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How To Use Hashtags To Increase Social Media Reach

By Darren Pierce on Jul 31, 2014 9:31:00 AM

Plenty of studies have shown that using 1-2 hashtags in a tweet helps to expand the reach of messages.

It’s not enough to just plug a few in here and there. There is a right and a wrong way to use them, which is what we’re about to discuss today.

Follow these 5 simple hashtagging rules, and you’ll start to see a wider reach on Twitter.

1) The Shorter The Better

Hastags put your message in front of your intended audience, but they’re not what provide users value. Your message is what provides the value. The shorter and more concise your hashtags are, the more room you have for your message.

2) Specify

Try to be as specific as possible with your hashtags, and narrow your focus. Similar to targeting long-tail keywords, specific hashtags will attract users more willing to engage. General hashtags attract all sorts of users—most of which you aren’t targeting.

3) Avoid Trend-Latching

Unless you’re super relevant, avoid latching on to popular trends. This may seem like the perfect idea, but it has the potential to blow up and create a messy situation—especially if you didn’t realize the trending hashtag was the result of a controversial issue.

4) Create A Business Relevance

Keep your tags relevant to your business or industry. There still has to be a commonsense relationship between your hashtag and the value your brand brings to the table.

5) Track And Listen

There are plenty of tools out there to help you find the best hashtags and to track the ones you're using.

Hashtagify.me is my favorite tool to use to find popular hashtags because it’s really visual and intuitive. Tools like Hashtracking and Tagboard will help you measure the effectiveness of your hashtags so you can adjust your strategy accordingly.

Follow these 5 rules and watch your messages start to spread.

What are your own personal hashtag best practices?

Share them in the comments!

Darren PierceFounderetailinsights

Image: Flickr

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Written by Darren Pierce

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