With the recent introduction of hashtags (#) into Facebook status updates, the power of ‘hash-tagging’ is now bigger than ever. But what about those of you who are just learning about hashtags? Or are new to Facebook? What does this mean for you? Let us help you understand proper hashtag etiquette & strategy.

What is a Hashtag (#)?

Hashtags are a way to tag certain keywords and phrases in your posts to make them easily searchable within that social network. Anyone can make up or create a hashtag, but there are popular or trending hashtags that get created. For instance, conferences and events may have their own hashtag to encourage people to use in their posts when talking about the event.

Why Use Hashtags?

If you’re going to be on social media, then you need to speak the lingo. Hashtags are a common part of social media speak, especially now with Facebook adopting them into their platform and integration into their Graph Search. The keywords used with hashtags help your content to get found, enhance your searchability within social networks and are a good tie-in with getting people to talk about you/getting your content to go viral. We’re living in a #hashtag kind of world so it’s important for your business to keep up.

What Hashtags to Use?

Some people may abuse hashtags — using them for everything or making each too lengthy. Proper etiquette is to use relevant hashtags that focus on the content you are sharing. There are also certain popular hashtags to use such as #TBT for Throwback Thursday or #EduChat for education related topics. You can use the Hashtag Dictionary if you see hashtags you don’t understand, or to see the popular hashtags currently being used now. Some users will make up hashtags while others are more common or used for generic topics like #marketing or a location like #Denver. Pay attention to certain media for the right hashtags to use for tv shows, movies, trending news or events.

When to use a Hashtag?

There are two important ways to utilize keywords and phrases into your social strategy. The first is to use hashtags that relate to your social media strategy. For instance, we are a Search Engine Marketing company based out of Boulder, however our target market isn’t necessarily Boulder/Denver. When we use hashtags, we focus on keywords people would be searching to find a SEM agency, such as #SEO #Payperclick #Agency #Marketing. If our target market was Boulder, we may include hashtags for #Boulder, #Denver and #Colorado in our tweets and posts. The second is to pay attention to trending topics.

For example, the Consumer Electronics Show #CES is a big deal for the tech industry — inciting a lot of people to tweet about product launches and news from the event. If it’s relevant to you, tweet about trending topics and hashtags that people are obviously searching for and talking about. Hashtags can be used within the text of a post or added at the end.

For more guidance on your social media and search engine marketing strategies, contact SmartSearch Marketing today!

About the Author

Patricia Hursh

Patricia Hursh is the president and founder of SmartSearch Marketing. Today she leads the Client Services division of the agency. She specializes developing digital strategies and full-funnel marketing solutions for B2B companies. Patricia leads multi-functional teams to ensure bottom-line business results for SmartSearch Marketing’s clients.

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