Hashtags are the lifeblood of many social media campaigns but you’d be surprised at how many bloggers decided to ignore them.
Successful hashtag campaigns can bring in an absolute landslide of visitors and interaction. Let’s take a look at how important they are and how to use them effectively…
Internet content is basically worthless unless people are able to find it – all content needs to be found!
Researching the right keywords, expressions, tags and hashtags is more essential than ever. When you get your thoughts in text ‘out there’ you need to do everything you can to make sure it survives.
Keywords, tags and hashtags are like virtual sign posts within a website – they highlight the key information that your content is about.
Keywords, Tags & Hashtags
Let’s start off with the basic keyword ( or keyphrase ) you decide to to base your article on. You go through the basic keyword research techniques and end up with a low competition, high search volume keyword.
You would then find this keyword in the title, content and meta tags of your content. They have the same purpose – they make you easy to find on websites that are stuffed full of content.
1) Twitter – And so The Hashtag is Born…
When I first got on board the Twitter-Train I was a complete newbie and it showed. Following tides of people every day in the vain hope that some of them would overlook my newbie status and follow me back.
When I finally built up what I would deem a ‘successful following’ I got little to no interaction on my tweets. I gave up and didn’t go back to the platform for over a year!
When I did finally return to the platform ( Twitter ) I decided to look into the reasons why I was getting no engagement before. The first thing I noticed is that trending topics almost always began with #.
What was this # thingy?
So the world of hashtags finally opened up to me it was like someone turning the light on in a dark room – people suddenly started to find my tweets!
These days it’s common knowledge that tweets with one or two hashtags have double the chances of engagement. At the same time ‘hashtag stuffing’ can actually cause your tweets to receive less engagement ( anything over 3 hashtags in most cases! ).
I learned that brands were using Twitter hashtags to awesome effect – massively improving the chances of exposure and click-throughs to the brand website.
These days I find that ALL of the top tweets contain at least two hastags – you’d be foolish not to use them really!
2) And What About Facebook?
Yes, Facebook allows you to use hashtags but do they work in the same way that Twitter tags do?
Well no, not in my experience, not at all!
For some reason Facebook has a demented algorithm that most of us are blind to when it comes to hashtags. Certain studies even show that Facebook posts with hashtags receive LESS engagement than the more ‘naked’ posts!
That’s not to say that certain brands don’t use them, and use them well. I’ll guarantee that a quick search through your timeline will bring up a handful of brand posts that seem to be doing alright.
It’s all about research on Facebook – testing out your practices to see how your target audience responds to each.
I’ve now got to the point where I only use hashtags on about 20% of my Facebook posts and I pick these posts wisely. In my opinion, the safest way to climb the Facebook ladder is to not use hastags at all ( but that’s just my opinion folks! ).
3) The Power of Google+
For me, Google+ is by far the most effective social platform for promoting MY websites ( I’m not saying it’s going to be the best choice for everyone! ). Google basically owns the internet these days so one can only imagine how powerful this social platform will become.
The coolest thing about this platform is that EVERY post you place there is automatically given some sort of hashtag. So, if you are stuck for hashtag ideas and don’t bother using any, the system will take the job on for you!
This means that your post is given a relevant automatic tag and then placed in the most popular ( and powerful ) search engine in the world.
It’s important to remember that Google is constantly updating stuff and tweaking it’s platforms here and there. They are not usually that upfront about these changes until it is too late.
Please don’t disregard the power of the hashtag on this awesome platform – it is going to go from strength to strength and I already see a huge amount of traffic through Google+ posts ( with and without hastags! ).
Successful Hashtag Campaigns
I felt it was important to end this article by pointing out the importance of putting real thought into your hashtags. There’s no point blindly attaching a tag to your posts with the view to it hopefully taking.
You could end up picking a hashtag you feel reflects your topic only to find out that nobody is searching that term. It’s best to know what hashtags are already in use and in what context.
A few days ago I mentioned the awesome Hashtagify.me in a post as a tool for helping you decide what hashtags to pick. I still stand by this recommendation.
Over the last few days I have also got into RiteTag but unfortunately they only offer a 30 day free trial ( I like my things to be FREE! ). Both are excellent choices but I would have to lean more towards Hastagify as they haven’t demanded any money off me yet ( therefore I have used it far more often LOL ).