In case you've been living in a cave (or are our my grandmother), hashtags are keywords preceded by what was once-upon-a-time called the pound sign (#). To many small business owners, hashtags seem like random words tacked onto social media posts. Believe it or not, there is a method to the hashtagging madness and important trends that your small business should get on board with. Hashtags are a free way for you to boost your business’s visibility.

A Hashtag a Day Attracts Audiences in a Big Way

In the wide world of hashtags, there are a lot of options. You may have heard of #throwbackthursday or #tbt or #sundayfunday, but there are actually hashtags for every day of the week that you can use in your social media posts to boost your brand’s visibility. Of course, there are so many, how do you choose? #help

  • Pick a daily hashtag that meshes with your brand. Are you the #motivationalmonday type or are you more of a #manicmonday kind of business?
  • Use daily hashtags appropriate for your industry and audience. A local taco shop wouldn’t do #writerwednesday, but #foodfriday? Yes, please!
  • Figure out what other hashtags are being used for. Daily hashtags won’t work if you’re not using them the way they’re intended. For example, use #shoutoutsaturday to give accolades to an employee or customer, not to self-congratulate on something great that happened for your that week.

Speaking of hashtags like #shoutoutsaturday, just like #sundayfunday, there are many trending daily hashtags that are more “general-use” and not brand specific. The same is true for holidays and special events or special days like New Years, Arbor Day, National Margarita Day, National Donut Day, etc. Feel free to jump in and use these hashtags…just make sure you’re using them properly.

Start using these trending hashtags to get the ball rolling:

·         #smallbusiness – top small business hashtag

·         #smallbiz – second most relevant hashtag for small businesses

·         #smallbizvoice – used to advocate for small business voices

·         #SEO – used by small businesses for SEO marketing

·         #marketing – for small business marketing

·         #socialmedia – for small business marketing

·         #startups – for small business startups

·         #entrepreneurs – for posts related to small business entrepreneurship

·         #entrepreneur – for posts related to small business entrepreneurship

·         #mondaymotivation – what gets your motivated on a Monday or what you want to share to motivate others

·         #tuesdaythoughts – what’s on your mind on Tuesday

·         #wednesdaywisdom – wise words to live by

·         #thursdaythoughts – what’s on your mind on Thursday

·         #fridayfeeling – for sharing that awesome Friday-feeling right before the weekend

Jimmy Fallon & Justin Timberlake show you what a Twitter conversation sounds like in real life.

·         #weekend – used to show how you unwind on the weekend

·         #sundayfunday – used to show how you relax or work on a Sunday (always positive)

·         #shoutout – used to shout out to someone who works for you or a customer or someone on social media

·         #shoutoutsunday – used to shout out to someone on Sunday

For all of these hashtags (ex: #mondaymotivation, #thursdaythoughts, etc.), they’re most effectively used if you work your brand’s overall story and focus into the hashtag.

Why You Should # Your Brand / Cause / Campaign

Speaking of using hashtags properly, one of the most important hashtag trends your small business can (and should) get in on is creating a specific hashtag for your brand or campaign. For example, at The Storyteller Agency, we believe you should #tellgreatstories. We also have engaged with others and campaigns we believe in like #goldensocial and #everyoneneedsabuddy.

When creating your own hashtag, remember to:

  • Check that the hashtag isn’t already in use and that is doesn’t already have some other vastly different meaning.
  • Make sure that the hashtag can’t be re-read in a way that changes the translation.  For example, this hashtag, #nowthatcherisdead can be read: Now Thatcher is Dead or Now That Cher is Dead. #oops #sorrycher #notdead
  • Don’t make hashtags too long. A sentence should never be a hashtag.

Your brand hashtag is something that can be used over and over, and a special hashtag created for a cause or campaign can be used to keep that content linked together, enabling your audience to see the whole, cohesive story.

Tailor Your Hashtag Strategy for the Platform

Finally, it doesn’t matter how trendy your hashtags are if you aren’t using them properly. Each social media platform is unique in how hashtags are best used. For example:

  • Hashtags are not particularly effective on Facebook, but they are used. If you use them, add one or two (max) at the end of the post.
  • On Twitter, hashtags are used to target an audience or to relate to a topic.
  • Meanwhile, Instagram hashtags are best used to describe the content posted.
  • If you hashtag your Pinterest content, put your keyword hashtags on the pin’s description.

Used correctly, hashtags can help your business in big ways. Start incorporating trending hashtags into your social strategy, find hashtags that fit your brand, create a hashtag for your brand, and start posting. #results

The humble hashtag may be small, but it’s mighty. Not sure how to leverage them? Let The Storyteller Agency help you hack trending hashtags for your business. Contact us, and let’s #tellgreatstories together.