If you’re using hashtags like Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake do in this video, chances are, you’re using them wrong.
Hashtags are a great little tool to help amplify your brand in many ways; you can promote a product, brand or event, capture new fans, start conversations around your brand, and even create buzz about your company using a simple keyword. Unfortunately, I often see many individuals and companies misusing hashtags which can result in your message reaching a smaller audience. To ensure you’re properly using hashtags, follow these simple tips:
- #NoSpaces. This may seem obvious, but some individuals use a separate hashtag for each word. Group words together if they make sense. For example, individuals will likely search #MarketingTips, because #Marketing or #Tips are very vague keywords on their own.
- Stay away from LinkedIn. This social network doesn’t support the use of hashtags. If your audience can’t click on the hashtag, there’s no point of using them.
- Watch out for lowercase letters. It’s not written in stone that you absolutely have to capitalize the beginning of each word in your hashtag, but doing so increases readability and also minimizes the potential of having your message skewed. #TheATeam is easier to read than #theateam
- Keep it short. If you’re promoting an event, try to use an acronym when Tweeting. #TheGreatestMarketingConvention2016 will use up your followers’ 140 character count quickly. Opt for something simpler, such as #TGMC2016.
- Research your #hashtag before you use it. Make sure you know exactly what your hashtag means before associating it with your brand. A negative image about your brand can quickly develop if you’re piggybacking on keywords that have a controversial or crude meaning that you knew nothing about!
- Make sure your hashtags relate to your brand and vision. Don’t use what’s trending if it doesn’t align with your company. If your an insurance broker, don’t Tweet about #TheBachelor or #NationalToastDay because it will just muddy your company’s voice.
- Spelling is important, punctuation isn’t. Double and triple-check that your hashtags are spelled correctly before you Tweet! Improper spelling looks bad on your part, but it also will likely render the hashtag useless. Additionally, go against any lesson you’ve ever learned about punctuation; don’t use it in your hashtags!
I hope these tips encourage you to increase your hashtag usage…correctly!