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A Lesson in Proper Hashtag Etiquette for Your Business

Posted on: October 24, 2018
Tags: Social media strategy, Social media tactics, Online marketing
A Lesson in Business Hashtag Etiquette

Social media has many benefits: staying in touch with family and friends, updating your customers and prospects with compelling and helpful information, and gathering the latest news. But to really make the most of your accounts, proper hashtag and @ symbol etiquette is a must. Learn how to use these symbols for social media success...

The hashtag

To start off, let's go over the main difference between the # and the @ symbol. A hashtag is a label for content, and links to all other instances from anyone (whether you “follow” them or not) who mentioned that specific hashtag. It helps others who are interested in a certain topic, quickly find content on that same topic. Although first appearing on Twitter, they are now used on Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr and Pinterest to connect you to other users also posting on the same topic. 

The @ symbol

The @ symbol should be used to tag specific friends or acquaintances into your posts and photos. Use the @ symbol to notify them about posts they will want to check out. To add people into Facebook posts, just type the person's name — that will be enough to tag them.

Adding the @ symbol followed by a popular news source, celebrity or organization is a great way to reach them with your comments or suggestions. If they are active on Twitter they can read and take into account your thoughts, and if you're lucky you can even get a response or retweet. The potential of being heard is just one of the many benefits of using the @ symbol on social media.

When, where and how to hashtag:

What's great about Twitter is when news stories break, following the specific hashtags made for the event brings you closer to up-to-the-minute news. Coincidentally, news stations often refer to trending Twitter hashtags to report on what most people are talking about. So in a way, it helps to show newscasters what's on people's minds and lets users discover current events as they unfold.

On picture-sharing sites, such as Instagram or Tumblr, tagging helps push your interests further. By searching similar hashtags, it could open up more inspiration for your own blog.

Remember, any more than two hashtags in a message makes it difficult to read.

It’s considered bad etiquette to add a hashtag to an unrelated message just to get attention. Always make sure your content is relevant to the hashtag you use. 

Hashtag Each Instagram Post for Maximum Visibility

Now that you understand more about good hashtag strategy, you need to determine the best hashtags for your brand. All of the hashtags you use on your Instagram posts should directly relate to the content itself, as well as your industry or brand:

  • Content hashtags should directly relate to the items in the post itself.
  • Industry hashtags may not be directly related to what’s in the post but are specific to the industry and clients you serve.
  • Niche hashtags are specific to the target audience you’re trying to reach.
  • Branded hashtags are hashtags that you and your customers use to showcase and tag your content on Instagram.

Hashtags on Facebook - 

If you are currently using hashtags in a campaign on Twitter or Instagram, start including those hashtags in your Facebook content. This makes it easier to integrate all your social channels as one.

Read the articles in their entirety by Jenn Herman here and Colleen Kratofil here

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