#Hashtag Marketing: 4 Common Mistakes to Avoid / by Emma McKenzie

Emma McKenzie – ME Social Media Contributor 

If you have gone this long without knowing what a hashtag is you need to jump on the bandwagon! A hashtag is a word or phrase preceded by a hash sign (#), used on social media sites such as Twitter to identify messages on a specific topic. Hashtags have become a huge part of social media marketing and should not be ignored! They act as a unique component of social media, where they allow your business to gain followers, engage with your target audience and highlight important words within your posts. 

#Simple, right? 

Well, for some businesses getting the hang of hashtagging can be difficult. We have compiled 4 common mistakes you should avoid when writing posts. 

Not Enough 

Just because you might not know how to use hashtags, doesn’t mean you should avoid them. By not hashtagging certain words related to your target audience, you are missing out on potential followers and customers! Make it easy for the right people to find your business’ pages by hashtagging words and phrases that are relevant and interesting to them. In turn, this will create more interest in your social pages and the content you are posting. 

Too Many 

Overloading posts with hashtags is a common error many businesses succumb to. You might think ‘the more the merrier’, but this is not the case. Too many hashtags in your posts can become distracting and annoying for your followers (especially on Instagram). Try selecting a few relevant and engaging hashtags that are appropriate to both your business and target audience. 

Confusing 

Be careful not to fall into trending traps! You may think you are being quirky, but if your audience misread or don’t understand what you are saying you could find yourself in strife. Take for instance Susan Boyle’s album launch, which was hashtagged #susanalbumparty (oh dear!). Be wary of confusing your followers as this can be detrimental to your social media success and brand image. 

#BusinessName

Unless you are a big brand such as Coca-Cola, Nike or Apple you should never hashtag your business name. Hashtags are used to identify content on a specific topic or theme. You are most likely a small business and are not very well known yet (sorry!), by hashtagging your business name you are simply wasting your precious word limit. Hashtagging key words or phrases that are engaging to your target audience will be far more effective, as users will associate such topics with your business and hopefully follow you. 

Take care when you use hashtags on social forums, as they say a lot about your business and what your brand believes in. Take some time to review what you have posted in the past and take note of how your audience has responded (or lack of response). Continue posting what has been working, but try adding a few hashtags that are in line with your brand for further reach and engagement! #Goodluck 

Do you have any hashtagging tips of your own? Leave a comment below.