If you use social media, you see hashtags all over the place. They’re literally everywhere, and quite frankly, I often find them to be annoying. But that’s irrelevant.
The important question is this: can hashtags improve my bottom line-like generating more traffic, more leads, and more revenue?
The answer is yes, if you implement them correctly.
So why are hashtags important? They expose people with an interest in your hashtag, even those outside your network, to your content. Because this expands your reach beyond your current follower base, you have the potential to reach new targeted followers, which can increase overall engagement.
Let’s talk about how to get the best results using hashtags on Twitter, since it’s one of my favorite social media platforms and personally generates the most direct business.
Twitter Hashtag Best Practices
According to an infographic by Neil Patel (which is posted at the end of this blog post), Tweets with hashtags get twice the engagement, in terms of Retweets, favorites, clicks, etc., than those without.
So how many hashtags should you use? Either 1 or 2, but definitely no more than 2. Consider using 1 broad hashtag and 1 hashtag that is more targeted and niche.
The broad, high volume hashtag has the potential to generate many views, but will fly down the Twitter feed at the speed of light (well maybe not quite that fast, but you get the picture).
The more targeted, less popular hashtags will generate fewer impressions. However, your Tweet will be visible in the Twitter stream for a longer period of time. And because the hashtag more specifically describes what your Tweet is about, you’re much more likely to generate more engagement due to the high relevancy of the hashtag to the Tweet.
Here’s an example: if you’re Tweeting a blog post about Facebook Promoted Posts (a form of paid Facebook advertising), a broad hashtag would be #SocialMedia and a more targeted hashtag would be #FacebookPPC.
According to hashtagify.me, a tool that allows you to find and analyze popular hashtags, #SocialMedia has a popularity index of 77.4 while #FacebookPPC has a popularity index of 27.8. These are just relative numbers, but they nonetheless give you a general idea of a hashtag’s popularity.
So there you go-a short, simple, yet effective hashtag strategy. Give it a try and see how it impacts your Twitter engagement. If you’d like, please share your results in the comment section.
For more information about hashtag best practices for Instagram, Facebook, and Google+, check out the infographic below.