You may be using Twitter for a long time but still not be sure if you are using hashtags correctly. And that’s fine, because hashtags on different social media networks (Facebook, Instagram, Google+, Pinterest, Twitter) are used differently.
If you are on all of those different social media networks, then no wonder than you can get confused. Of course, hashtags are used for the same purpose, but best practices of using hashtags are a little bit different.
In this article I will present the best practices to use Twitter hashtags effectively, so you would grow your Twitter account faster than ever!
How Twitter hashtags work?
Hashtags help us to filter and navigate through a lot of different Twitter posts. They are created by putting a pound sign “#” in front of a keyword or phrase without any punctuations. For example, #happy and #digitalmarketing are both hashtags.
Hashtags help social media marketers to find great posts in certain niches and gather great ideas. Also, they help their posts to be found by potential audience on this major social network, since including a trending hashtag can boost organic reach and consequently grow brand awareness.
Twitter hashtags work the following way. Whenever user adds a hashtag to his post, that keyword/phrase becomes a blue clickable link. If someone clicks on that link, Twitter will bring him to the page of all posts related to that particular hashtags.
So, it is always a good idea to include a hashtag to your post, because your post will be seen not only by your current followers, but it will become discoverable by audience interested in the same topic.
Quantity of hashtags
Social media studies researched that you should always use at least one hashtag in your tweet. Tweets with one hashtag get 2x better engagement rate compared tweet without a hashtag. That’s mainly because tweets with hashtags can reach not just your followers, but non-followers who are interested in particular hashtag too.
But that’s not all. Study also showed that Twitter posts with at least one hashtag received 55% more retweets compared to tweets without a single hashtag. Are you convinced yet?
I think that now we all understand that it is a must use hashtags. But remember that more doesn’t necessarily mean better. So, don’t go overboard with hashtags, as it is also suggested to use a maximum of two hashtags per post. As research showed that tweets with more than two hashtags has 17% lower engagement rate compared to a tweet with just one hashtag.
All in all, just use 1 – 2 hashtags per Twitter post and you’ll be fine!
Do your research in order to use Twitter hashtags effectively
We have already figured out that you must include hashtag in every single of your tweets.
But remember, to get 2x more reach you can’t just stuff it with any related hashtag, you need to do a research to find out the best hashtag you should use, as it is suggested to only put one hashtag per tweet.
The main principle is to use the most popular and trending hashtag related to your post topic. Make sure that hashtag is as specific as possible, try to not use any general hashtags. As your tweet would get lost in general hashtag tweet list.
To get ideas of hashtags, check out the most popular Twitter users and influencers in your niche, check what hashtags they mostly use. If those hashtags work for them, then they may work for you too.
Also, there are many different third-party apps that show you the most popular and trending hashtags by a keyword or niche. Don’t worry, there are a lot of free versions too, such as hashtagify.me, etc.
Create your own hashtag
Have you ever wanted to have similar hashtag to Nike’s #JustDoIt?
Creating your own (individual) hashtag that represents only your brand is a great way to attract more followers and grow overall brand awareness. When hashtag is only used within your brand’s campaign, then hashtag creates an atmosphere similar to private chat room with people related only to specific cause. And this chat won’t be spammy because there will be only posts related to your specific private hashtag.
You might be thinking that you need some extra tools to create a specific hashtag, but fortunately that’s not needed. You can think of any keyword or phrase and just put a # sign in front of it and that’s it – your individual hashtag is ready to use.
For example, if we would run a giveaway of free Twitter marketing for a week, we could possibly create a hashtag named #freewaysocialgiveaway.
Don’t forget to check Twitter’s search for your newly created hashtag – maybe some brands are already using it for their business? Then you would need to think of a new one because you want to have a specific hashtag that is related only to your brand.
While creating individual hashtag, make it as clear as possible what your hashtag is used for. As the benefits of individual hashtag can turn against you.
Here’s an example with McDonalds campaign. They launched a campaign with #McDStories so people would share interesting & funny stories that happened while they were eating in McDonalds.
The problem was that people didn’t quite understand that hashtag should be used only for that, so they started to write negative stories and experiences too. Quickly negative stories took over and it looked like this particular hashtag was filled only with negative people’s experiences. It was a fiasco of this particular McDonald’s campaign.
So, lesson to take away here is that you should create your individual hashtag as clear as possible. If McDonald’s had chosen to name their campaign #McDFunnyStories, maybe they would have got different results?
Here were the main tips on how to use Twitter hashtags effectively and get best results. Do you have any more tips & suggestions? If so, leave a comment below!