by Danielle Andrews, President of The Wedding Planners Institute of Canada Inc.
“A word or phrase preceded by a hash mark (#), used within a message to identify a keyword or topic of interest and facilitate a search for it.” Source: Dictionary.com
There is a lot of discussion about hashtags and their use. The truth is, a hashtag is just a keyword phrase spelled out without spaces, with a hashtag (#) in front of it. The point of using hashtags is to attract your audience, categorize your messages, build your brand, and increase engagement. When used well, Hashtags can elevate your Social Media post interaction from average to great.
Hashtags are used as a way to sort your photos on Instagram or posts on Twitter so that people can enter a Hashtag and find similar posts.
Hashtags are a great tool when attending an event, so that others at the event can engage with each other, or those who are not able to attend the event can still see photos and hear quotes from the event.
If you are sharing photos from an event you planned or attended, it is a great way to steer potential followers toward your posts (example: #wedding #WPICtrends).
To use hashtags in your social media marketing, you may want to learn the ropes.
Ensure Your Hashtags Are Relevant
Don’t just put in a hashtag to say you did. Take the time to research keywords to come up with hashtags that your audience might create. You want the hashtag to appear natural and to truly relate to the content you’re sharing with your audience.
Use Very Specific Niche-Related Hashtags
When you search for hashtags, consider using very specific, niche-related hashtags even if they are super-popular. A lot of people follow specific hashtags, so if you can use the popular ones – even in a saturated niche – you can now appear in those results and benefit from the popularity of the keyword hashtag.
Check Out Related Hashtags
Be careful about related hashtags because you want to make sure the keywords are truly related to your niche and the content you’re sharing before you use it. You can use tools on Instagram to find related hashtags to consider, or you can use a service like hashtagify.me.
Don’t Use the Same Ones Repeatedly
You may already know that you shouldn’t use keywords over and over on too many pages on your site. The same thing is true for hashtags. If you keep using the same ones in the same order in the same way on all your content, it will start to seem like spam to the search engines. Instead, mix it up and use new ones as often as you can.
Use Hashtag Data to Track Trends
You can use the data on your platforms to find out how your hashtags are performing. When you see certain topics are performing at a higher level, it’s a good sign to discover more related hashtags and to create more content and use those to get more viewers.
Add Hashtag Links to Your Bio
A great way to use hashtags is to put one in your bio that leads to a landing page that provides information about everything to do with the keyword in that hashtag.
Use Enough Hashtags
Some people complain about how many hashtags are used, but the fact is, right now on Instagram, using nine hashtags ensures more views than if you use fewer. You can use as many as thirty on a regular post and ten on a story.
Search for the Best Hashtags
When you are thinking about hashtags, don’t just make them up on the spot. Instead, take the time to conduct keyword and hashtag research using data so that the hashtags you choose really do perform.
Learn How to Hide Hashtags When Appropriate
On many platforms, you can add hashtags but then hide them from the viewer. Click around to find out how this works. Your viewer won’t be distracted by the hashtags and will pay closer attention to your content, but you won’t miss out on the search engines helping them find your information.
Once you understand the power of hashtags in your social media marketing, you’re going to want to start using them. Remember that you don’t want to repeat the same hashtags over and over or use irrelevant hashtags. Doing it right will ensure that using hashtags gives you all the results you desire.
Here are some tips when using hashtags:
- DO give props- If you are talking about a vendor, hashtag their company. #WPIC #awesomesauce
- DON’T make your hashtag too long- People will ignore your hashtag if they can’t quickly decipher it.#areallylonghastagconfuses
- DO use capitalization- Using capitals for each new word can help the reader distinguish your point. #WhatsYourPoint
- DO keep it related- Make sure your hashtag relates to what you are talking about or showing. #frankenstein
- DON’T overuse hashtags- Nothing drives me more crazy than having to scroll past 50 hashtags after a photo on Instagram. It will turn off any potential followers too. 3-5 hashtags should be your maximum. #Too #many#Hashtags #drives #me #nuts #Follow #WPIC #we #will #not #do #this #Really #we #will #not #This #is #just #an #example #See #how #it #detracts #from #my #message #and #gets #really #annoying
- DO be clever-A clever hashtag that entertains the reader is more likely to cause them to retweet it or become a follower. #IveGotNothing
Have great working photos from your events? Be sure to tag your Instagram post with #LifeofWPICWeddingPlanner and we may feature you to all of our followers!