Hashtags are tricky little creatures, and sometimes they do not seem to offer rhyme nor reason. You create two posts using the same hashtags, one flies and one bombs. What is going on?
Firstly you need to remember that there are several things that determine whether a post will fail or fly. The time of day is critical and we will cover that over the coming weeks, the content of the post is pretty important and the headline is crucial. Even if something carries a hashtag I monitor, I may still choose to blank a post and move on, if the headline does not grab my attention and we will also look into the best format for creating headlines that will lure the readers in.
But for now here are 4 things to consider when using hashtags:
What are Your Competitors Doing?
In order to best work with hashtags you will need to have done your homework and research. This means following their campaigns and monitoring what appears to be working and what doesn’t. How many people liked their post, shared their post or interacted with their post? This will give you a valuable insight into what is trending in your industry – after all, there is no point reinventing the wheel.
Let Social Media Make Suggestions
When you start to type a hashtag, the social media platforms designed to use hashtags will make helpful suggestions. On Twitter they are ranked in order of popularity. If no suggestions appear you are potentially working with a very under used tag and might be better off rethinking. Instagram does similar, but has the amount of times the hashtag has been used, and lists other related tags, again with numbers following, making it easy for you to see the higher performing tags that relate to your post.
Play to Topical Events
Around the festive season using seasonal tags is usually a great move. People might be looking for #giftideas or #presents. If you have a product that fits the bill do not be afraid to use these hashtags. Similarly what is going on in the world is also good to follow. Trending stories make a great way to located popular tags – just remember they are time expiring and stop using them. Remember the story of the woman who bought an emu egg and tried to raise the chick? It was huge for a day or two. Perfect to piggyback your hashtags if you happened to stock supplies for birds for example.
Create Your Own But Keep It Brief
If you really feel nothing hits the mark, or you have a very specifically named product you are trying to build brand awareness for, by all means use these as hashtags. However, one does not hashtag a sentence! #buymybranditisreallygreatandyouwillloveit is going to get you all of nowhere!
Finally, do not be a hashtag spammer. You can post them after your content, or you can incorporate them into your content but ‘I really #love #buying #newshoes’ is not great for the reader. On Twitter two tags is considered enough. Instagram lets you work up to 30 but that doesn’t always mean you should. Thinking about hashtags with these 4 tips in mind should allow you to create some really successful campaigns.