If you’ve ever wondered how to track your social media visibility and make your followers and friends able to view all your statuses on a certain topic (which generates even more buzz), then putting hashtags in your posts is the answer. A hashtag is a word or a phrase prefixed with the symbol “#” that is used to mark individual messages belonging to a particular topic in a social media status update.
Since Facebook has now jumped on the hashtag bandwagon, right behind Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, YouTube and of course Twitter (who invented the hashtag), here are a few best practices when using them:
Less is more. As with anything new, people tend to overdo it at first. Experts suggest using only two hashtags per status.
#reallylonghashtagsarehardto-read. Better to keep them short and punchy for the best impact.
Format hashtags without punctuation so they are clickable and sharable. If you want to make them even more legible in print, avoid using underscore between words #like_this. Instead, use upper and lower case #LikeThis.
Stand out from the crowd to differentiate your brand more effectively. This means you should carefully consider your target market and never be overly general when creating hashtags. Tags like #Mortgage or #RealEstate cast too wide a net and won’t generate buzz for your business.
Stick them everywhere. Of course, use hashtags in your social media status updates, but to generate even more buzz try putting them on your website, in your email signature and even on printed marketing materials.
Hashtag hijackers. Beware that once you create a hashtag, it’s public and anyone can use it for good or ill. If you notice one of yours is hijacked, stop using it.
And don’t forget to pass these tips along to your clients and colleagues!