If you’re posting without a hashtag then you’re missing out on the opportunity to increase your exposure.

A hashtag is not just a tool that helps group social conversations, it brings together a vocal community of users by opening posts to be viewed by all accounts. When these users are brought together in the right way, the value of the hashtag increases.

Famously, Cancer Research UK found social users posting pictures of themselves with no makeup along-with the hashtag ‘#NoMakeupSelfie’ in order to raise donations for the charity. Impressively, in just 6 days over £8million had been donated through user generated hashtagging.

It’s not just charities that can benefit from a useful hashtag. Lancôme asked their followers to post ‘bare faced selfies’ for the launch of the DreamTone serum. Not only did they receive positive engagement on social platforms, but remarkably, the selfie gallery on the company’s website generated a 4% conversion rate for the product.

The power of a well thought through and executed hashtag has been proven time and time again. Here are three tips for using hashtags more effectively.

1. Give your hashtag a purpose:
You must be selective about the topics you’re associated with. Make a list of the 4 topics you want to become involved with and do some research into what thought leaders in those areas are already hashtagging. This will give you a baseline understanding of what’s trending in those areas.

2. A brand hashtag that resonates.
Choose one #hashtag that represents your brand’s values and also engages users to click-through or start a conversation. For example toilet paper brand Charmin uses #TweetFromYourSeat to open and encourage engagement from social fans.

3. #Don’t #overuse #the #hashtag.
Using too many hashtags actually devalues their strength. It can even cause further damage by causing a loss of followers and permanently damage your branding. Instead, Twitter officially recommends that you use no more than two #’s per tweet.

Some people use hashtags for fun, others to promote their brand, regardless, you want your posts to be simple and filled with useful content that engages the user to click on your link, visit your website or even buy your product. Hashtags, used correctly, open these posts up to a new audience.


Image: CC/BY/2.0 Ognian Mladenov