Love them or hate them, hashtags are everywhere. Used correctly, hashtags can help supercharge your social media content. On the other hand, use them without consideration and you risk annoying followers. If you’re new to or not entirely clear on hashtags, here’s what you’re missing.
A hashtag is a word or phase preceded by a pound sign (#). Used in social media hashtags categorize text, as in a tweet or other social media posts. Hashtag examples could be cities: #Denver, #Dallas or #Boston. They may also be entire phrases #ilovedentistry #waytogo or #thisisconfusing.
For example, if your practice is located in Dallas, you might tweet the following:
A great analogy is to use hashtags like you’d season a meal − use them sparingly and they can enhance your efforts. Overdo it consistently and you will turn people off. An example of over-seasoning a tweet with too many hashtags is:
From a marketing standpoint, the most important keywords or hashtags you can leverage are those already popular and used frequently. In Dr. Smith’s case above, those would be: #Dallas, #Dentist and #PopularMagazine.
Also, be careful not to minimize the context of the tweet or post (in this case congratulating the doctor for her accomplishment) by drowning it in hashtags that either aren’t worth indexing or in line with your brand, e.g.: #celebrating, #Waytogo, #Welovedentistry and #Happydance.
Ultimately using specific hashtags means your tweet or post will be categorized with any other tweets or posts mentioning, for example, #Dallas or #PopularMagazine − which can greatly increase the visibility of your content and thus your practice.
For example, do a Google search of #Dallas. You’ll see hundreds of variations of #Dallas being used in tweets, Google Plus, Facebook and Instagram posts. It’s this added level of discoverability that makes using hashtags smart.
On the other hand, it’s not as likely others (prospective patients) are searching the term #Waytogo. So you can see where being thoughtful about your hashtags can be strategic, add a bit of whimsy − or simply add clutter.
Like all social media, dip your toe in and begin to explore all that hashtags have to offer. There are a number of businesses, organizations and individuals using hashtags in neighborhoods across the country. Look for popular words you can begin to integrate in your content. I look forward to seeing what you come up with. #happyhashtagging!