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5 Ways to Correctly Use #Hashtags on Instagram & Twitter

Hashtags are an incredible part of social media. They are what connects people during incredible or tragic moments, bringing the entire world together on social media. They provide excellent opportunities for discussion and are excellent for businesses. However, you might be wondering just how to use them, and use them correctly, on Twitter and Instagram.

Let’s take a look at hashtags that will help you create an excellent Twitter or Instagram campaign.

Crash Course: How Does A Hashtag Work?

Hashtags are becoming vital to any social media campaign, but many people still might not know just what a hashtag is. Here is a quick rundown and reminder: a hashtag is a word or phrase used on social media that follows the pound or number sign (#). This helps to tie posts together with others and makes it easier for clients and readers to browse through the hashtag to find relevant information. This is a great way to index and categorize posts to make it easier for those with an interest in the specific keyword. For example, if you are selling artisanal coffee and want people who aren’t following to see your posts, you can use a hashtag such as #artisanalcoffee or a keyword that you use more often on your site. This will help connect you, and broaden your reach.

Why Should You Use Hashtags?

I briefly stated a benefit of hashtags in my example above. You need hashtags because they help direct people to your posts if they are not within your network. Let’s say you are a company that sells your product worldwide; you may have a few local customers, but how can you connect with someone in England, Australia, or America? Simple answer: hashtags. In addition to broadening your range and reaching out to more customers, you can also use hashtags as a way to engage with your clients, potential clients, and industry leaders. In fact, researchers find that tweets that utilize hashtags get two times the amount of engagement as a regular, non-hashtag tweet; interesting! The biggest thing about social media is being social, and you can do just that with hashtags directed at being social. I am going to take a more in depth look at this to show you just how you can correctly use your hashtags, especially when it comes to Twitter and Instagram.

Companies That Should Be Using Twitter or Instagram

Twitter is a great social channel for many businesses to use because it can connect you with a broader range of individuals. It can also provide you with the chance to host online chats, which I will discuss later. Twitter is a great social channel for small businesses and is also a great tool that B2Bs can use. Now, when it comes to Instagram, it is important to sit down and think about what your company does. If you don’t have much visually driven content and don’t focus on it too much, then Instagram is not for you. However, if you do have visually driven content or product, Instagram is perfect. If you are looking for some tips on how to use Instagram for your business, Social Media Examiner gives some excellent points to guide you in the right direction!

How To Correctly Hashtag Your Content on Instagram and Twitter

Now that I’ve taken you on a crash course reminder on hashtags, their importance, and if you should use Twitter and Instagram, I am going to help you learn how to use them. Remember, when it comes to social media and hashtags, you will need to tweak and grow to find the best ones for you. Let’s take a look at a few ways you can correctly, and awesomely use hashtags.

  1. Use Weekly AMAs or Hashtag Chats. Many businesses use something known as an AMA or an Ask Me Anything. Ask Me Anything is a really popular concept for many celebrities and users on Reddit, but it is slowly catching on for many businesses on other social channels. Most of the time, a business will adapt it into a chat instead of using AMA, but the concept is the same and helps develop communication and dialogue. A great example of a business chat is that of SEMRush’s #semrushchat that they hold to talk about various concepts. They discuss various questions with their readers and followers and then post the discussions on their blog. This is a great way to answer some of the common and current buzzing questions clients have while also creating excellent blog material.
  1. Create Unique Hashtags. This is a perfect way to get your posts to stand out while directing people to your accounts and site. You will need to use trendy hashtags that will get noticed, but throwing in a unique hashtag created by you will help put all of your posts in an easy to find spot. It can also help when people start discussing things with you, using that hashtag instead. This will direct more people to the discussion, and eventually direct people to your Twitter account, or website. In addition, a unique hashtag can also help you keep your business related photos in one spot on Instagram, giving people the chance to see all photos you’ve posted throughout your whole Instagram usage.
  1. Follow Specific Hashtags to See More Discussion. When you are using Twitter, it is a good idea to make sure you follow specific hashtags to see discussions and anything your clients might be talking about. This is especially necessary if you create your own hashtag to get people involved in discussions. It won’t work if you don’t keep tabs on it to talk with clients. The best way to follow specific hashtags is to utilize social media tools such as Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, or others that allow you to create columns for certain keywords and phrases.
  1. Utilize Trending Hashtags for Easy Advertising. No matter if you are on Twitter or Instagram, using trending hashtags for advertising is a great method. Most of the time, popular hashtags are to promote something but are always asking for others to engage. For example, on April 12th, Game of Thrones was promoting the show’s 5th season starting up. The way last season ended showed one of the three dragons still flying around the countryside, causing trouble for the people and Dany. Game of Thrones’ official Twitter used this as a great way to advertise with #CatchDrogon, encouraging people to share gifs, images, or come up with clever tweets to catch the dragon. This was a great idea, and many fans participated. What made it even funnier was when businesses such as Arby’s joined in. This was a great way to advertise Arby’s by using a very popular hashtag. You can do something similar whether it is for a TV show, movie or just a random trending hashtag.

