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Are you hash tagging the right way for your small business?

If you’re wondering what a hash tag is and what it does exactly, you’ve come to the right place. Hashtags are a key part of any social media strategy, not only because they are searchable, but because they are identifiable across multiple platforms. If you’re already on social media, or about to sign up, you need to know how to utilise hashtags to the best of your ability. Here are our tips for hash tagging for your small business.

Create Your Own Business Tag

The easiest way to find posts about your product, service or brand is to create a hashtag that becomes synonymous with your business. This could be something as simple as your business name (e.g. Target being #target), or a little more complicated, like a label for your customers (e.g. Missguided’s #babesofmissguided) or a short phrase associated with your brand (e.g. Nike’s #justdoit). Doing this will make it easier for interested consumers to search and find your business on social media.

Keep It Short and Sweet

Use no more than five hashtags, and choose wisely. Filling up your post with popular hashtags that have no relevance to your business can actually hurt your popularity, rather than help you grow. Spamming with tags can come across as tacky and desperate, and using irrelevant hashtags won’t attract your target customers.

Personalise Your Posts

The idea of behind using social media for business is connecting with consumers on a more personal level. If you are solely posting boring, promotional material, you are not achieving this goal. Instead, post a nice combination of interesting, creative promotions, photos, quotes and captions that remind the customer that you are a human being. The human side is a big reason why people choose to actively seek out small businesses rather than large organisations that lack personality – so don’t be afraid to show it!

Embrace Trending Tags or Topics

On Facebook and Twitter, you will see a bar that lists the “hot topics” of that day or moment. As many people see these trends and click them, it is in your best interests to use the tags to your advantage – when appropriate. For example, if you are a restaurant and the TV show My Kitchen Rules is trending, you may be able to make a smart or witty connection between your business and the program.

Be Consistent

If you are aiming to grow your social media following, you need to be consistent with your hash tagging practices. If you create a brand hash tag – don’t change it (or at least don’t change it often). Ensure that if you adopt a brand personality, that personality shines through on all posts and tags. When using hash tags, stick to the maximum of five rule. Do not jump between one hash tag and twenty-six. All content needs to be consistent to portray the right brand image.

Get Organised

Rather than trying to think of hash tags on the spot, plan them in advance. Most businesses with an active social media presence create calendars or schedules for the month ahead – including the post they will make, the platform, the caption, the links and any hash tags. If you don’t organise your social media, you will put less thought into it and it will likely turn out to be less effective. Buy a cheap calendar, create one yourself on a large sheet of paper, or utilise online scheduling programs like Buffer or Hootsuite to prepare posts ahead of time.

Social media isn’t just about the update, photo or graphic that you post – the words you use and choose to hash tag can make a big difference in your popularity. Grow brand awareness by learning how to use the hash tag correctly for your small business. Follow our tips and you can’t go wrong!

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