The Best Hashtag Hacks Cheat Sheet
Hashtags are one of the keys to making sure you properly categorize your content in a way that makes it easy for your audience to find it. That’s because whenever you put a hashtag in your post, it becomes searchable across the platform.
Use these tips, tricks, and best practices to make the most of hashtags on your social media platforms…
⇒ Do use only relevant hashtags in your posts. In other words, don’t try to
capitalize on a trending hashtag if your post isn’t relevant to that hashtag.
⇒ Don’t overload a single post with hashtags. This looks very spammy, and it will
turn off readers. (This is especially true if your content is shorter than your list of hashtags.)
⇒ Do try to create short hashtags. If you’re creating your own hashtag, keep it
short, snappy and memorable.
⇒ Do make sure your post is public. Using hashtags on a private post will only
make your post searchable to those who are already connected to you. So in order to get as much traffic as possible, be sure your post is publicly viewable.
⇒ Do use hashtags within the content. Whenever applicable, insert your hashtag directly into your content. E.G., you might ask your followers, “What is the hardest part about #dieting?” You can also add relevant hashtags at the end of your post.
⇒ Do capitalize the first letter of each word in a hashtag. This makes it easier to
read. E.G., #ThisIsMyHashtag versus #thisismyhashtag.
Selecting Your Hashtags
There are four basic types of hashtags:
- General keyword-related hashtags. These are generic keywords that let readers know the main topic for your post. E.G., #dogtraining or #vegetablegardening.
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TIP: Be as specific as possible in order to help your target market find your posts. For example, instead of using #bodybuilding, use #femalebodybuilding if you’re targeting women.
- Recurring, generic hashtags. An example of this is #tbt, which stands for Throwback Thursday, which is when people typically post a photo of something from their past.
- Trending hashtags. These could be general hashtags that are trending because of an uptick in interest in a topic. For example, when people are making their New Year’s resolutions you might see hashtags such as #loseweight or #stopsmoking gain traction.
Trending hashtags might also be the generic or recurring hashtags. For example, you’re likely to see #tbt trending on Thursdays.
Trending hashtags might also be unique hashtags that someone else created. These could be new hashtags about a current event, a new pop-culture hashtag, or even a promotion from a business.
- Unique hashtags. This is where you create your own hashtag with the goal of getting others to use the hashtag and thus increase your brand recognition. For example, you might start a contest where entrants use your specially created hashtag to participate in the contest. E.G., Complete this sentence for a chance to win: #ILoveYourBrand because _______.
TIP: Create unbranded hashtags as well. For example, if you’re in the bodybuilding niche, you might have people share stories using the hashtag #EmbarrassingGymStories.
TIP: Insert more than one type of hashtag in your post. So if you insert two hashtags into a post, then try to use hashtags from two different categories. For example, you might insert a trending hashtag to capitalize on the existing traffic, and then you might insert a unique hashtag to try to generate a bit of your own traffic.
Special Note On Unique Hashtags: Avoid Controversy
Sometimes businesses find themselves surrounded by negative publicity and a campaign that backfires when they create their own hashtags. Keep these points in mind to avoid these problems:
⇒ Consider what sort of controversy currently surrounds your business. If your
business is already in the midst of negative PR, don’t create a hashtag as it will likely become a way for people to express their displeasure with your company.
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⇒ Create direct, unambiguous hashtags. The “cuter” you try to make your hashtag, the more likely it is that people in your niche will repurpose it for negative and even nefarious uses.
Find Trending Topics
- Use the platform to find trending topics. For example, Twitter and Facebook both have “trending” topics/hashtags pages in the sidebar of your account. Click on these to see what’s popular. You can also use each platform’s search function to search out keywords and hashtags.
- Use social media tools. Tools such as Hootsuite.com and Hashtagify.me can help you locate trending hashtags related to your brand. This is one of the most powerful ways to find the right hashtags for your content.
- Use keyword tools to find out what your market wants. General keyword tools such as KeywordTracker.com can help you get a better overall snapshot of what people are looking for in your niche. Although these keyword tools show you what people are searching for in the search engines, for generic keywords (such as “dog training”), you can usually safely assume people are looking for these same topics across social media.
TIP: Don’t use keyword tools alone to determine your hashtags. Instead, use keyword tools to confirm what you already know about which keywords your niche is searching for online.
Understand How Hashtags Work On Different Platforms
Before you use hashtags on a social media platform, be sure you understand how they work on that particular platform.
⇒ Know how many hashtags to use. People generally use one or two hashtags on
Facebook and Twitter, while you may see users post ten or more hashtags on Instagram.
⇒ Read posts from others to get a feel for the hashtag etiquette on a particular
platform. Also, read the platform’s guidelines to be sure you’re using hashtags correctly on that platform.
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⇒ Don’t use hashtags in every post. It’s unnecessary and may detract from your
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I hope that helps, let me know in the comments if you need any help with this and I will be glad to help.