Today, we bring you the final installment of our series on hashtags. So far, we’ve covered using hashtags on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn, and now we close this series with an overview of hashtag usage on Twitter- the origin of social media hashtags.
Because it’s been three weeks since our last episode, let’s start with a review of what hashtags are:
In a nutshell, a hashtag on Social Media acts a keyword to help you search for certain items. They can be used to help users find your content and help facilitate engagement within your target audience.
According to their marketing department, Twitter is, “What’s happening in the world and what people are talking about right now.” Since its creation in 2006, Twitter has grown to 336 million users, 67 million of whom are active monthly users. It’s considered a microblogging site and around 500 million of the 280 characters or fewer tweets are published per day. The site has as many uses as it does users; many users check it for news and entertainment, and many businesses use it to provide customer service.
Like each of the other sites we’ve discussed in this series, Twitter has its own rules of engagement for hashtags, and it’s important for business owners and marketers to understand how users interact with hashtags on this platform.
So, without further adieu, here are our top three tips:
Twitter has an incredibly user-friendly dashboard that will help you find conversations to join. Some of these keywords are hashtags, and some are not, but they are all trending topics that are sure to catch traction with your audience.
If you click on any one of these items, you’ll be directed to the conversation, where you can listen and engage with other users on that topic. This is a good place to use social listening and stay up to date on topics that interest your business. If you do post, make sure to add the relevant hashtag to make your tweet easier to find.
Make sure you’re using hashtags correctly when you add them to your tweet. Here are some rules of the road we adapted from Twitter’s website:
- Avoid using spaces or punctuation within your hashtags. The hashtag has to be one complete phrase or else your tag will be cut off and rendered irrelevant.
- Make sure your privacy settings are right. If your tweets are set to private, your hashtag is useless because users can’t see your tweets unless they already follow you. In order for hashtags to drive traffic to your account, your tweets have to be public.
- Don’t use more than 2 tags per post. Otherwise, they’re trash tags and remember we don’t want that. Make sure you have 2 relevant, engaging tags and then leave it at that.
- Don’t use irrelevant tags just because they’re trending. If you add in a tag just to appear to be trending, people can report you and your account can get shut down. So, be a good social listener and only use tags when they’re relevant. This also ensures that you’re appealing to your target audience with engaging content, and everybody wins!
Studies show that using Twitter hashtags when you’re trying to drive traffic to your website (or any site, really) is counterproductive. This is because hashtags by their very nature encourage users to click away from a post, and you only want one call to action per post. So, if you want the focus to be on your link, avoid tagging that post.
As with all social media, you need to be intentional with your posts and know how you want users to interact with your posts before you publish them. If you want to engage in a conversation, use hashtags. If you want to drive traffic, leave them out.
For the most comprehensive list of all social media tools, check out this article by Chris Makara.
As always, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us!