  1. Create a List of Hashtags to Use for Your Strategy. Before you start a hashtag campaign, you might find it helpful to sit down and brainstorm a few ideas. This will help you focus on the keywords you want to use for Twitter and Instagram while also helping you keep a list of all the hashtags you think can work for your business. Do some research into your top keywords and also take some time to look at Twitter and Instagram to see which hashtags are trending, not just in your industry, but overall. You never know when you’ll be met with an excellent opportunity to advertise your business in a clever way.

Top Trending Hashtags of 2015, So Far

Using trendy keywords is a great way to get your posts out there to a wider audience that might not look at your industry keywords. Let’s look at some of the trendiest hashtags so far!

#StarWars. This is the year of Star Wars. There will be a new movie, new game, and tons of new merchandise everywhere. During April 2015, the franchise held a convention called Star Wars Celebration. The convention worked with Twitter and anytime someone used a specific hashtag for Star Wars, new, little Emojis would pop up. It was pretty fun!

#Sports. Whether it be #baseball, #basketball, #football or the #StanelyCup, sports take over the trendy hashtags each year. These hashtags are great to get in on with your promotional material, especially if you make it sports related.

#Coachella. Coachella, the music festival of the hipsters, was in full swing in April, making it a trendy hashtag for everyone to use. It was used to highlight the festival, create advertisements using the hashtag, or even for a great discussion on issues such as cultural appropriation. The #Coachella tag and all of its subsequent ones had some intriguing aspects and discussions.

Everybody, Do the Hashtag Shuffle

Now that you know a bit more about hashtags for Twitter and Instagram, you should start doing the little dance known as the hashtag shuffle. Get to using them, and creating some excellent individual hashtags for your business. If you need help with social media or need keyword research to know the top ones to use for your website and social campaigns, then look no further. Express Writers is here to help with Twitter and other social media platforms, as well as providing excellent keyword research services. Which of these tips do you think will work the best for you and your business?

Photo credit: PrismaIllustration / iStock

web copywriting for social media

How To Win at Social Media Copywriting

Social media: it’s become the standard for how we communicate, connect, and synthesize world news.

Today upwards of 70% of the U.S. population has a profile on at least one social media platform.

By 2018, the number of social media users around the world is projected to grow to 2.5 billion.

With those numbers in mind, it’s clear that social media copywriting is more important today than it’s ever been before.

While many people assume that all social posts are created equal, this simply isn’t true, and anyone who spends any time in the world of social media likely knows that great social media copywriting can go a long way regarding engagement and conversions.

While social media copywriting is a bit easier said than done, this post is designed to help you hone your skills and start overhauling your social presence today.

Read on.

content for social media

Why Social Media Copywriting Matters

In addition to the fact that social media is becoming a near-universal method of connection, the people using social media are also becoming more discerning.

Before virtually every brand on earth had a Facebook page, it was easier for companies to create content that stood out – partially because there wasn’t a lot to compete with.

Today, though, Facebook alone sees the sharing of 30 billion pieces of content each month, and it’s getting tougher and tougher for brands to create content that gets noticed.

While it’s unrealistic to expect that social saturation will slow down anytime soon, the one thing companies can do to compete is ensure that the content they create and publish on social media is as quality and relevant as possible.

And the best way to do this is by focusing on social media copywriting.

content for social media

5 Smart Tips to Improve Your Social Copywriting

Great social media copywriting isn’t born in a day.

Instead, it takes months (and, in some cases, years) to perfect.

While few marketers have the patience to sit with it long enough to learn what works and what doesn’t, the people who do will find that, by improving their social content, they can subsequently enhance their entire social following.

This, in turn, helps the brand build a stronger social presence and promotes things like sales, shares, and engagement, all of which promote a positive SEO cycle that helps a company dominate the internet.

With that in mind, follow these five tips to improve your social media marketing, starting today:

1. Niche down: write to your target audience, rather than social media at large

Right now, 78% of the U.S. population has a social media account, and the worldwide number is pushing 1.96 billion. As you can imagine, trying to write to all of those people at once will only cause your content to sink, and will simply mean that you don’t reach anyone effectively.

