Do hashtags still matter?
One of the most asked questions I get is “what is the point of hashtags and how do I use them?” To start with the first question, hashtags are useful (depending on the platform) in categorising content and making it easier for people to search for certain topics. They can help you follow live events, or breaking news. They are also great for filtering out topics you don’t want to engage with.
No one person or brand owns a hashtag. You can think one up and just start using it. But if you want to use them effectively to grow your following and amplify content, then you need to be more strategic in your hashtag approach.
Let’s look at some general principles for using hashtags across your social media channels:
- Curate your hashtags for each channel. So, for Twitter, use 2 to 3 in a tweet, and include them contextually in your content. On Instagram, you can use many more, but don’t go overboard. LinkedIn has functional hashtags, so feel free to include 1 or 2 in your post. And while Facebook has functional hashtags, the jury is out on whether or not they are actually effective in amplifying your content.
- Use a mix of trending, general and brand hashtags. For example, I might use #possumdigital, but as it’s not a widely used hashtag, I might also want to use something more general like #socialmedia or #digitalmarketing.
- Keep your hashtag simple and easy to remember and use. You don’t want followers misspelling a well thought out hashtag only to lose the opportunity to generate effective conversation.
- Avoid using hashtags that don’t relate directly to your content. Social channel algorithms are smarter than us in this respect, so just because a hashtag is trending, doesn’t mean you should force it onto content that is irrelevant.
- Mix it up! Don’t use the same batch of hashtags every single time. Just like you need more than one channel to market your business, you need more than one group of hashtags to get your content seen by different people.
My best advice is to come up with a list of hashtags that you can use and swap out on your posts across social media channels. Make sure you keep it updated with trending ones, and remove any that may get banned or are no longer being used widely
Getting verified on Twitter
Do you have a Twitter account with a decent following? Do you use Twitter to build awareness around you and your brand (even if you are the brand)? If you answered yes to any of these then you may want to think about getting your Twitter account verified.
The main benefit is that blue verified badge on Twitter lets people know that an account of public interest is authentic. The last thing you want is for a copycat account to turn up and pretend to be you!
Here’s how you get your account verified:
- First thing to do is complete all of the personal information about you and details like profile picture, cover photo, name, website and your bio.
- Second is to verify or add your mobile phone number and the confirmation of your email address. In order to verify the phone number, you are going to enter the verification code that has been sent by Twitter in your email. While in email address, you will just going to click the link that Twitter provided in your email address.
- Third, since you already updated your bio and personal information, you’ll need to add your birthday information. Also, you can choose the people who can see your birthday, just click the lock icon to personalise your account.
- Fourth, you need to set or post your tweets to “public” meaning anyone has the privilege to see your tweets. In order to make this possible, you need to go at “Twitter Security” and “Privacy Settings” and make sure that the “Tweet Privacy” is unchecked.
- Lastly, you need to go to the verification form on Twitter. During the verification process, twitter will require you to log in the account you preferred to verify. You will see from there a paragraph section that you need to answer on why you need to be verified with required number of characters. Also, to support your answer you can share some links for additional information.
And that’s it! It’s super easy to do, and you will be able to have comfort knowing that there is only one genuine you out there in the Twitter universe.
Why Instagram is good for visual based businesses
If you are a photographer, a florist, or own a food based business, chances are you are on Instagram. For visual based businesses like your, is Instagram the right platform for you?
The short answer is yes!
Australia alone has 5 million active users on this platform. Australians, most specially women are fond of instragramming for random purposes. Some are consuming this for entertainment, education and now, even for businesses.
It enhances customers’ experience more nowadays as it has been considered as photo and video centric allowing people to share images and videos, record stories and go live.
Instagram for Business
Users are instagramming today, not only just for fun. What better way to tell the story of you business than through inspiring images?
In Australia, 31% of businesses are using this social network to market their business.
And if you started off with a personal account for your business and want to change to a business account, this is relatively easy; and using a business account will allow you to get access to analytics and insights. What you need to do is connect your business Facebook page by following the in-app prompts from “Switch to Business Profile” button found in Settings.
Once created, you can optimise your profile by changing it to your business name (if you haven’t already), username, profile photo and other details. Add as well adding your website and a short biography to let your followers know basic info about your brand.
Why Instagram is perfect for visual based businesses?
