In this day and age, we rely on social media to connect with people and share ideas and discuss trends. Social media has even helped many market themselves and their businesses. In fact, social media has become an integral part of digital marketing. However, many still struggle with the use of social media hashtags whether they are marketing something or not. In this blog, we are going to show you the right way to use hashtags on Facebook and Twitter so that you can better market your business and get a bigger reach.

What is a Hashtag? There are a few people out there that don’t fully understand the concept of the hashtag, and that is totally ok. If you are one of those people, you are doing a great thing by educating yourself on the matter. After all, we’ve all wondered what the hashtag was at one point or another. And yes, even I, the author of this blog, had questions about the hashtag at first. So it’s ok to not know and want to learn.

So what is the hashtag, really? The hashtag is simply a keyword relevant to whatever you are sharing which you place the hashtag (#) sign before so that the keyword itself becomes clickable. When a person clicks on that hashtag keyword, they will find other social media posts with that same keyword. In other words, if you are writing about Cinco de Mayo in your post, your keyword would probably look something like this: #cincodemayo or #cincodemayo2016. And when you click on that keyword, you will find others who have also discussed Cinco de Mayo in their post. Cool, huh?

The Wrong Way to Use Hashtags Plenty of people use hashtags wrong, but we are here to fix that. When writing a post, ask yourself, what is the main subject matter? If you are talking about the best chocolate in Columbia, for instance, you would use the hashtag #columbianchocolate (Columbian chocolate). Though, you would not include a hashtag that would discuss another subject, such as #childhood, unless your post discusses both Columbian chocolate and your childhood when you got to eat lots of that specific chocolate.

Furthermore, when using a hashtag, make sure to not leave any spaces between words. You shouldn’t write #columbian chocolate, since that would leave the word “chocolate” out of the hashtag, making it not a keyword in your post. You also shouldn’t write #columbian-chocolate or #columbian_chocolate. Including a dash makes the hashtag not work the way it should. After all, you are trying to market Columbian chocolate, and if no one can search the keyword and find your post, then you lose out on potential customers to your chocolate business. So always be sure to use the hashtag without any spaces between the keyword words and without any dashes.

Finally, don’t spam your post with hashtags. For instance, take a look at this post:

 #Columbianchocolate is the #best and I #love how my #childhood was #filled with #eating it.

Do you see what’s wrong with that post? It not only hurts the eyes, but it has many irrelevant keywords. No one is going to search for the keyword “love” in hopes of finding Columbian chocolate posts. If a person is searching for the keyword “love,” they are most likely looking for some sort of romantic or sweet post. So minimize the hashtags. In fact, the recommended amount of social media hashtags you should use when marketing should be one to two hashtags and no more, and this works for both Twitter and Facebook.

Now that you know how to use social media hashtags, you’ll reach more customers and clients when marketing your business. Good luck!

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