How to Use Hashtags (for Beginners!)

How to Use Hashtags for Beginners - Blog by HighleyDesigned

Lots of my clients admit that they don’t understand hashtags. These are small business owners who know the value of social media but aren’t sure how to use platforms like Instagram or Twitter. Many of them are just getting used to Facebook! If this is you, or if you’ve just never understood this whole hashtag thing, here it is in layman’s terms. #hashtagsfordummies #kiddingbutnotkidding

What is the point of hashtags?
When someone uses a hashtag in front of a word or a phrase, that phrase is categorized. You’ll notice on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram you can click on a word or phrase that has a hashtag in front of it and you’ll see a list of all the posts, people and photos that use the same hashtag. This is an awesome way to get your social media posts noticed. Why? Let’s pretend you’re a salon owner. Most people around the world aren’t on Instagram searching for “Sally’s Salon, Lancaster PA” (totally made that up), but people are on Instagram searching for “Modern Salon” or “Highlights” or “Blowout” etc. When you upload a photo of a great hair cut and style and you add those hashtags after your caption, your photo will now show up when people search those words or phrases! The same is true for Facebook and Twitter but hashtags are used in different amounts on each platform (I’ll get to that).

So let’s recap… Hashtags have a point because they help to categorize your posts, videos and photos by relevant topics, events and phrases. When your posts get categorized they get noticed!

When should I use hashtags?
You can use hashtags within a sentence if the wording is appropriate, or in a cluster at the end of a caption.

Example 1. Tune in tonight for #ViralChat at 9pm.
Example 2. Wow! Things are finally organized around the office. #organization #beforeandafter #springcleaning

The major social platforms for hashtags are Instagram and Twitter. You can also use hashtags on Facebook, but because Facebook uses a different algorithm altogether so hashtags are less relevant. If you’re posting about a big event or a trending topic on Facebook, use a hashtag, but don’t worry about using hashtags each time you post like you should for IG and Twitter.

If you are watching a popular show on TV or a live event like the GOP Debate, using a hashtag is a great way to have your opinion heard by others. It may even lead to a conversation or a networking opportunity. Twitter chats are another awesome way to make connections and most chats will have their own hashtag, for example Post Planner’s “Viral Chat” uses #viralchat. If someone searches for “ViralChat” they’ll be able to see all of the questions and answers that have been posted with the chat’s hashtag.

How many hashtags should I use?
I’ve done a lot of reading about this and with trial and error I’ve found that for Instagram 11 is the magic number. Photos with 11 or more hashtags receive the most engagement. It’s also important to pay attention to what time of day you’re posting and how long your captions are. You will find that your audience is more active sometimes vs others.

For Twitter I recommend sticking to 1-4 hashtags. You only have 140 characters to work with so it’s important to keep tweets short and sweet. If you can keep your tweets to 100-120 characters others can quote your tweet and still have space to add a comment!

Hashtags aren’t as important on Facebook so I recommend only using them when you’re talking about a major brand, event or have perfect use for a hashtag phrase. For example, “Is anyone else excited for the women’s all around competition? #Rio2016.”

Now that you know why, when and how to use hashtags, go tweet, post and plan away! And remember, social media is a lot of trial and error – you’ll find what works best for your brand or business!

~Rachel

 

 

 

What Social Media Sites Should You Be Using to Grow Your Business?

What Social Media Networks Should Your Business Be Using by HD Marketing & Creative

If you’re new to social media but you’re not sure what your business should be doing, here are some tips! Remember, it’s better to be active on one social media platform than to post infrequently on all of them. 

Facebook
No matter what industry you’re in, every business should be on Facebook. If you don’t have time to post every day, make it a habit to post every few days and make it a habit to be consistent. Facebook has become so popular it’s like your calling card. In many ways your business page is second to your Google listing.

Best For:

  • Small businesses
  • Marketing to local customers
  • Announcing and planning events
  • Dealing with customer service issues
  • Running contests and giveaways

Instagram
If you’re in the fashion, beauty, travel or creative industries, Instagram will serve you well. Instagram has a young demographic and Instagram is all about photos. Another key feature is that your newsfeed is based in real-time like Twitter, there’s no dealing with tricky algorithms like Facebook.

Best For:

  • Businesses with high quality photos – product photos, before and after photos, videos, styled shots etc.
  • Fashion brands, bloggers, Etsy sellers, hair and nail industry, photographers, wedding planners, restaurants, event venues
  • Showing off new products, food, before and after photos, art
  • Connecting with other brands, businesses and individuals

Twitter
Keep it short and sweet in 140 characters or less! Twitter is great for anyone in tech or marketing, it’s also great for anyone that represents an organization, runs their own business or has an area of “expertise.” If you have a blog, do any public speaking or want to network with others, Twitter is an awesome place to be.

Best For:

  • Tech companies, marketers, authors, speakers, funny people and any business that provides customer / product support
  • Alerting fans or followers of new content or blog posts, events or glitches
  • Resolving customer service issues
  • Networking with other professionals, live-chatting or answering questions

LinkedIn 
If you’re a business owner, professional, author or speaker LinkedIn is the best place to find opportunities. Whether you want to do business with someone, talk guest blogging or invite someone to appear on your radio show, this is a place to do it. On LinkedIn you can send a direct message without sounding creepy or weird and you don’t have to be shy about “friending” someone.

Best For:

  • Business owners and professional organizations
  • Connecting with people you’d like to do business with, get a recommendation from, share your content with and learn from
  • Getting your name out there and establishing yourself professionally

Pinterest
Ecommerce busniesses this is the social media network for you! With Pinterest you can pin all of your products and in one click potential shoppers are at your storefront. This is also a great platform for anyone in home decor, remodeling, travel and other photo-friendly industries.

Best For:

  • The Ecommerce industry
  • Fashion, beauty, bloggers, artists, fitness experts
  • Showing off products and online content

 

Learn what social media networks your business should be using!