When we saw the first use of the hashtag on Twitter in 2007 (August 23 to be exact… WHY DO I KNOW THAT!😖 ) we all thought it was kind of cool but no one ever knew they would become a prevalent part of the worldwide lexicon. Nor did we know they would become the bane of a marketers existence.
My mea culpa: I never took the time to learn much about them.
They’re a mystery and the secret formula is sealed away in a safe. In a vault. In a volcano.
Why are hashtags important?
Now that I am posting almost daily videos they have become pretty important to me. I know I need them but I know I’m not using them correctly. For instance, I have recorded and posted 64 episodes of Digital Marketing in 60 Seconds or Less (DMSSL) and I have used the same collection of 30 or so hashtags on every one of the social media accounts I post my videos on.
That’s definitely not the right way to do it…
But I figured I would get to the hashtag research later and for now posting some kind of hashtag is better than posting no hashtags at all. I would venture to say that’s true for most people using hashtags.
There are very differing opinions about hashtags. Some say to use as many as you can. Some say limit the number to 7 or 9. Some say don’t use them at all and your engagement will improve.
There is a study that states an Instagram post with at least one hashtag gets 12.6% more engagement (a measurement of public shares, likes and comments) than a post without. I want some of that! But how?
How important are they on other social media platforms?
How much engagement do they recieve elsewhere?
How do I create a hashtag?
Should I create my own hashtags?
There are a litany of questions that must be answered before we can confidently say we are using a well thought out, well structured hashtag strategy. I hope to figure out that strategy and share it with you.
Should I stop using hashtags?
Obviously hashtags are not going away and I’m tired of losing to the competition because I’m not using them correctly. You should be too.
Does it mean I should stop using hashtags for now?
Does it mean I can use one of the most popular hashtags such as #love and my post about digital marketing for contractors will get 12.6 shares, likes or comments rather than 0?
I’m not saying to stop using them. I’m also not saying to use them with no rhyme or reason. After all a post about digital marketing for contractors with a hashtag of #love will be one of about 3 million Instagram posts daily using the same hashtag – good luck getting found there!
On the contrary. Use them as you are but we have to start learning how to use them correctly on all the major social media platforms. I do believe an effective hashtag strategy can help propel your posts and get you to the top of the heap in your industry.
I’m going to be taking a look at hashtags over the next several blog posts and DMSSL episodes. My goal is to figure out the best strategies for using hashtags on the following:
Let’s learn more about hashtags together and see if we can’t climb the face of the volcano and crack the code on the safe.