media update’s Nakedi Phala is here to school you about all things #tags on social media. 

Hashtags can make or break your brand on social media streets. You have to take the time to go through all the current trending #tags and root out all the politically driven ones. You also need to eliminate those that promote slander and offensive ones that discriminate against a particular group of people, culture or religion. 

And, as always,  remember to keep those social media policies in mind — social media law 101, if you will.

Surely you’re starting to get the picture about how much there is to learn when it comes to hashtags ... Well, if you’re not, worry not; we’ve got all the info you need to know. 

Here are four reasons why #tags are valuable for all brands involved: 

1. Why you should get #tagging

Hashtags are vital for brands that are just starting out, as they’re used as a means of brand enhancement and reaching new audiences. 

When it comes to social media, (and depending on the platform), it’s best to leave all the formal modes of communication for your emails and boardroom meetings. Here, you need to get yourself noticed — and hashtags can help with that. Even if you have a small following on your profile, the right #tag could be the reason why audiences start following your page.

For example, you could be creating the best of the best content, but — no one notices it. Why? Because you not #tagging! This rings true, especially on Twitter, where on the top right of your screen, you have the option to easily pick one.

Essentially, using hashtags is a great way to attract audiences to engage with your content without having to ask. 

2. Where and how to use hashtags 

The most popular spot to use #tags goes as follows: Twitter in first place, followed by Instagram, then Facebook, LinkedIn and, finally, YouTube. 

Twitter is the problematic child of all social media platforms, but cool at the same time (if you catch our drift). For example, let’s suppose that you want to share a short clip about marketing, so you add #marketing or #media. This likely won’t get any traffic on Twitter as it’s a fast-paced platform; like a stock exchange, value gets sold fast! So, you need to keep surveillance of a trending hashtag that you can use before it goes to the bottom of the list. 

Other social media platforms, such as Instagram, LinkedIn and Facebook, could get you a couple of views, ‘Likes’ and even engagement; however, the fruits of your labour might only bear results weeks after you’ve posted, so patience is key here. These platforms are easy like Sunday mornings. So if you share something on any one of the aforementioned platforms, give your post some time to gain traction. 

3. Create your own brand hashtag

It’s good that you have a brand name, but it’s even cooler when you have your very own branded hashtag; kind of like an alias. Everyone deserves one, including you! 

In time, your #tag will gain street cred: it’s all about consistency. The more you make use of it, the more of a footprint you leave behind. This will happen when, for example, someone reshares your post. It will appear on their timeline. And at some point, by simply typing your brand’s #tag, the platform will load all the content that you and others ever shared on the timeline.

Creating your very own hashtag is another way of differentiating yourself from other individuals or brands. So make sure it’s unique!
For an in-depth understanding on this point, check out these Three types of hashtags to make your marketing more effective. 

4. Be consistent 

Consistency is practiced in all areas of life. And on social media, it’s what some brands fail to do, which is their downfall. Being consistent at using #tags, and sticking to them, will steer you towards success. 

When you use them constantly in your posts, more followers will pick up on them. Treat it like the norm of having to brush your teeth every morning — adopt the same attitude in this situation too. Routine is key here! 

More than anything, being consistent with your hashtags, in the long run, will improve your brand page’s credibility and identity on social media. 

By 2014, respect for the hashtag had grown to the point where the Oxford English Dictionary gave the word its stamp of approval. What are your thoughts on hashtags in marketing? Let us know in the comments section below. 

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Now that you know why #tags are vital for your digital marketing efforts, discover the Three reasons why humour creates engaging content on social media.