Depending on what era you grew up in, the # can have a different meaning. To baby boomers the # sign will probably mean “number sign” or “pound sign”, however, to today’s generation the # symbol stands for “hashtag” and has become a very powerful tool on social media.
The hashtag has became a powerful tool that helps categorize social media posts, images and other related ‘feed’ topics. It can be seen on just about every social media outlet, inside of the content text. With messages looking clean and simple with just a few hashtags, to clustered and unappealing hashtag jungles that make the post look like a mess.
With the hashtags usefulness in mind, the very sight of an overload of hashtags could severally dampen the idea or product brand you are trying to promote.
When hashtagging it is good to keep a few things in mind:
Use Them For Humor
Almost everyone that uses social media now days knows the symbol of a hashtag, so in order to make yours stand out more than competition, make them funny, make them memorable with a sense of humor so that people will be engaged in your content
Use your hashtag as a conversation piece. Even if you make something up for a hashtag, you can use that as your own. Engage people to use your hashtag and follow that specific hashtag, as you filter in your content to follow up with it. Make yourself go viral, by getting everyone talking about your special hashtag.
Trending Topics Are Key
You yourself might not come up with the next viral thing, but someone else did, and that is going to be where a lot of the public attention is looking at. It is key to try and utilize the current trending topics into your posts in order to gain some extra attention, whether it is about the political race, or about what YouTube video just became famous, using others internet fame to your advantage is always an easy win.
Following these steps are just a couple of key elements to a successfully hashtagging, however, just like any great thing, there are some very key elements that you will want to avoid doing when deciding on how to hashtag a post
Saturating Your Brand
When using your hashtags, it is wise to avoid over branding yourself with hashtags, in your own post. Examples of how to not over brand can be seen with companies like Nike. Nike is very well known, and has many products and subcategories such as “Nike Soccer” and “Nike Shoes”, but they avoid turning those into hashtags like #nikesoccer #nikeshoes in their posts, because it avoids redundancy within their post, instead they came up with their own special branding hashtag to use in their posts, and that is #justdoit. This allows them to minimize the cluster of hashtags they use, but still have a recognizable hashtag that people understand relates to Nike.
Don’t Over Hashtag
When creating your post on social media, you want your post to really draw in a crowd of people, who are interested in your topic. Hashtags are a good way to do that, by categorizing your topic idea with hashtags. However, having to many hashtags can cause a post to look like spam, and turn people away from your post almost instantly. It is always a good rule when posting to keep your hashtags to a minimum so that your post not only looks clean, but only hits the key tags that you are trying to sell.
Having hashtags that are outdated or irrelevant can cause some damage to the quality of one of your posts. Regardless if there was a leaf in the background of your picture of a car, there is no need to waste content room with a #leaf #fall #autumn ect. These will cause misleading views that are not relevant/interested in your actual post, and make your post seem a little “spamish”. Having very direct hashtags such as #car or #truck will draw in a more interested crowd and create better interaction to your post, all the while keeping the “spam” look down.