Welcome to week two of Social Media Bootcamp! If you’re just joining the party, get caught up here.
For the next two weeks, we’re going to dive a little deeper into your social media content strategy. You’re going to learn how to maximize your posts for the greatest reach and engagement!
Before we get too far into the content conversation, I want to take a moment and discuss a cornerstone of any good social media strategy – the mighty hashtag.
What is a Hashtag?
In its purest form, a hashtag is a keyword with a # sign in front of it.
#Hashtag #HashtagHustle #SocialMediaBootcamp
What these little wonder signs will do is connect your content to any user who is interested in a topic associated with those keywords. Maintain consistency with your keywords, and you’ll get better rankings – and better leads.
Where Do I Use Hashtags?
Twitter and Instagram hold the market on the hashtag game at the moment, but every social media platform uses them for the same general purpose. It’s important to understand how hashtags work on each individual platform, and I’ll talk about that in a minute. Overall, hashtags allow users to connect on a larger conversation topic.
For example, remember those hashtags I listed before? Those are all keywords I might use to promote this blog. When I share it on Twitter (because I always post my blogs on ALL my social media pages), I’ll add these hashtags to my posts. This will help users find my posts and connect on common interests.
Dos and Don’ts of Hashtag Use
Hashtag etiquette is vital to social media success as a business owner. Here are few tips to keep you relevant without going over the top.
Research your hashtags
You want to contribute to a larger conversation. You want your hashtag to be popular enough that you connect with new audience members.
You do NOT want to get lost in a hashtag that has been branded by a larger company. You also do NOT want to associate your business with a hashtag that has a derogatory connotation.
Know the background of your hashtag. A simple Google search will tell you what you need to know.
Add to the conversation
If you’re going to use a popular hashtag, make sure you’re bringing something relevant to the table. If you’re just making broad, general statements about the subject, you’re likely to get lost in the shuffle. Make sure you’re content is on point.
We’ll talk more about that next week!
Facebook: Limited Use
Facebook allows you more than 140 characters to make your statement. So, unlike Twitter, you don’t have to rely on hashtags to connect to a large audience. If you make a post on a trending topic, your keyword doesn’t need a hashtag to make the “list”. In fact, Facebook posts without hashtags tend to earn more engagement than those with two or more. So – limit your hashtag use on Facebook.
Twitter: Only highlight the words that speak to the audience you want
30% of my customers find me through Twitter. How? I’ve master the art of the hashtag (and I cross-promote)!
You have to have a stellar hashtag game to see success on Twitter. Tweets with hashtags see more than twice the engagement than tweets with no hashtags. However, it is possible to have too much of a good thing. Keep your hashtags down to your core keywords. There is no reason to hashtag “the” or other filler words. Just focus on your keywords. For example:
@HeerenContent’s Social Media Bootcamp is great for #SmallBusinesses who need help with their #SocialMediaMarketing and #ContentDevelopment!
If you’re using Instagram for your business, you’ll need to get your hashtag strategy in order. Hashtags are more important to Instagram campaigns than any other social media outlet. If fact, posts with the greatest engagement have at least 11 hashtags!
I recommend writing out a long list of hashtags that associate with your business and your audience, and rotating them out in your campaigns. This keeps you consistent and on top of your audience behaviors.
Keep it short & sweet!
Hashtags have to be written as one word, so keep it to three words or less. If you add any more, the meaning gets lost in a pile of letters and lack of punctuation.
Don’t be that guy. Or gal.
This week, think of 5-10 hashtags that you can use to join in conversations that are important in your industry and your audience.
Need help? Heeren Content & Strategy offers social media strategy services for small business! We can even help you up your hashtag game! If you’re looking to boost your lead generation on social media, contact Erika Heeren for your free consultation!