Today Twitter celebrates 10 years of hashtags on it’s micro-blogging platform! As Twitter is the birthplace of modern hashtag usage, its hashtags are more versatile than other sites’.
But – there is still significant misconceptions and understanding about ‘how’ businesses can use hashtags to maximise their digital activities. Even after ten years of use online, it’s clear than consumers have a much better understanding of their activity, than B2B environments – thanks to the likes of popular TV channels who have build engagement up between live TV and social media.
So, what better time than today, for us to share our top insights on HOW you, as a business can utilise #hashtags effectively:
What are hashtags on Twitter?
Put very simply, hashtags on any digital platform are essentially a very quick and easy way to ‘categorise’ or ‘tag’ a certain topic or phrase online.
These ‘tags’ provide a simple way to find or engage through a word or phrase preceded by a hash sign (#), used widely on social media websites and applications, especially Twitter, to identify messages on a specific topic.
Should businesses use them?
Yes, and no.
The issue is that although hastags can be a great source of exposure, they can also restrict the visibility of posts if the hashtag is not relevant, or a relevant enough tag… which is where many of the businesses we see fail when using them.
This brings me on to… How should businesses use hashtags?
Can you tag onto great topics quickly and without preparation? The answer is of course yes, but, be mindful that this may not always be the best strategy, unless you are an active user and understand the concepts.
There are a few things you should do before/ when aligning your marketing with hashtags:
- Research the # first – do this by searching the tag in Twitter – look at the engagement around it, who is using the tag, how large is the reach? Are the posts suitable for what you had in mind?
- Then compare the search without the tag – how do the results compare?
- Once you have the answer, then go ahead and use it within your posts!
- Make sure your post is directly related to that tag, and relevant for the audience
- Track it – after the post, review the positives and ways you can improve next time
One thing to bare in mind is that sometimes using a #hashtag actually limits the reach of your post, so ensure you complete the above ‘check-list’ before you click.
Final question we get asked a lot around hashtags….
What are our top tips for using hashtags on Twitter:
- Be specific: If you’re using a hashtag to join a conversation, make sure the hashtag is specific and relevant to your topic.
- Keep it simple: Hashtags, like links, look like spam if they are used too often. Three hashtags should be the maximum
- Give context: A tweet that contains only hashtags is not only confusing — it’s boring.
Follow our simple rules above, and you can’t go wrong with #hashtags!
Are you looking to maximise your Twitter and social media accounts more professionally, or effectively for your business and build audiences for your brand? If you’d like expert support or advice, please contact us today to see the reason why we are known as one of the UK’s digital agencies!