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
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.
Social media marketing is never a set and forget marketing channel. If you’ve created a Facebook page, Twitter account or Instagram profile, you still need to regularly review how each channel is performing and make tweaks or changes to your activity.
One huge lesson we all got from the major changes to Facebook’s newsfeed algorithm is that you can no longer rely on doing the same activity over and over again and expect to always get the same results.
Here are seven things you can do to review how your social media channels are performing:
Is the channel still relevant to your business? If you can’t answer this question, head over to ‘Social Media Channel Plan’ and work through the questions.
When was the last time you updated your branding? Do your profile pictures or cover images need refreshing? And is your branding consistent across all of your channels and aligned with your website?
Are all of your profiles fully completed and optimised fully? Do you have completed bios for Twitter and a proper ‘About’ section for Facebook? Make sure these are consistent with your branding and align with your website.
See how your awareness is performing. If you’re using social media to increase awareness of your brand, then you will want to examine metrics like reach and impressions, as well as clicks (especially those that drive traffic to your website).
Have a look at your engagement metrics. Each channel will have insights data that you can have a look at. Spend a little time looking at your engagement (likes, shares, comments) month on month for about 6 months. Do you see the engagement trending upwards? Are you getting better engagement in some channels?
Are you posting content at the right time of the day for your audience?
Do you have the right followers to match your desired target audience? For example, on Facebook, you can see in your insights tab, data that shows audiences data such as location, gender and age.
If you are setting up, or refreshing your social media channels, it’s important to have the right size images. Below are the five main social media channels and the images sizes you need for each one. In this post we cover the main profile images for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Youtube. We will look at post and advertising image sizes in a future post.
For your Facebook page, there are two key images you need – a profile picture (the square image below) and a cover image (the rectangle image)
Profile picture – 180 x 180
Cover image – 820 x 312
For your Twitter profile, there are two key images to update – your profile picture and header photo.
Profile picture – 400 x 400
Header photo – 1,500 x 500
With your Instagram profile, there is one image, which is your profile picture. The size you need is 110 x 110. It’s quite small, so make best use of this limited space.
The LinkedIn platform has gone though many changes, including to the way personal profiles and company pages are displayed.
Sizes for personal profile images
Personal profile image – 400 x 400
Personal background image – 1,584 x 396
Sizes for LinkedIn company pages
Company logo image – 300 x 300
Square logo (shows up when your company is searched) – 60 x 60
Company cover image – 1,536 x 768
If you have a Youtube channel (and if you run a business, and use video, then you should have one), the two images you need are the channel profile image and the channel cover photo.
Yesterday, I did a Facebook Live on the 4 elements you need to think about for any social media channel you use to market your business. Like any strategy, being super clear on why you are using something and knowing how it will add value to your business, will help ensure you don’t waste precious time and resources.
These elements to any good social media channel plan are: