Marketing With Hashtags - Los Angeles Post-ExaminerLos Angeles Post-Examiner

Marketing With Hashtags

Mounting a social media campaign without associated hashtags is a waste of time. Designed specifically to make your content easier to discover, it’s like building a house in the middle of nowhere with no road to it. Whatever you’re selling—be it ebooks, cosmetics, electronics or tractor tires—marketing with hashtags is key to extending your reach, engaging your audience and boosting your brand.

These guidelines will help ensure your success.

Keep Them Tight

We’ve all seen that one hashtag-crazy person in our social media feeds. Usually, they’ve just discovered them and haven’t figured out how to employ them with finesse. Rather than plastering every possible hashtag to your post, take some time to figure out which ones will attract the audience you want and hone in on the most popular ones pertinent to your situation. As experts at the popular ecommerce platform provider Shopify have noted, hashtag strategies aren’t one-size-fits-all.

Make Them Specific

Yes, you’re selling ebooks and they are mystery stories. But a generic “mystery story ” hashtag will get lost in a sea of posts also using it. Instead, go with your author’s name, the title of the book, or other hashtags that are more fine-tuned to your content or brand. Conduct your hashtag searchwith the goal of identifying one with an existing audience who will be interested in your wares.

Ride Trends

Twitter, Google+, Facebook, Instagram and hashtag monitoring sites like, are a ready source of information as to what’s currently trending. If you can hitch yourself to a hot topic—in a meaningful way—you’ll see your likes and shares climb significantly. The key is making sure you’re relevant; otherwise you’ll be seen as spam.

Trends can change from moment to moment, so it’s important to stay on top of what’s happening in the world to spot your best opportunities. This is especially effective within a niche. If you’re constantly on point with trends in your niche as they swell, people will consider you to be someone on the forefront.

Keep Yours Clean

Politics, religion, protests and other events can foul hashtags. Keeping an eye on these developments will help you avoid associating your brand with unsavory incidents. You’re trying to bring people together around what you’re doing, not alienate them. Stay away from controversial topics and hashtags to avoid tainting your image.

It’s also good form to avoid usurping a hashtag someone else is using for a specific promotion. Plus, you’ll run the risk of confusing people. Finally, if you see a hashtag isn’t getting any traction, abandon it and try another one. The whole point is engagement. Try something different if it isn’t happening.

Relevance, Relevance and Relevance

While we touched on this briefly above, it bears more discussion. Do not appropriate hashtags just because they’re hot. If they have no relevance to what you’re doing, you’ll waste people’s time and they will come to distrust and resent you. If you establish yourself as someone who can always be counted upon to contribute something relevant, your stock will rise.

Know When NOT to Use Them

Hashtags should be used only for information you want to become public knowledge. If you’re chatting with a customer, introducing a hashtag will make that conversation searchable. Hashtags have no place in private customer interaction. Additionally, getting back to that hashtag-crazy person we discussed above? Yeah, don’t be that person.

Marketing with hashtags can significantly increase the exposure of your brand. However, it’s important to remember they’re about helping your audience find you, rather than gaining you exposure to them. And, while that might sound like the same thing, it isn’t. The idea is to use hashtags to help people locate useful information more readily. Do that consistently and they will find you too.

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