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What are Hashtags? How do you use Them?

hashtag

Hashtags are what we use to label and categorize information on online platforms. A hashtag is the pound/number key, followed by a series of letters, words, or phrases that have no spaces in between. They can be used to tag and post relevant information to an online platform like Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and many more. When they are posted, the information is tagged and is easily searchable within that social platform.

Where should I be using hashtags?

You can use hashtags on most social media sites but they work differently depending on which platform you use. Twitter is the most well-known social media site that utilizes hashtags because it is an easy way to categorize information within 280 words. You can use them in any tweet or comment, as well as in your bio. They can be a great way to join the conversation about people, things, movements, or ideas that you or your business may follow. Twitter also allows its users to search via hashtag and keeps a list of the hashtags that are currently trending. 

Instagram is another social media platform where hashtags are almost always implemented when uploading something new. Hashtags can be used on Instagram Stories, bios, and searched for on the explore tab. What’s different about Instagram in comparison to Twitter is that you can actually follow specific hashtags instead of just accounts. This means that you will receive content from multiple different creators that post something with that specific tag under it.

Hashtags on other social platforms such as Facebook, TikTok, YouTube, etc. function similarly to those mentioned above. They may differ slightly, but the act of tagging content in order for users to find it is all relatively the same. Hashtags are important on any social platform, but Twitter and Instagram arguably utilize them the most. 

Finding your audience

As mentioned before, users can easily search for specific content through hashtags, so this is a great way to reach new people! It is important to find the right balance between trending tags and niche tags. For example, if you only tag things that are trending right now, your content has a good chance of getting lost with all of the other posts under the same tag. Finding somewhat niche and specific tags could help to target people who are specifically interested in what you are promoting or selling. 

Don’t overdo it

One of the biggest unspoken rules about hashtags is to not overdo it! Don’t include too many tags in a post, or else it starts to look cluttered and not as professional. Twitter has a character limit, but Instagram does not. This makes it really easy for users to over-tag their content. Five to ten hashtags on an Instagram post are more than enough to be found online. Another thing to keep into consideration is that you should caption posts on Instagram before tagging them. No one wants to read hashtags as the caption. They should come after.

Resources to improve your hashtags

You may be wondering how to find what hashtags are trending right now, so here are some resources! RiteTag and Hashtagify.me are both websites that analyze what is trending right now. They both are free to an extent, but some content is restricted to paying customers only. Regardless, if you need help with creating hashtags, these are a great way to see what people care and are talking about online right now.

Private Cloud Vs. Hyperscale Cloud, Which is Better?

Private cloud and hyperscale cloud each benefit companies in different ways. They both hold various advantages that will keep you and your company’s data safe from hackers and the rest of the harsh world. But, which of the two will move your company forward technologically and keep your data the safest? Before we compare, we must understand the difference between the two. 

Hyperscale cloud is a type of cloud environment that is also known as public cloud. It has the ability to scale computer infrastructure based on the amount of demand. It is used for cloud computing, big data, and distributed systems. Hyperscale cloud is normally completed through off-site data centers. Tech giants like Facebook, Google, Amazon, and much more use hyperscale computing to operate their systems. 

Hyperscale cloud can benefit companies in many ways. It can help companies minimize downtime with excessive demands and complications. Hyperscale cloud offers benefits like scalability, self-service, and cost-effectiveness. It can also help IT systems get back online much more quickly. The key difference between hyperscale cloud and private cloud is the way that businesses use them. Depending on the company size and business needs, either one would be a viable option. 

Medium to large businesses, as well as health care providers, typically utilize private cloud mainly for its protection, scalability options, and compliance. It makes sense, considering private cloud is able to safeguard sensitive information, such as customer information, confidential internal records, and business plans. Private clouds give businesses complete control over their data which allows for a more secure and safe transaction. 

Private cloud offers incredible benefits that other cloud environments just don’t offer. It actually remains a preferred model of the cloud for industries like engineering, healthcare, government, education, and telecommunication. Private cloud technology possesses unbeatable benefits. 

1. Control 

Private clouds are usually located on-site or at a data center provider. This makes it easier to access, which may come in handy if you need to make changes or manage the platform! Your data center provider can predict downtime and changes in the service. Those who use hyperscale cloud don’t have much flexibility when it comes to managing resources. 

2. Stability

Private clouds are suitable for collecting and stowing away sensitive files. Your service provider is responsible for ensuring that your platform stays up and running. With a private cloud, you or your business will not have to worry about the noisy neighbors that come along with hyperscale cloud. Private cloud provides increased data security by distributing data to secure hosting sites and making sure that everything stays online. 

