By Carrie-ann | Jun 14, 2017 | Twitter

How to use hashtags correctly

You’ve probably seen hashtags used all over social media. Just by adding the # symbol you can connect with a whole new audience and make your content more discoverable. If you don’t quite know when and where to use them, take a look at some of these tips to get you using hashtags to their full potential.

Don’t be too complicated
Hashtags work best when they are simple. No one is going to type in long winded hashtags and those with complicated words might get lost due to spelling mistakes. Also, make sure you don’t use too many hashtags, using one or two is fine but when you start to use multiple hashtags it makes you look desperate and your point will get lost.
IMPORTANT: Keep hashtags short, sweet and to the point.

Be specific
As a business, you first need to think about who your target audience is. There’s no point coming up with a hashtag when it won’t be seen by any of those you’re trying to reach. Try to be specific, use keywords that represent your business or product and tailor them to your target audience.

Which platform are you posting to?
It’s something that might not be obvious at first but each social media network has their own way of using hashtags. For example, hashtags on Instagram are predominantly used to describe the image, whereas users on a platform such as Twitter use hashtags which relate to a common topic or news story.

TIP: Most platforms will have their own guide to hashtags, so if in doubt whether yours is best suited to that network, take a look.

Don’t use a hashtag for everything
Before adding a hashtag, always ask yourself if it adds anything to your post. If the answer is no then don’t include it. The whole point of a hashtag is to reach a wider audience and make your content more discoverable. Including a hashtag exclaiming your boredom whilst you watch TV doesn’t add anything. It must be something that your target audience will find interesting, otherwise, you run the risk of losing followers with tiresome posts that don’t relate to them.

Don’t use your brand
In order get the biggest reach, you need to think of something that your target audience will search for themselves. Think about what they like, what their interests are and how your company is relevant to that. You could use them for competitions in which the hashtag can be used by participants, thus making it easy for you to find all the entries in one place, or use them as a way to connect with your followers by encouraging questions.

TIP: Before starting your own hashtag, see if it, or something similar, already exists. It may have negative connotations which you don’t want your brand to be connected with, or on the contrary, it may already be a starting point for you to build on, therefore encouraging more engagement.
Using hashtags can be a massive advantage when wanting to search for specific content, or to connect with others based on similar interests. When used correctly, they can make the difference between your posts being seen by 10 or 1000 users.