A hashtag is a label for content in the form of a short, clickable link starting with the pound (#) sign and written as a single word. These labels for topics help social media users find content that interests them. Users can search using these terms or use them in their content so that others can find it easily.
If you want to grow and maintain a large following on social media, hashtags must be an integral part of your strategy. It’s important to learn how to use them effectively. The concept is simple enough, but it’s easy to fall into committing these 5 common mistakes.
1. Too Generic
Don’t choose a term that’s too generic like #marketing, #freelancewriter, or #eyeclinic. While the term might be relevant to your niche, there will be too much competition and no one will find your post by searching for it.
Choose something that’s specific to your post and long enough that it won’t be overused. For social media posts, you can use a few hashtags, so choose a few specific keywords you’d like to target.
2. Yesterday’s Hashtag
Don’t use hashtags that are outdated. These terms come and go as trends change. One that was popular just last week might be completely out of use today.
You can find out what’s trending by searching on Twitter or Instagram. Before you use one, search for it to see if others are using it. It will show you as well as suggest other hashtags that are popular right now.
3. Too Complicated
For a hashtag to be effective, it needs to be memorable, otherwise it won’t catch on. If you’ve created one that’s too long and complicated, it won’t stick in people’s heads and get shared.
An easy hashtag is one that’s relatively short and says directly what it wants to. It shouldn’t have any punctuation and make sure it doesn’t sound too much like any other one.
4. Hashtag Spamming
You might feel the urge to bombard your followers with hashtags everywhere you possibly can, or find one you like so much that you use it for every single post, whether relevant or not. However, it’s possible to be spammy with your hashtagging so you need to be careful not to do this.
Always think about each hashtag you use and make sure it’s relevant and will attract the right people. If someone sees that every one of your posts has the same hashtag, this will be off-putting.
5. Not Promoting Your Hashtag
Hashtags don’t usually take off by themselves. You have to get out there and actively promote your hashtags to get others using them. You can do this via social media but also use it for offline promotions. You can print your hashtag on offline promotional materials and tell people to use it.
Are you ready to get started growing your social media audience? Check out my program, ‘Build Your Audience Using Social Media‘. It teaches you the ‘how to’ of the process so you can finally get the results you deserve.