So you’ve had great photos taken that represent you and your brand, you’ve practised and practised your flat lays and are confident to share them on social media to promote who you are, what you’re selling and to engage with your customers. But how do you find them? You have a loyal band of followers who love you but how do you get your content seen by others? How do you grow?
Well, there are many ways to do this via social media and I have invited Denika from Social Elucidation to talk about one aspect—#hashtags. Hashtags (a word or series of words preceded by the # symbol) are a simple way for users to find your content, they are a search tool, and it’s important to use them correctly!
Hashtags Do’s and Don’ts
My gorgeous and talented friend Amanda Harrington asked me recently if I’d like to do a guest post on her blog about hashtags. Of course I said yes so here’s my Do’s and Don’ts of using Hashtags to grow your social media accounts.
Some people hate them and some people love them a little too much, but thanks to social media the word hashtag has become a prominent part of our culture. The hashtag is now so recognisable that it was added to the Oxford English Dictionary and the Scrabble dictionary in 2014.
Hashtags work by organising and categorising social media content, which aids the process of content tagging and discovery. Hashtags are a powerful social media tool that allows your content to be discoverable to your target market, allow your content to be seen by a new audience that extends beyond your followers, who connect and engage with you based on a common theme or interest.
But there are a few rules to follow to make sure you can harness the Hashtag Power and that will help you grow your social media accounts.
Do be specific when using hashtags
The more specific you can get with your hashtag, the more targeted your audience will be. If you want targeted, high quality conversations then it’s much better to target hashtags that are relevant to your industry/niche. Think “what would I be searching for?” when posting your photos/video. Identify a passionate community or an influencer that shares an interest that relates to your industry/niche, look at the hashtags they are using and apply any that fit to your content.
Do cater hashtags to the social network you’re using
While hashtags on all social platforms have the same fundamental purpose of content tagging and discovery, the use of hashtags still varies by platform.
Hashtags on Facebook and Instagram are often more focused on description of the content. On Twitter, hashtags tend to be more focused a topic of conversation, or a group of people (a chat for example) that you would like to engage.
Before using hashtags, research the proper way to use them for the platform you’re using. Most platforms have guides for hashtag selection and use.
ShortStack.com state that “interactions are highest on Instagram post with 11+ hashtags”. Instagram will let you add up to 30 hashtags on each post so try and add all 30. I usually like to add a few hashtags to my post and the rest in a comment after I have posted.
On Facebook posts with up to 3 hashtags perform better than those with more than 3 hashtags.
Do come up with your own relevant, branded hashtags
Brand hashtags don’t have to mention your brand name, but should represent your brand and what you stand for. Brand hashtags are also a great way to raise awareness for campaign and initiatives. Look at the momentum #WARocks has recently had.
Don’t go too long or too clever
In general, if you’re creating a branded hashtag you should try to keep it short and sweet. You also don’t want to try and be too clever or offbeat since you want people to naturally search for your tag. Hashtags are supposed to make things easier to find and engage with, but long, complicated hashtags can actually be more arduous.
Don’t just use popular hashtags
Posting just highly popular hashtags doesn’t always work out well. Your post will be seen for a matter of seconds as thousands of people will be posting images via the most popular hashtags so it won’t be long before your content gets buried and as a result you’re no better off than you were before. Using popular hashtags will gain you followers, but the wrong kind of follower—spammers or people only interested in being followed back. Focus on being specific, which we already explained above, and attracting your ideal audience.
Don’t hashtag everything
Hashtags serve to make your content discoverable to a wide audience. The truth is, not everything you produce is going to fit into that category. If your tweet, post, or comment isn’t adding any substance to the wider conversation, you might want to consider leaving the hashtag off. For example, if you are simply sharing a new story, reposting the hashtag doesn’t add any value. If you write a blog post that analyses the impact of that news, then absolutely use a hashtag when you share it. Using hashtags will allow you to make an impression on a wide social media audience. Make sure you’re sharing content that relates to your industry/niche and making the right impression on your audience.
I hope you have found this article useful. If you have any questions or comments, don’t forget to leave them in the discussion section at the bottom of this page.
If you’d like to work with Social Elucidation for all your social media needs email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on 0409 884 959. I’d love to work with you!
If you want to learn more about growing your social media accounts, Denika and I are co-hosting a Photography and Social Media Masterclass next week! Learn more great information like that shared above: how to engage with your ideal client and get your message to them, and how to take great photos with your phone that are share-worthy and that represent the best of you and your business.
For more information drop me line or get full event details and tickets here. We love what we do and we’d love to help you.