not shove down a hard sell down visitors throats.

Ensure proper hashtag/keyword research prior to anything

 

Hashtag usage isn’t way different from how we do keyword research and use found keywords for content marketing. In much the same way as adding keywords to blog posts, we add hashtags to posts.

 

And you’re not alone in this quest. There are a number of tools created just to help you conduct proper hashtag research.

  • Hashtagify.me It’s free to use and gives you insights and data on hashtags and helps you use those in your posts.
  • RiteTag Built specifically for Facebook and Twitter you can rely on its data set to use the trendiest of terms.
  • Do competitor hashtag research: Just like someone uses SEMrush or Ahrefs to find keywords their competitor sites rank for, you can follow a similar strategy. Since there are no competitor hashtag research tools, you need to use a crude way to get things done.

Look at what kind of posts and hashtags your competitors are currently using and follow suit. Not all hashtags show up even with hashtag research and that’s where your competitors can help.

The strategy you must follow for success

Use targeted hashtags to take your content and brand in front of a targeted audience.

By using specific hashtags you will be able to craft content and posts for that particular audience putting engagement on steroids.

An upgrade from relevant hashtags is to use branded hashtags eventually as your brand gains popularity.

Almost all popular brands have their branded hashtags that you can see being used on campaigns or as a slogan.

A myth that follows branded hashtags around is that it should contain your brand name. That’s not necessarily true. A branded hashtag should elicit a strong connection to what your brand represents and entails.

Branded hashtags can also be created to target specific campaigns. Again this may not be directly related to what your brand does or for a new product but something that as a brand you deeply care about.

#withoutshoes was a hashtag used to raise awareness for children without shoes all over the world.

Use the principle of KISS- Keep it simple stupid meaning your hashtag has to be memorable, short and sweet so that it gets used correctly most of the time.

A specific keyword is much more of a trendsetter than a generic me too keyword.

Use trending hashtags

Trending hashtags ensures that you stand to get the most benefit out of popular trends.

Trends are always changing. A little bit of change in your article might reflect that trend and you can use a trending hashtag to drive traffic to that particular blog post.

 

Where to get this information from?

Few sites can help

Hashtags.org

Trendsmap

Hashtagify

RiteTag

Don’t limit yourself to Twitter

The concept of hashtagging was popularized by Twitterati.

However, you all know that Twitter’s dying.

And most popular social channels support hashtags today. So there’s no reason to limit yourself to Twitter.

Use all social media channels for hashtagging.

Speak in their language

To craft an effective social media message, it’s essential you speak in their language

To achieve that, search for the hashtag on social media channels and check the ongoing conversations happening in real-time.

Which posts are getting more attention?

What language is being used?

The exact words.

Do this enough and you’ve enough material for form your tweets and facebook posts.

If keyword research is to SEO, hashtag research is to SMO.

 

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