The Power of Hashtags: 5 Tips to Using Them Properly

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This post was written by Vivian Nunez.

If there’s one thing fandoms have proven, it’s that the hashtag can bring together a community. Think celebrity fans (#Beliebers and #Directioners) and major events (#Scandal & #Grammys).

But, as Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake proved, there are a couple key ways you can turn the potential of hashtag into a cringe-worthy moment.

Tagboard’s Founder and CEO, Josh Decker, led a Masterclass that made the dos and don’ts of hashtags the first thing on the agenda.

Here’s your guide to upping your #Hashtag game, courtesy of Masterclass: The Power of Hashtags: Case Studies and Mechanics for Both Users and Brands:

  1. Do join a conversation by using the native hashtag.
    As a brand, make it a point to join the conversation with the most organic hashtag your users are already using. This can be a chance to strengthen your brand loyalty and have your followers and fans feel acknowledged.
  2. Do use Hashtags on all platforms.
    It’s not just a Twitter thing; honest. Developing a hashtag that can be used on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, for instance, can help you widen your reach, while also continuing the conversation across all platforms. So, instead of pushing away your audience you’re encouraging them to continue the conversation wherever they feel the most comfortable doing so.
  3. Do use hashtags to engage with your fans and followers (signal and noise quote).
    “Social media is a source of a whole lot of noise, use [hashtags] as a way to create signal… not add to the noise,” said Decker. And it makes sense. You don’t want your brand to become an annoyance to followers, you want to guide the conversation and encourage engagement.
  4. Don’t add hashtags to every single word.
    Adding as many hashtags to your sentence doesn’t add in any extra value for your follower. Actually, it does the opposite by making your dialogue on social media feel forced and too marketed.
  5. Don’t use inaccurate hashtags (#spam)
    It’s social media’s version of spam. Really, it’s one of the ways to isolate current and potential followers all at once. Use relevant hashtags that are in line with your voice on social media and one your followers will acknowledge.

Just in case you haven’t seen it, here’s how you sound if you’re using hashtags the wrong way:

See the all the tips from Tagboard here:

Vivian Nunez is a senior at Baruch College studying marketing and journalism. Follow her on Twitter @vivnunez. Vivian is one of our SMW Press Corps members, managed by OpenCommunications. Learn more here.

Social Media Week

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