While it’s important to write to your target audience in all of your online copywriting, nowhere is this more critical than on social media. Thanks in large part to the sheer saturation of social media, ensuring that you’re targeting your content to your primary audiences is critical, and the companies that do it are the ones with the best chance of enjoying a high ROI for their social material.

While there are thousands of examples of businesses that are great at this on social media, one of my favorites is Innocent Drinks. The UK-based smoothie and juice company’s Facebook page is filled with material that caters to their audiences’ concern over sustainability, human rights, and the environment.

Don’t get them wrong, though, Innocent Drinks isn’t all work and no play. They pepper things with humor to keep them light, and they do a great job of engaging their target audience as a result.

Innocent Drinks Facebook

Another company that does this very well is Bogs Footwear. Specializing in waterproof, insulated boots for men and women, the company’s social profiles are filled with social media copywriting that’s designed to appeal to families and outdoor enthusiasts. It’s wholesome, engaging, and “awe”-worthy throughout, and it just works.

 

Bogs Footwear ScreenshotWhile these two companies have different target audiences, they both speak to them well, and they demonstrate exactly what is possible when you speak to your audience (rather than the massive population of Facebook as a whole) in your social copywriting.

2. Keep it brief – social media was designed for brevity

While platforms like Facebook support long-form content more than, say, a platform like Twitter, it’s still important to keep all of your social media copywriting as brief as possible.

This does not mean that you should sacrifice detail or quality in the name of meeting a character limit – only that social media is meant for skimming, and you’ll get more engagement on your posts if they’re easy to interact with in just a few seconds.

To help you get an idea of how long the optimal social post should be, Buffer put together some research on the topic.

According to them, Facebook posts with 40 characters receive a whopping 86% more engagement than longer posts. Tweets are ideal when they’re between 71-100 characters, and Google+ posts perform best around 60 characters.

While these may seem too short, remember that you can always add a visual to help demonstrate your point, or provide a URL where readers can dig into a longer post, if they choose. No matter what you do, though, keeping your in-feed social media copywriting brief will work wonders in making it more efficient.

With that in mind, cut unneeded words, and work to alter your copywriting so you learn to drive your message home in a succinct, compelling, and compact way. For some tips on how to do this, check out The Day You Became a Better Writer, by author and Dilbert creator, Scott Adams.

3. Pepper your social content with quality visuals

While not a “copywriting tip,” per se, the inclusion of visuals is critical for effective social copy.

In addition to the fact that adding visuals to your social content can help illustrate your points more effectively, they can also have a dramatic positive effect on your content’s share and engagement rates.

According to HubSpot, Facebook posts that include a visual earn 2.3x the engagement as text-only posts, and researchers have discovered that adding a colored visual (such as an infographic) to a post will increase a person’s willingness to read it by 80%.

In light of this, it’s clear that visuals not only enhance your social content but also expand its reach.

4. Borrow some style from people you admire

Today, we’re surrounded by dozens of brands that are excelling at social media copywriting, and one of the best ways to boost your game is simply to look around at theirs. If there’s a company you admire (or, better yet, one on whose content you regularly click), spend some time on their page evaluating what it is they’re doing.

In addition to helping you figure out what works and what doesn’t on social media, this will also help you get an idea of what you want to work on in your own copywriting, and how you can synthesize another brand’s approach to fit your unique persona.

Whether it’s the use of action words, custom visuals, original content, or just frequent posts, there’s a lot to be learned about how and why social media copywriting works, and looking around at the brands you admire is a wonderful way to enhance your knowledge.

5. Use power words to your advantage

Although I mentioned it in the last tip, there’s no way to over-stress how important power words are to social media copywriting. According to a recent CrazyEgg post, any social content you write should contain at least two power words, in addition to your relevant keywords.

The reason for this is simple: if you’re going to pare down your social media copywriting to only 60 characters, the words you include in your headlines and descriptions need to pack as much punch as possible. Action words drive readers to, you guessed it, action, and they’re a wonderful way to boost the effectiveness of any writing you do, especially social writing.

With this in mind, add highly emotive, insistent language to your social media copy. It will help your readers connect with your material, while also improving the effectiveness of your online content as a whole.

More Effective Social Media Copywriting Starts Today

While it’s easy to agonize over why your social media copywriting isn’t performing as well as you want it to, it’s important to remember that learning to write well for social platforms is a long-game pursuit, and it doesn’t happen overnight.

By taking these five tips to heart and applying them to every Tweet, Google+ post, and Facebook update you write, you can improve your engagement rates and build better relationships with your customers, starting right now.

Need a team of skilled social media experts to help you manage your online presence? Contact Express Writers today! We offer social media services and can help you create outstanding social media copywriting today.