How To Harness The Power Of The Hashtag As An Entrepreneur
Today’s entrepreneurs have to start businesses in a culture of intense social media activity. In case you haven’t noticed, this social media thing is kind of a big deal.
One thing that every social media platform has in common is hashtags. The hashtag, that ubiquitous pound sign followed by a keyword, are part of the language of social media. Who better to use hashtags then entrepreneurs?
Why should I use hashtags?
First, let’s get this out of the way. Should you use hashtags? Why? What good is going to come of it?
Thankfully, there’s plenty of research on the art and science of hashtags. Take these reasons into consideration.
- Hashtags are universal. Anyone on the social network can view it, click it, and explore.
- Hashtags create engagement. Anyone who clicks a hashtag trail can see your hashtag, your profile, you. Your influence extends outside the boundaries of your own followers.
- Tweets with hashtags get two times more clicks, retweets, favorites, and replies than tweets without hashtags.
- Hashtags are an opportunity. In spite of their proven ability to attract greater engagement, only 24% of all tweets contain hashtags.
Hashtags are a simple, honest, and explosive way to increase your engagement as an entrepreneur.
Where should I use hashtags?
Every major social media platform allows hashtags, so you can use them anywhere you want. Here are some insider tips for each platform.
- Facebook – Hashtags are still trying to catch on. Most Facebook users aren’t used to pressing the # key. Don’t let this keep you from using them! 1-2 hashtags is about right. Any more than that, and you’ll start to lose engagement.
- Pinterest – Hashtags work in the Pin description only, and the hashtag searchability is pretty limited.
- Google+ – Using hashtags is a must. The great thing about Google+ is that you can use hashtags in your comments and in your posts, which gives you double the engagement power. Google+ is highly favorable towards hashtags, since they build them directly into the search functionality, and provide a hashtag sidebar featuring other hashtagged posts.
- YouTube – Hashtag power is limited. You can definitely use them, but most of the engagement happens in comment threads.
- Twitter – Twitter is the mother of all hashtagging social media platforms. Hashtag to your heart’s content. Virtually nothing is off limits. Keep in mind that the sweet number of hashtags is two. Hashtag any more than that, and you’re going to diminish your engagement. By the way, if you’re using sponsored Tweets (ads), don’t use hashtags since they can distract from your CTA.
- Instagram – Go all out with Instagram hashtags. The highest Instagram engagement comes to posts having 11 or more hashtags.
Which hashtags should I use?
There are certain hashtags that have developed an entrepreneurial flair. Some of these are obvious — #entrepreneur, for example — but some are a bit more opaque. If you want to get your entrepreneur hashtag mojo on, here are the hashtags to start hashing.
(Hashtag list compiled with information from original Twitter hashtag research, insights from Forbes.com, Inc.com, Entrepreneur.com, and Bloomberg .com. You can gain a more complete list of entrepreneurial hashtags at Top-Hashtags.com)
Go beyond the basics
The hashtag list above is only a start, and it’s kind of generic. The real power of hashtags grows when you start to get creative, gather data, and really engage. Here are some pro tips:
- Start hashtag movements. Popular hashtag movements have the ability to stem the tide of violence, fight for equality, and launch revolutions. Really. (#blacklivesmatter, #yesallwomen, #UmbrellaRevolution)
- Create your own unique hashtag. Invent a hashtag that describes your company or product. #whyIdrive (Uber), #AskGaryVee (Gary Vaynerchuk)
- Don’t be immature. Hashtags are mocked for their overuse. Useless, meaningless, and really long hashtags used to be funny in the early days of hashtagging. Not anymore. #lol #reallylonghashtagsarenotfunnytheyareannoying
- Use hashtag data. To take hashtag power to new levels, use a hashtag organization system or app. There are platforms available that will display hashtag data, usage, virality, and other analysis. As with any other area of business analysis, you’ll surely drive better engagement with some actionable data. Here are some of the popular hashtag tools: Hashtagify.me, RiteTag, Tagboard, Trendsmap, Keyhole, Talkwalker, BundlePost.
- Customize your Twitter trends and participate in trending hashtags. You don’t have to guess about which hashtags will increase your engagement. Twitter tells you. Anytime you log in to Twitter.com, you’ll see a section on the lower left called “Trends.” These are the popular Twitter hashtags. If you click “change” in this box, you can tailor your trends to your specific location. If you use the trending hashtags, you’re sure to gain some additional followers, retweets, and likes.
Hashtags are too powerful not to use them. For entrepreneurs hoping to forge movements, grow their personal brand, generate interest in their startups, and define the future of their company, hashtags are a basic requirement.
Resources from : http://forbes.com , contributor Neil Patel