Navigating Instagram app is very easy once you’ve started to engage with it. As this platform is only about sharing images and video, there are few things that you need to do.
It’s also be easy for followers to show interest in you through liking, commenting and reposting.
Ability to add great content
As they say ‘images tell the story in a thousand words’ you can use your imagination to create stunning images and video to tell the story that word alone can not. It will instantly be displayed in the news feed and people following can see it. Too, making sure you add in an enticing description/caption with appropriate hashtags can amplify the reach of your content.
Grow your community through interacting
Just as followers can interact with your content, you should also interact with content from others, especially influencers in your industry. There are several options to do it:
- Liking – this is the simplest way. Double-tapping the photo or tapping the heart button under the post means ‘Like’. It’s the easiest to do, but if you really want to boost your visibility, move to the next option.
- Commenting – Posting comments and reply to images can be done by hitting the button next to like button, type the comment and send. Even better if you can tag in the account name of the image you are commenting on.
- Mention – @ can be use to tag the other users on comments and posts. This will allow the specific person to get notified and can help you get noticed by more people. Just don’t spam
- Direct message – Instagram Direct is sending private message, photo and video to other people. This is one good way for you to answer client’s inquiries, questions, suggestions and allows you to take private what you don’t want on your public page.
Instagram has been helping many businesses to grow through posting images and videos that tell the story of their business. As many people prefer visual content, this platform has the potential to increase your visibility online and drive more business for you!
If you want help getting more out of your social media marketing, please download our free step by step guide today!
Optimising your videos for Youtube
Did you know that every minute on Youtube there are 2.7 million video views, 400 hours of video uploaded, 139,000 hours of video watched, 92,000 Youtube searches and 700 tweets linking to Youtube? And that after Google, Youtube is the second most used search engine in the world.
Video is a powerful way to connect with your audience, and add a new dimension to your brand. It helps communicate complex messages in an interactive way and can provide a way for potential customers to get to know you.
So if you want to make video part of a key component to your marketing strategy, then having a Youtube channel for your business is a must. Once you set-up your channel, and you’ve produced a few videos, it’s time to get your content seen.
Here are some ways you can optimise your video so that your content is seen on Youtube:
Make the video content powerful.
Of course, everything will be useless if the quality and quantity of video itself is not that good. It should always anchor with the theme you want to portray and all the details should be parallel to one another.
Never forget the title and tags.
To your target audience has a chance to watch your video then you need to put the title of your video. Always remember the principle in title creation. It should be relevant, significant and catchy. Also, you should put necessary tags that will make short information about the video so that they can easily search and watch your video.
Create Automatic Playlist URL’s
When viewers start to watch one of your video, see to it that you have a playlist url that will automatically be played after each video. In doing so, you give every opportunity to extend the playtime of your content.
Provide Call to Action!
At the end of every video in the list, always put a call to action. And use annotations if you need to. Once someone has watched a video and are inspired to act, give them something to do next.
There are lots of ways list ways on how you can optimize your videos. Whatever choice you will make it is a must that you will always aim to make your videos easily seen by your target audience.
Which social media platform do I post update on?
With so many social media channels consuming our everyday lives, it’s sometimes a little hard to know which one to use for which occasion. The picture below gives a fun and succinct way to determining the social media platform where it is most appropriate place to be telling your followers what you’re up to – especially outside of work hours!
And it also goes without saying, think before you update. There’s nothing worse than having to explain to family, friends or your boss exactly what you mean by THAT tweet.
So what social media platform do I use?
With over 300 social media platforms to choose from, it’s no wonder that there can be confusion about which one to use. It’s important to note that you can (and indeed should!) recycle your content, especially if it’s directing traffic to your website. However, you need to be using appropriate tone, language and messaging based on what channel you are using.
I love this image as it gives a simple flow chart (and who doesn’t love a flow chart…) on what update goes where. Though posts Google+ and Foursquare are unlikely to be seen by anyone!
Things to think about
These are the important things to consider when choosing a social media platform to post on:
- Am I happy for this post to be public?
- Where am I updating from? Are you at a community event, or out to dinner with friends?
- Is it business or personal? And following this, can you justify your update to your boss?
- How personal is the information you’re about to share?
- Is what your about to say of interest to your friends or co-workers?
Over to you!
What to you take into consideration before tweeting or posting? How much personal information do you share with the world?
If you want help getting more out of your social media marketing, please download our free step by step guide today!