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What is a Hashtag?

What is a Hashtag?

What is a Hashtag?

What Is A Hashtag?

WHAT IS A HASHTAG?

A hashtag is a social media marketing device that enables platforms to organize posts into searchable categories or genres. Hashtags categorize content within an enormous body of information – the internet – and acts as a separate label; content attached to a searchable tag, or #hashtag. 

Hashtags are the capillaries attached to the heart of the message. Hashtags speak directly to your brand, your audience, their interests and adjacent, yet relevant topics. Hashtags enable greater reach and impressions on the content posted to your social media.

 

Here’s a great example of how hashtags have been used to mirror and communicate the message of the social media post, while also appealing to adjacent audiences that are relevant and related. 

Dufferin Media PPC SEO marketing

The message: 

SEO / Search Engine Optimization is an ongoing marketing task that ensures your business is found on the top of Google Search results. Contact our team today to discuss how we can help you be easier found online!

The hashtags:

#SocialMediaMarketing #SEO #SocialMedia #Branding #MarketingStrategy #Marketing #Consulting #GrowYourBusiness

The hashtags highlight the services offered by Dufferin Media. Each hashtags associated with this post is a searchable tag. One would simply search  #SocialMediaMarketing and this post will be found.

 

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF HASHTAGS?

Hashtags help to position your brand in front of your desired audience, that’s why putting some thought into your HASHTAG strategy is important. Not only do hashtags place your brand in front of a large audience they are also useful in raising brand awareness, in targeting specific groups of people, in boosting your SEO, while enabling you to follow and employ trends and hot topics to your brand’s advantage.

Hashtags are searchable and your brand’s social media strategy may include following #hashtags related to your business and identified as commonalities shared with your target audience. Following related hashtags helps your brand to engage with your ideal audience, and attract new followers to your social media profile and community.

Social media posts that contain hashtags will get more impressions and engagement, thus increasing the reach & effectiveness of your efforts.

QUESTION – How do hashtags improve my SEO?

Answer: Strategically selected and placed hashtags have the power to affect your brand’s SEO by attracting visits to your website or webpage, and being shared across online communities. All this social media activity generates visibility, awareness and engagement; all factors in generating SEO success.

 

SHOULD I USE BRANDED HASHTAGS?

A Branded Hashtag is a hashtag is unique to your brand; it might be your business name or tagline, a featured product or upcoming campaign.

For example: #DufferinMedia #WeCare #DufferinMediaHosting #DufferinMediaCares  -- all of these HASHTAGS pertain to the Dufferin Media brand and its divisions.

Creating and incorporating branded hashtags might be something to consider for your social media marketing strategy. It becomes increasingly valuable when social media users begin to use you branded hashtags with their unique content. User-generated content that employs your branded hashtags is an amazing way to gain greater reach and larger audiences.

PROtip: 

Consider running a contest or a giveaway incorporating a campaign branded hashtag and encourage your audience members to engage and share using the campaign hashtag.

 

SHOULD I USE TRENDING HASHTAGS?

A trending hashtag is one that is used frequently and attached to popular posts and trending topics. A trending hashtag will lead users to posts attached to it. Incorporating trending hashtags into your social media strategy will help to position your brand closer to the top, but remember trending hashtags also included a lot of competition for those top post spots.

HOW MANY HASHTAGS SHOULD I USE?

The number of hashtags you attach to any given post is dependent upon the social media platform you are posting to. Following the recommendations below might just be your key to a more strategic approach to hashtag selection.

Facebook: We recommend 2-3 hashtags per post, but this is something you will want to test to identify what works for your page. Don’t overdo it though; let your ad copy be the star!

Instagram: The one platform that wants a variety of hashtag options. Within the caption of the post we recommend 1-3 hashtags, while placing up to 30 hashtags placed within the first comment of the post.

Twitter: Clear and concise is the key to this platform. 1-2 relevant hashtags is recommended, strategically selected and relevant to the message.

LinkedIn: We recommend a maximum of 5 hashtags. Too many hashtags may get your post flagged as SPAM.

TikTok: This video based platform recommends no more than 5 hashtags. Choose them wisely and strategically.

 

SOURCES FOR DAILY TRENDS

Some of Dufferin Media’s favourite HASHTAG tools for generation, inspiration and trends are:

Tweeplers: For all your trending on Twitter hashtags. This is a FREE hashtag resource. You select the country and Tweeplers will generate a list of popular hashtags. Some visit this site daily for last minute trend opportunities. If something relevant to your brand is trending, then TWEET and add the trending hashtag. Sometimes it’s the simplest of TWEETS that goes viral.

Check out Tweeplers

Dufferin Media’s general manager, Stephanie Adams, uses a PAID app called FLICK, here’s what she had to say:

“Flick, it’s not free, but it’s the best one I’ve used so far. It allows you to pick hashtags based on your keywords, but also based on their level of difficulty and how many posts are being used with the specific hashtag. It also allows you to save your hashtag groups for future use and you can use it on your desktop or the mobile app.”

 Flick is currently offering a 7 Day FREE trial – check it out!

 

As I was doing some research I came across this amazing resource that I think is definitely worth a deeper dive. All-Hashtag.com is a website that helps the users generate and analyse relevant hashtags for their social media content and marketing purposes. 

When hashtags are used for an event or a Twitter Chat, for example, you not only link your audience to the event or discussion but you also link you audience to each other, and that’s when the REAL engagement starts to happen.

The most important thing to remember about hashtags is to make sure they are relevant to your brand, your post, your audience and their interests.

HOW CAN I MAKE MY HASHTAGS MORE ACCESSIBLE?

Web Accessibility is an important topic of conversation and avenue for change in the world of social media and website presence. Worldwide, there are about 1.3 billion people with disabilities. 22% of Canadians aged 15 or older are living with at least one disability that affects accessibility and requires some kind of accommodation to assist with their use of the internet.

One way to ensure your social media content is MORE accessible is to incorporate best practices. When using HASHTAGS, we recommend a device referred to as; Camel Case. The #CamelCase HASHTAG is the practice of capitalizing the first letter if each word that follows the “#” symbol. The capital identifies the break in each word and enables Screen Readers to read the text aloud and also helps the user to read the HASHTAG with greater ease.

  • For example, create HASHTAGS that look like #HashtagBestPractices, rather than #hashtagbestpractices

PROtip:

Consistency is key. Prepare all your HASHTAGS with the #CamelCase approach. Ensure that all HASHTAGS used, including within comments, are consistent with this recommended best practice.

Related Article: Web Accessibility Just Makes Good Business Sense

DUFFERIN MEDIA SOLUTIONS

It’s time to elevate your social media strategy with knowing how to strategically use hashtags and how to implement the best practices noted above. If you are struggling with keeping up with the ever changing trends or knowing whether or not your efforts are working, Dufferin Media can help establish your strategy, online profiles and increase your social media reach. Dufferin Media offers solution packages for you social media needs. We’ll take care of the online part – creating more and more opportunities for your brand to be introduced to new audiences, gaining more brand awareness, and boosting your SEO, while you focus on your business. Consider Dufferin Media your strategic business partner working towards your success!

LINKS TO SERVICES – FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Social Media Management Solutions

Accessibility Audit

Social Media Checklist

Web Accessibility Solution Packages

This article was authored by Christy Brighton, who is a member of the Dufferin Media Team, and also hosts her own blog over at Beholdher.life

 

 

2 Responses

  1. This is great! I’ve always been a bit confused about how to best use hashtags in my posts, this really clears things up.Thanks for sharing!

    • sarahclarke says:

      So glad I could help Tiffany!

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