Hashtags Are #Cool

Today I’d like to talk about an important aspect of social media – Hashtags.

You’ve seen hashtags: #beachlife, #morningcoffee, #dogsofinstagram. People love hashtags! They allow us to add easily searchable word and phrase tags to posts on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest.

A good first question is, which hashtags should you use? Anything can be a hashtag. Just type a # and any word or phrase you want to use. Letters (both capital and lowercase) and numbers are fine; special characters (such as apostrophes and dashes) do not work in hashtags, and you cannot have any spaces.

You can feel free to hashtag your business name or other hashtags you originate yourself. However, it is more important to find hashtags that others are already using, to help your posts get more views and interactions. Your hashtags should be aligned with your target audience.

To give you a real life example, I use the following hashtags in my various posts:

  • #entrepreneurlife
  • #smallbusiness
  • #nonprofit
  • #digitalonlinemarketing
  • #entrepreneur
  • #cltbusiness
  • #SEO
  • #CharlotteNC
  • #coffeeshop (not really relevant… but it’s my thing)

I use the above hashtags because I want to reach people that would be interested in those topics. What typically happens is people will find me because of the various posts and either like the post or start following me.

For you to find out the best hashtags to use in your business, you’ll need to focus on keyword research to make sure you’re using the most relevant hashtags that not only describe your brand, but are also being searched for on social media.

To find relevant hashtags, you’ll want to use a free online program like IconoSquare.

Here’s a trick that you can use for your organization. For every product / product category or service you offer, see which are the most popular hashtags around those categories. Then write down 15-20 popular hashtags for each category and 5-10 popular tags that describe your brand and product offering overall. Finally, create a list of popular local-specific hashtags that relate to your brand.

Store your hashtags in Evernote or a similar type of program. This makes it easy and efficient when you go to make a new post, optimized for the most relevant keywords. Just open your Evernote and copy your standard brand, product and location specific hashtags to the post.

Have some fun with hashtags out there on social media!

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