3. Cloud Compliance 

Companies that use private clouds have more control over their IT infrastructure. They have the ability to control cloud storage and bandwidth, customize environments, and modify security settings. With so much control over their infrastructures, they can build a platform compliant with relevant industry regulations. Unlike hyperscale cloud, private cloud data is rarely an element of external inspection. 

4. Customization 

Private clouds allow you to configure your platform in a way that best suits your business’s needs. It’s a very customizable platform! Private clouds can adjust to companies of different sizes, objectives, industries, and much more. Depending on your company, you can decide what will work best, based on security, availability, and scalability needs. 

5. Availability 

One awesome advantage of using a private cloud is that you can scale resources if you need them. For example, if a server goes down, your data will be copied and backed up to other locations. This makes private cloud an incredibly versatile and useful system, as your backups can be available anywhere to you. Your bandwidth and network resources are capable of being scaled to fit your needs. 

6. Privacy and Greater Security 

The most impressive aspect of private cloud has to be security. There is not a more secure option when it comes to cloud computing. Private clouds are an excellent option for anyone looking to protect their data and information from hackers and outsiders! This is especially important for businesses, as they require top-of-the-line safety and security. Leaked data or information could absolutely ruin a business. In a hyperscale cloud space, all information resides on a shared platform. Security concerns are significantly increased in this type of environment.  

Businesses in every type of industry should have a safe way to store and access their information. With various new options available, more companies are turning to the cloud to operate and manage their business. Hard drives, flash drives, and USB’s are a thing of the past! While hyperscale cloud offers numerous benefits, private cloud provides a greater degree of security. Private cloud is an incredibly sensible choice for all types of businesses. While hyperscale has its own unique benefits, private cloud may be the better option.

Facebook Recommendations Vs. Google Reviews?

Scrabble letters that spell review

Facebook has made many changes over the years. One of the biggest changes was the transition from Facebook Reviews to Facebook Recommendations. This change happened a few years ago, but it has had a major impact on the way that people engage on social media and leave feedback for businesses on the platform. 

Before I dig too deep, Facebook Recommendations is Facebook’s version of reviews for businesses. Users are able to express whether or not they recommend a business. From there, they can write a review, add photos and tag. Facebook recently changed their process for leaving recommendations. Up until a few years ago, Facebook gave users the option to rate businesses on a scale from 1 to 5. The change now presents users with the question, “Do you recommend (business name)? Yes or no?”, along with the option to share their experience.

This change allows users to leave feedback in a much more detailed way than they had before. In fact, it is very similar to the way that users leave a review on Google. You may be wondering, “What is the difference between Facebook Recommendations and Google Reviews?” Well, there are a few differences. Google Reviews and Facebook Recommendations are arguably two of the most important places to earn reviews. While the differences between the two are the really just the platform used, both types of reviews can improve a business in different ways. 

What are the benefits of both platforms?

Google Reviews are a way for users to review businesses using their Google account. They are so important because they can improve local search ranking, increase trust and credibility with customers, influence customers on future purchases, help businesses gain helpful feedback, improve click-through rates, create brand awareness, and so much more. Google Reviews give businesses the boost of credibility they need without spending a dime. 

Facebook Recommendations is more interactive. Instead of users ranking a business on a 5-star scale, users can now add photos along with text. They are also much more informative and help with organic reach. Facebook Recommendations is now based on how many people recommend or do not recommend a page, past reviews, and previous ratings. Facebook changed their process because they saw a lot of problems with their previous style. Facebook’s new process was created so that businesses with a Facebook page would be more visible to Facebook users. Facebook Recommendations can increase reach, allow users to share photos, and tag so that others are more likely to see your page. With Facebook, the better the recommendation score, the higher the chance that a business has of engaging new customers. 

Which platform is more important?

So, if both platforms show benefits, which one is more important? To be honest with you, they are both crucially important for your business. Neither one or the other is more important. It’s like comparing apples and oranges. Both platforms benefit businesses in their own way.

Facebook is the most popular social media platform of all time. With nearly 2.7 billion active users, Facebook’s popularity isn’t even in question. Because so many people are using the platform, it is essential that your business has a page and reviews for other people to see. Although you need Facebook Recommendations, they should not replace your Google Reviews. Your business will benefit from having a good balance of both. 

Why should businesses use both?

