Copywriting for Social Media Guide

Find out the secrets behind successful social media posts.

Hashtags

This is Chapter 7, Part 3 from the Copywriting for Social Media Guide.

#Everyone #is #using #hashtags #on #socialmedia. You are, too. We’re sure. 😛 And if you aren’t already, you should.

What is a #hashtag?

According to Wikipedia: “A hashtag is a type of metadata tag used on social networks such as Twitter and other microblogging services, allowing users to apply dynamic, user-generated tagging which makes it possible for others to easily find messages with a specific theme or content”

In other words: A hashtag is a word or phrase preceded by a hash mark (#) that is basically used in a message with the purpose to identify a keyword or a certain topic of interest and also simplify a search for it.

So, each time a user adds a hashtag to their post, it will easily be indexed by the social network and becomes searchable by other users. And, the moment someone clicks on that certain hashtag, they will be brought to a page that collects all of the posts with the same hashtags, in real-time.

So, basically hashtags are used to grab attention on social, to organize, and to promote. 

What does it look like?

It looks like the pound sign (also known as the hash character), or the sharp note in musical notation. Like this: #.

Hashtags began their journey on Twitter as a way of making it easier for people to find, follow, and contribute to a certain conversation.

Hashtags play an essential role in developing interest in your social media accounts and are used on most social media platforms, however most commonly on Twitter and Instagram.

As a business, incorporating hashtags into your content on your social platforms can have a great deal of benefits. Like? Well, basically you’ll be able to promote products and services in a more efficient way. Why? Because, including a hashtag in your post content helps in categorizing content for your target audience.

So, if your goal is to attract new customers and grow your profit (and we’re sure it is 😜), it’s important that you make the most out of this powerful social networking tool.

➡️ Hashtags from a business perspective

As a business, you have the chance to get noticed and establish your company as a voice for certain specific topics. Knowing why, how and where to use hashtags can seriously change your social media game and presence.

➡️ Hashtags from a user perspective

When it comes to looking at things from a user perspective, hashtags allow people to find posts that are relevant to their interests. It also gives users a chance to interact with other social media users who share the same interests by joining the conversation about a certain #hashtag.

  • Why use #hashtags? – Because they work.
  • Where #hashtags work best – On Twitter and Instagram.

On Twitter

Using hashtags on Twitter can have a huge impact when it comes to your follower count – by using general and non-specific hashtags.

Twitter hashtags encourage people to take part in conversations with the same topic. Additionally, people are generally engaging with one another even if they are not following each other.

Hashtagging on Twitter can evidently help your social media presence. But, if you like using long and wordy hashtags in a tweet – such as #mostbeautifulislandintheworld – can damage your presence on Twitter. Why? Well, because hashtags are supposed to make things easier to find and engage with others, not the other way around.

Tweets with one or more hashtag are 55% more likely to be retweeted. Worth noting this. 😉

Also, be aware that using too many hashtags in one post can be harming to your social media presence. So, check your Twitter posts – if your tweets are filled with more hashtags than content, your customers will perceive you as desperate – which in turn will alter the message you are trying to send to your target audience.

Generally, the best practice for hashtags on Twitter has been two. According to research Tweets using more than two #hashtags see a significant drop in engagement.

Tricky, ha? 😳

On Instagram

Do you know the saying: “if you are not on Facebook, you don’t exist”?

Well, that’s somewhat in the past now, as the new saying is: “if you are not on Insta, do you even exist?” 😲

No to worry, there’s more where this came from: “Facebook is for old people” – did you hear this one? 😂 If not, you really need to keep up with what’s happening on social.

Now, let’s talk about your Instagram platform.

Instagram hashtags give you the opportunity to engage with a specific community. And guess what? Engaging with a community is an excellent way to build your brand. Hashtags on Instagram are valuable also because they help other Instagram users discover your social profile. And this may eventually lead to more followers.

As opposed to Twitter, on Instagram you can use more specific hashtags which can help you build a bigger target audience for your brand.

Tip: when posting on Instagram check out the hashtags your audience is using and connect your own hashtags with those.

Tools that can help with your #hashtag choices on Instagram:

  • Hashtag Generator 

According to All Hashtag: “The hashtag generator generates related hashtags based on a keyword. You have 3 filter options to find the right hashtags you need. You can easily copy the generated hashtags with the copying button.” So, by using the hashtag generator you’ll get the top 30 and even more hashtags based on one keyword selection. Pretty cool, isn’t it? 😉

  • Banned Hashtags 

With Banned Hashtags things will become even more clear because you’ll know whether any of the hashtags you are interested to use are banned or not. What you need to do here is simply type in the hashtags you are interested to check. And the tool will basically generate the admissible hashtags you can then feel free to use.

Engagements are highest on Instagram posts with 11+ hashtags.

