Building Social Followers With Hashtags

hashtags, social media marketing, twitter, pinterest, instagram, free image use, corporate road showA multitude of questions will come to mind when seeking tips for building followers on social media sites such as Twitter and Pinterest:

 ~ Are you consistent? 
 ~Do you pay attention to peak hours for your audience?
~Is your content a good mix of sharing others’ content and unique content?

There are many elements to creating a relevant and interesting social presence, ranging from the creative to the tedious. One of those elements is the use of hashtags. You may only know hashtags by its more commonly seen symbol, the pound (#). In the social media world, hashtags are a way to categorize your messages by keywords and allow others to find you based on their keyword searches. Just like anything else in marketing, there’s a successful way to use them.

Below are just a few hashtags tips to keep in mind when posting your messages:

Create balance – Just like keyword stuffing in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), make sure you don’t abuse hashtags. Avoid being “spammy” or desperate for attention. Also keep in mind when adding hashtags is character count: if the comment is three words and the rest is hashtags, this could look like an empty message.

Keep it simple AND creative – When using hashtags don’t be afraid to create your own unique one while mixing in very basic options, ex. #youareonehappystockguy and #stock. The creative allows the company or executives personality to show endearing, like-minded individuals. The simple tag allows those who are doing broad searches to easily find you.

Make it relevant – Just like other Search Engine Marketing (SEM) practices, when using hashtags you want to make them relevant. If you’re site is about tiger taming, your meta description wouldn’t talk about the latest trend in footwear. Keep that in mind when choosing your hashtags. If you’re talking about a new trend in Microsoft stock, don’t hashtag #uggs.

Where to use it – Keep in mind that Facebook doesn’t use hashtags. Of the top social media sites Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Google+ all use hashtags.

Finding the trends – When looking for inspiration and hashtag trends, I visit a couple of different websites. Adding trending hashtags allow you to stay in tune with the ‘news’ of the day.

●        http://www.hashtags.org/ – Claims to be “Organizing the world’s hashtags”, and it seems to be doing a good job of it. This site is easy to use and allows you to track hashtags free or there’s a paid option with deeper mining capabilities.

●        http://tagboard.com/ – This site aggregates hashtags across various social media sites. This tool is useful if you are looking for others to follow or possibly follow the trends of a subject of interest.

●        You can of course hit the individual sites and do searches and trends within the site’s search options, ex. https://twitter.com/search, http://top-hashtags.com/, etc.

Hashtags are just one of many tools on growing your audience base. Using the tips above…. go ahead, #### away to success! Keep in mind one more thing… always be authentic and focused on the goal. You’ll find the right audience.

By: Whitney Messervy, CRS Media Blogger

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