For the past few years, marketers and social media users alike have been struggling to find ways to make their content stand out on social media. They've tried everything from hashtags to emojis—and while some of these trends were more effective than others, they all had one thing in common: they weren't helping anyone tell a story. Now that we've learned how much better it feels to share stories with our followers rather than just get Likes or Retweets on Twitter, the hashtag has become an important part of that strategy. But there's still a lot of confusion about how best to employ them effectively in your online presence! So today I'm going take you through my top rules for using hashtags without annoying your audience or drowning them in meaningless words.
Use relevant hashtags.
This is the most obvious rule, but it's also the most important. If you're posting about how much you love your dog, don't use a hashtag that has nothing to do with dogs or pets in general--for example, #Twitter or #HashtagsAreEvil (although we'd argue that last one is an exception). By using relevant hashtags, you increase the chances of being discovered by people who might not have seen your post otherwise. And if they do see it? Well then maybe they'll retweet it or reply with their own thoughts on the matter! It's always good when things like that happen--and using appropriate hashtags is one way of making sure they do happen more often than not.
Keep your hashtags short and sweet.
Short hashtags are more likely to be used by others, so you can join the conversation without feeling like your post is just shouting into the void. And if you're using multiple hashtags per post, remember that using too many can get annoying for your followers (and potentially even make them unfollow). We recommend sticking with a maximum of two per post--no more than five in one tweet--or three if they're short and sweet.
Don't overuse the same hashtag.
For example, if you're a bakery and want to use #baking as your main hashtag, don't just stick it on all of your posts. Instead, use it only when the word "baking" is relevant in some way--for example: "We just baked these delicious cupcakes! Come get them before they're gone!" Or: "This week we've been working on our new recipe book - stay tuned for details on how to get your hands on one!"
You should also avoid using generic terms like #food or #funny (unless they really apply). It's better to be specific with hashtags so that people can find what they're looking for in their feeds more easily.
Don't use hashtags in every tweet or Instagram post you publish.
Using a hashtag once or twice is fine, but the more you use them the less effective they become. Think of them as seasoning: a little bit goes a long way and too much can ruin your dish (or tweet).
Don't overdo it! If you're going to share something on social media that involves one specific topic and no other topics at all--like an article about how to make homemade pasta sauce--then there's no need for any other context than what's given in the post itself. No hashtags necessary here unless someone wants to read more about making their own pasta sauce from scratch; then maybe consider using some relevant tags like "#homemadepastasauce" or "#italianfood".
Using multiple hashtags can be off-putting to readers, so use them sparingly.
Hashtags are a way to categorize your content and make it more searchable. If you want to reach new audiences, get more exposure for your content or find new followers, hashtags can help with that.
However, there's one caveat: using multiple hashtags can be off-putting to readers. So use them sparingly.
Hashtags are a great way to connect with your audience and build a community around your brand, but they can also be overwhelming. It's important to remember that hashtags don't need to be used in every social media post or every tweet; instead, aim for one or two per post. If you find yourself overusing them or using too many at once (which can be off-putting for readers), try limiting yourself to just one hashtag per tweet!