🔑 Key: Use specific hashtags on your photos, not general ones. If you go for general hashtags on Instagram, you’ll most likely not get many engagements and your photo will not stand out from the crowd… well, at least not as much as you expect it to stand out.

Where #hashtags don’t (really) work

On Facebook – with few exceptions maybe. But first let’s see why they don’t work.

Facebook

If you are shocked that #hashtags don’t work on Facebook, well… we get that, but please stop using them on Facebook. It’s time to let go.

There’s nothing more irritating than seeing people using 10-15 hashtags when they let you know they are on holiday or posting a photo of their dinner (don’t even get us started on that). 😒 Do they even know the purpose of hashtags? We guess not… 😒

Anyway, back to why exactly hashtags don’t work on Facebook.

Facebook introduced hashtags in 2013, however since then including hashtags in your Facebook posts doesn’t bring any substantial benefit. In fact, posts without a hashtag perform better than posts that contain a hashtag. Also, including a hashtag in your Facebook post copy has a negative effect as it tends to really annoy your friends. Yes, it’s a fact. Don’t believe me? Ask them.

So, just think about it this way: if you even annoy your friends when you abuse the use of hashtags on Facebook, don’t you think you annoy your audience as well when you post something on Facebook as a brand and add 10 hashtags just for the sake of adding them?

The reason hashtags aren’t successful on Facebook is partly because Facebook users aren’t using hashtags when they search for something.

✍️ Bottom line: Facebook posts without a hashtag perform better than those with a hashtag. So, unless you think you have a specific reason to include a hashtag, leave them off your Facebook page and from your Facebook post copy.

Or, if you must, maybe just go with one relevant #hashtag – as one is the optimal hashtag use on Facebook according to some of the experts.

Additionally, as you may have already noticed, brands are split when it comes to using hashtags on Facebook. Some brands completely ignore them, yet other brands add them to their posts as they see fit and relevant.

LinkedIn

If you think hashtags were meant to be used even on LinkedIn, you are… right.

Although a few years back, LinkedIn advised that hashtags were of no use in your posts, according to recent news, they have been added back in. Even more, they are actually searchable. And by searchable, we mean that in case you discover a post with a certain hashtag, you can now click on the link and it will take you to similar posts that have something in common with that hashtag.

So, even though hashtags aren’t as searchable and effective on LinkedIn as they are on the other social platforms, consider using them. Just pay attention to make them relevant to your copy, company/brand, and industry.

How many hashtags should you add on LinkedIn? – A maximum of 5-6 hashtags should do the trick. Or, you can stick with one like the following influencers do in their LinkedIn posts:

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Another great thing you need to check out is the possibilities of hashtags you can follow. Have a look at the image below where you’ll see that on the bottom left, you’ll find ‘Your Communities’ and below that, ‘Hashtags’ you can follow.

So, at this point you can easily follow hashtags. What do you have to do? Simply click on ‘Discover More’ and you’ll get a whole lot of hashtags you can follow. Go through the large list and follow the hashtags that you’ll consider the most meaningful to you and your brand.

It’s not a big deal, you just need to get used to it like with any other change happening on any of the social platforms out there.

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As a conclusion to using hashtags on LinkedIn, make sure to incorporate hashtags in your LinkedIn Marketing, too. But use hashtags that are relevant and make sure to know the interests of your target audience. Find out more about how to efficiently use hashtags on LinkedIn, here.

✍️ Bottom line:

  • Hashtags are a continuously growing communication.
  • Hashtags are easy to use.
  • Hashtags help users easily find posts about specific content.
  • Hashtags help you reach more people who are interested in your content and business.
  • Hashtags are the simplest way to organize and categorize the endless amount of information posted to social media.
  • Hashtags help you grow your social media presence.
  • Hashtags help you create more engagement and make your brand grow in success.

But, remember: RELEVANCE IS KEY with hashtags!

So, enjoy hashtagging… where it’s worth it and appropriate. 😉

Conclusion

  • The great value of visual content marketing is its ability to tell a story really quickly and to share information in a way that is easily remembered by the readers.
  • Visual communication is the most efficient way of passing information because the human mind processes things in images. Most people respond faster to visual images than to words.
  • Visual content is key to social media engagement.
  • Social media and readability go hand in hand.  The key is to write short and clear messages, so your audience is able to read and clearly understand your content.
  • Attention-grabbing, hooking paragraphs are your goal. Make your writing visually attractive enough to grab your reader’s’ attention.
  • Using emojis when trying to connect with your audience is a smart move. So, use emojis for real-time engagements. You can also use emojis in your social post copy as well as in call-to-actions.
  • Consider your tone of voice, context and target audience when deciding on the emojis you want to use.
  • Hashtags play an essential role in developing interest in your social media accounts and are used on most social media platforms, however most commonly on Twitter and Instagram. Including a hashtag in your post content helps in categorizing content for your target audience.
  • Knowing why, how and where to use hashtags can seriously change your social media game and presence.we
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