Hashtags are an important component of marketing on a number of social networks, namely Twitter and Instagram. By placing a # symbol in front of certain words, content becomes searchable. When used right, hashtags will effectively help your audience locate your content (and your brand). There are, however, certain things you’ll want to avoid when using hashtags as well. Let’s take a look at 4 of these common mistakes so you’ll know what not to do in your own SMM activities.
Getting too creative. Yes, technically anyone can make up any hashtag they’d like. The problem is, if you’re only using your own creative or made up hashtags, chances are very slim that your content is going to get found. Instead, focus on popular keywords that are relevant to your industry. Another good strategy is taking advantage of trends to further promote your brand socially.
Using too many. There’s no magical formula for how many hashtags are most effective, but suffice it to say that using a ton on each and every post will probably have the opposite effect of what you’re after. For tweets, a good rule of thumb is to max out at four. You can include a few more on Facebook or Instagram, but don’t overdo it.
Making them too long. As a general rule, hashtags are meant to be short and sweet. If you’re creating hashtags that contain multiple words, do so with caution and make sure they’re easy to understand and not confusing. Otherwise you’ll probably end up driving away your existing audience rather than attracting new followers.
Being untruthful. Some less-than-honest businesses use certain hashtags that they know are popular or trending to attract attention, only for visitors to discover that the content is completely unrelated. This bait-and-switch technique is never a good idea, especially if you’re trying to establish a good image for your brand. Stick with what’s relevant only.
Like it or not, hashtags have become somewhat of a cultural phenomenon. If you’re not using them, or more importantly – not using them properly – your business is most certainly missing out on additional traffic, increased brand exposure and potential leads. Avoid the above mistakes and you’ll have a much better chance of mastering the art of the hashtag for more successful social media marketing.