Using Hashtags to Boost Your Social Media Engagement

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You’ve probably heard that hashtags are a great way to get your content seen by more people but you need to be very savvy when you use them in your social media posts. Getting it right can give you a lot more visibility with your target audience but if you don’t use them smartly, you can actually damage your credibility. So, how do you look to use hashtags in your social media marketing?

How Can Hashtags Help You?

When they’re done well, hashtags can have several benefits, including:

  • Helping more people to see your content
  • Helping you to curate quality useful content that you can share with your audience

Using Hashtags on Twitter

Hashtags may have started life on Twitter but there are a few rules that you need to play by if you want your content to do better on this particular social network.

The number of hashtags that you choose to include in a tweet can have a massive impact on how well your content performs on Twitter so it’s important that you choose the ones that are likely to work best.

Research has strongly indicated that using two hashtags in a tweet can double the number of potential retweets, replies and clicks that you get but it’s best not to push your luck any further than this as it won’t increase your engagement levels. In fact, anything above two hashtags per tweet has been shown to decreaseengagement by nearly 20 per cent so you’re actually much less likely to see much interaction with your content if you go overboard with hashtags.

Using Hashtags on Facebook

While hashtags can potentially bring more engagement on Twitter, it’s much more of a grey area on Facebook. Research has suggested that posts containing hashtags don’t do as well with Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm but that hasn’t stopped them being quite widely used. The integration between Facebook and Instagram means that hashtags are likely to be more widely used on the platform.

Some brands have found that using hashtags has helped their content to have a longer life beyond their fans but only if this is done smartly.

Using Hashtags on Instagram

Hashtags are very sidely used and encouraged on Instagram and can make all the difference between being seen and being largely invisible. Unlike on Twitter and Facebook, anything goes where hashtags are concerned and you can get away with using an unlimited number without having a negative impact on your engagement levels.

Which Hashtags to Use?

Just any old hashtag won’t cut it, and using hashtags without any thought for how it might be of benefit for your brand is a sure-fire way to come across as annoying and amateur.

Instead, look for established trends that you could piggyback on, rather than trying to blaze your own trail by creating a brand new hashtag that you hope will go viral. Well known and very popular brands can successfully introduce a hashtag that really takes off but most people will see little or no results from in starting from scratch like this. Always make sure that any hashtag that you use fits your brand’s values; don’t just jump on popular trends for the sake of it.

Always research your chosen hashtags and check that they don’t have any negative connotations. Even popular brands have seen their hashtags ‘hijacked’ by customers and users who were unhappy and saw an opportunity to vent their feelings more widely the hashtag.

Need some help with your your social media efforts? I’m a Social Media Manager and have worked with a range of clients in the UK and abroad. Get in touch with me today to discuss how I could help! 

Can a ‘Boring’ Business Be Brilliant on Social Media?

 

boring business

Can you make a traditionally ‘boring’ product or business interesting enough to attract good interest on social media?

You might think that you’re always fighting a losing battle in trying to “sex up” any brand that won’t instantly appeal to the intended target market or doesn’t have an obvious market at all but this isn’t actually true.

You can get people interested and even excited about a supposedly ‘boring’ product or industry and it’s not as difficult as you probably assume. Don’t be disheartened if most people don’t ever engage with your brand or product; the key is to pinpoint your target market and find ways to speak to them in ways that engage them.

The golden rule to remember is this: people don’t necessarily care about your brand as such but they are very interested in how it can potentially help them. If you can solve a problem that they currently have, they’ll usually be more than happy to follow you and engage with you, for example.

Don’t Be Afraid to Be Fun

One of the biggest reasons why ‘boring’ businesses struggle to be successful on social media is not necessarily down to their industry or what they’re selling; it’s often because their efforts come across as dry and boring and by default, they are seen as being a dull brand with no appeal. No one wants to follow a brand that comes across in this way, let alone engage with them or buy from them so you’re definitely not doing yourself any favours by being corporate and overly formal in your tone.

No one wants to follow a brand that comes across in this way, let alone engage with them or buy from them so you’re definitely not doing yourself any favours by being corporate and overly formal in your tone.

As with your website copy, your social media pages are a great way to dispel “boring” assumptions about your industry or brand. Think of it as your chance to show potential customers that you can appeal to people just like them!

Add Value

Most brands will be able to use relevant and useful content to engage their audience. If you provide value to certain people, they will find you interesting.It really is as simple as that! Many brands spend way too much time worrying about their overall popularity, rather than focusing on appealing to the people who would benefit most from what they do.

Truth is, there are very few areas that are actually boring to everyone. Pretty much every industry can solve problems for people with specific needs, no matter how dull they may seem to everyone else. The trick is to hone in on the potential customers that may go on to buy from you and forget about being insanely popular.

How do you provide this all-important value? It’s all about creating content that genuinely informs and educates your target audience and speaks to their needs and interests.

This approach isn’t just useful for social media; it’s a valuable marketing tool that can bring customers/clients directly to you. When someone searches on a particular topic, they may well come across your content and click on it. If it helps them out, you’ve potentially got a very happy customer on your hands. For boring and unpopular topics that aren’t very widely written about, you can definitely stand out against your competition by being valuable.

A business selling ‘dull’ DIY products can use content based around sharing DIY tips and knowledge that followers will learn from and might share with their networks while an insurance company can help people to save money or be healthier through their content, for example.

Providing value for your audience is something of a slow burner in terms of sales. It won’t lead directly to sales in most cases but it will “warm up” your followers in terms of building trust and make them more receptive to buying from you in the future. At some point, you may well hit on a topic that resonates with them and solves a problem that is currently affecting them. Because they’re already “warmed up” to you as a brand, there’s a good chance that they’ll then buy from you.

Use Stunning Visuals

Visual content is infinitely more shareable than plain text updates and can make your brand much more ripe for engagement too. As well as photos, infographics are another good option and can work well for sharing information in a visual form that is more easily consumed by your audience compared to written content.

Be Personable

You may not be selling the most fascinating or glamorous of products but chances are, the people involved with your business are more interesting and can add an additional dimension to your social media. Showing behind-the-scenes snippets of your staff can introduce a human touch to your brand that may not otherwise come across.

Bookkeeping isn’t a very dry kind of topic but Bench are trying to change this perception on their Instagram account. They regularly post behind-the-scenes photos to show their fun approach to bookkeeping:

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Need some help with your social media efforts? I’m a Social Media Manager and have worked with a range of clients in the UK and abroad. Get in touch with me today to discuss how I could help!