How-Tu Tuesdays: A Tuminds guide to hashtags for business.
What are they?
A hashtag is basically a keyword: a way of summarising your social media post. This lets other people that are interested in that subject find your posts. The # symbol is simply a way of alerting people to the fact that your keyword is coming next. We might use the hashtags #socialmediamarketing, #socialmediatraining or #howtutuesdays.
Where are they?
Hashtags were born on Twitter in 2007 but live on several platforms now. The main ones to understand are Instagram, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest. Here’s a quick guide to using them on each of these platforms.
- Twitter: The home of hashtags. Hashtags are mainly used on Twitter to let people converse about a certain subject. You can join in with popular conversations using the Trends box on the left hand side of your Twitter page. Trending hashtags at the time of writing this blog include #thewalkingdead and #GalaxyS6edge.
- Instagram: It’s acceptable on Instagram to use multiple hashtags to describe your photos. People do, so you can filter by almost any term and find related images.
- Facebook: Hashtags have been creeping into Facebook since 2013, but they haven’t proved as popular as on Twitter. One or two per post is enough on this platform.
- Google+: Google+ will suggest hashtags for you as you write your post, but you can edit or change these if they’re not correct.
How can you use them for your business?
There are a couple ways that we advise clients to use hashtags in their business social media communications.
1. Create a hashtag to start a conversation
When creating a hashtag, check first to make sure it hasn’t been taken. You want something relevant, targeted and unique. Make it easy to spell and easy to remember so that people can type it without checking that it’s correct. There should be no spaces between words.
Long hashtags with multiple words are often used to add humour to a tweet or post e.g. #cantwaituntilFriday or #firstworldproblems. But, generally speaking, we would advise companies against this. Keep hashtags professional and relevant to your business.
Creating a hashtag is a great way to promote an event that you’re running or a new product. If you do it right, and have a lot of luck on your side, your hashtag will start trending among your circle of followers.
2. Use existing hashtags to promote your company
You can search for hashtags, particularly on Twitter, that are relevant to your business or your industry, and jump into the conversation. This is a great way to showcase your expertise and add value to other people’s conversations. Has someone asked a question that you can answer? Are people debating a subject that your business is an expert in? A word of warning however: don’t make these tweets sales focused. The aim is to converse rather than lecture or sell.
If you want to know more about using hashtags for business, get in touch with Tuminds.