How to Choose a Hashtag

choose-a-hashtagMost social media platforms now allow you to search based on hashtags. This gives you the opportunity to find others with similar interests.

There is an art for deciding how to use hashtags though. If you pick a hashtag too broad, you may get lost in the crowd. If you pick a hashtag too narrow, it may be unlikely that anyone ever searches for it.

So how do you pick the right hashtag to use? Try these 4 tricks.

  1. Be Unique If you’re running an event or promoting a product that only you make, you may want to associate yourself with that. However, if your hashtag is too broad like #toy it may not be easy for people to find the specific, awesome thing you’re hoping to promote. If there’s something only you make, you may consider making a hashtag that is more unique for you. (Although tagging it with toy, since it’s short in characters, might not hurt either)
  2. Be Searchable If your company were named Eli Rose Social Media, for example, and you were running a promotion at Bluff City Coffee one might consider the hashtag ERSMBluff to track the social media impact of the event. It combines the names of both businesses and does not take many characters. However, who is going to remember that hashtag? If people cannot remember your hashtag, they won’t search for it which negates the point.
  3. Be Flexible You don’t have to use just one hashtag. Some days your hashtag may reflect an event you’re running, a product you’re promoting or the city in which you’re located. Tagging every pin, Tweet or Instagram photo #EliRoseSocialMedia does not necessarily reflect your content well. Stay flexible by using hashtags to complement whatever content you’re currently promoting.
  4. Be Brief Hashtags that go on and on forever can make a good joke on occasion but for social media promotion, they don’t work. They can be difficult to read, remember and take up valuable real estate in your posts.

Hashtags can be a great way to make yourself and your business more easily found in search. Just be sure that you’re not using them without getting the proper benefit.

*Photo credit Mike Cogh

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