Are you a bit confused about hashtags? You’re not the only one. So today, I am going to walk, specifically for my financial advisor friends, walk you through what hashtags are, the different ways you can use them, and then also some best practices to absolutely keep in mind when on social media. Hi everyone, I’m Samantha Russell from Twenty Over Ten and let’s jump right in.
What is a Hashtag?
So again, a hashtag, if you’re not familiar, is the little hash sign with a word next to it that is clickable on different social media platforms. Now these have been around pretty much since the start of social media, so for years and years, but for many people I find they either don’t understand what they’re used for or how to use them effectively to grow your social media presence, especially for your brand, for your business.
How to Use Hashtags
So, let’s talk first about four different ways that you can use hashtags.
1. Improve Searchability
So the first one is just to improve searchability, to improve how many people are going to find your post on social media. So for instance, if I am going to post something that is going to help all of my friends that are financial advisors with their marketing, I can use the hashtag #wealthmanagement, and anyone who is going to click on the #wealthmanagement hashtag would end up finding this post.
Now you’ll notice that I didn’t say I’m going to use the hashtag #digitalmarketing, and that’s because most of the financial advisors I work with do not actually follow or use the #digitalmarketing hashtag. But, of course, they’re going to use ones like #wealthmanagement, #financialplanning, because that’s pertinent to their area of expertise. So think about what your audience is following, what hashtags that they would be following, and use those hashtags- not necessarily the hashtag of what your content is about.
2. Demonstrate Awareness or Join a Conversation
Okay, number two. The second way you can use a hashtag is to be aware of what’s going on or join in on a conversation. This is really true with events or things that are trending topics. So for instance, whenever there’s big conferences that are going on, every conference or event will have a hashtag, and as you are posting about what you’re doing at the event, sessions you’re going to, you can use the hashtag on your post so that others that are at that event, when they click the hashtag, will see everybody’s posts from the event. So again, use a hashtag to join the conversation.
3. Establish Brand Identity
The third thing is establishing brand identity. So if you are talking to people every week in your social feed about a particular topic or area of expertise, you can give yourself a hashtag that you use on all your posts, so anyone who wants to see all of your content can click on the hashtag you’ve made up, and all of your content will be there.
Alright, moving on to number four. You can use it to target a specific audience. So going back up to number one, people that are following a specific hashtag, you can use this to target them in your post. Because the algorithm knows that “John Smith” is following the hashtag #wealthmanagement, and so if I use that hashtag on my post, he’s a little bit more likely to see my content than not. Now keep in mind, there are some best practices when it comes to using hashtags.
Hashtag Best Practices
So those are the four ways you can use them, but let’s talk about best practices.
Don’t Overdo It
So you do not want to put a million hashtags on every single post. It looks cluttered, it looks clunky, and it doesn’t really help the algorithm, right? The algorithm wants to know: what is your content about, who are you trying to target? And if you put a million different options, it doesn’t help them filter it anymore.
Use a Maximum of Three Hashtags
So instead, try to not use more than three hashtags per post when you’re on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter. Now Instagram is a little bit different. I know many of you aren’t using Instagram, so we’re not going to go there today, but for LinkedIn, for Facebook, or for Twitter, try not to use more than three hashtags per post.
Put Hashtags at the Bottom
The other thing you can do is sort of push the hashtags down so that they’re at the bottom of the post and not cluttering up the content of what you’re writing, so it’s easier for people to read.
Capitalize Different Words
Also, if your hashtag has more than one word- so if it’s “financial planning”- capitalize the first letter of each word, even though they’re all kind of bunched together, that way it’s easier to read what the actual hashtag is.
A part of Twenty Over Ten’s digital marketing team, Katrina is passionate about creating content for others to enjoy. You can typically find her with an Americano in hand as she makes (yet another) bucket list, writes songs or watches wedding videos.