Google is the most popular online review platform. Nearly 57% of consumers use Google to read reviews. Nearly 9 out of 10 consumers read online reviews before making a purchase. Reviews are so important, especially those on Google. Google is the most visited website on the Internet. No wonder their reviews are so valuable. 

Facebook Recommendations is great for many reasons. It will not help your business dominate the search ratings, but it will make users feel more comfortable. More people have a Facebook account and are more comfortable expressing their feedback on Facebook rather than Google. Facebook is also a platform that was created for engagement and conversation. Therefore, users are able to have a conversation with someone who leaves a review. A Facebook Recommendation may show up in a Google results page when someone searches for your business, but they have no impact on whether your business ranks for relevant search terms. 

While there are many differences and benefits of each review platform, you do not need to choose between one or the other. Your business will benefit significantly by using both. You can start this journey by creating a Facebook page for your business (if you don’t already have one) and starting a Google My Business Account. The rest is up to your audience. Don’t forget to ask for those reviews!

Should I Advertise on Instagram?

a phone sitting on a table

In today’s technologically advanced climate, there are no limits to what you can do in marketing and advertising. You have so many options in front of you. Your success is determined by the social media platform you use and how you use it to further your business. Let’s talk about Instagram. 

Instagram first launched in late 2010. Little did the public know that this measly application would soon become a social media giant. People and businesses all over the world have joined the platform since then in hopes of connecting, sharing and reaching a new crowd of people. Around 1 billion people are using Instagram today, standing as one of the most popular social media platforms out there, right behind Facebook. 

The great thing about Instagram is that it has unlimited marketing potential. Your business has the potential to grow to new heights. As much as Instagram has become a popular social media channel, it has also become a successful marketing platform. Instagram has built its fame around the ability to post visually pleasing pictures, which can be very effective for businesses with eye-catching content. 

The answer to your question is…

If you are wondering whether or not you should advertise on Instagram, you should consider your brand and audience. There are so many positive aspects to advertising on Instagram that you should consider before you completely rule it out. 

If you ask me, “Abby, should I advertise on Instagram?” , I would say, “Well young Padawan, it depends on your business goals. It all comes down to how well you can market your product visually. Though, in my opinion, it would always be a yes.” 

Before I keep throwing random, yet surprisingly interesting, information at you, consider these reasons to advertise on Instagram. 

1. Facebook and Instagram are sister platforms

If you have a Facebook account (which you should), you will be happy to know that the two are connected. Therefore, what you post on Instagram, can be shared to Facebook, helping you reach broader audiences. If you have been using Facebook for a while, you should be able to access your Facebook analytics and data to then target your audience on Instagram. That data will help you determine what has been working and what hasn’t. The good news is that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel when it comes to posting ads on Instagram. You will already have an idea of what to do because you have done it on Facebook.

2. Integrate Shopify and sell products quickly and easily 

One of the many upsides to marketing on Instagram is the many different ways that you can visually market your product. Shopify is one of those channels that have allowed businesses to sell their products quickly and easily. Shopify is a one-stop-shop for businesses who want to sell their products through the app. Instagram’s shopping feature allows tagging of products on pictures so that users can purchase items directly through the Instagram app. Shopify makes the sales process super easy. This has been known as a great tool because businesses are converting sales right on the app instead of driving users to their website and then point of purchase. 

3. Engagement rate on Instagram is higher 

Yeah, you heard me right! The engagement rate on Instagram is higher than the engagement rate on any other social media platform. According to a recent study, Instagram generates 70% higher engagement rates than Facebook. It also generates 669% more engagement than Twitter! Even though Facebook stands as the leading social media platform, Instagram leads in engagement. It is considered by far the most engaged social platform for brands, with at least 2% to 7% of users engaging with each post. 

4. Easy marketing 

While investing in paid advertising will certainly do you some good, having an Instagram account can bring your brand more awareness. Generating a new following can be difficult, but you can at least have a good time trying. Simply having an Instagram account will allow you the opportunity to engage with users, post subtle ads, create more brand awareness, and grow a loyal following. It could not be easier! Even if you didn’t want to spend any money on advertising, you would still have the ability to post on your business account and gain followers organically. Posting on Instagram allows you the opportunity to tell your brand story in a way that is not too over-promotional. You can even be creative with your posting too, such as creating giveaways, shouting out loyal followers, and going live on your story to answer customer questions. 

5. Different ways to advertise

In the last segment, I talked about how simply having an account will do wonders for your brand, as long as you engage and post consistently! This is true, but if you wanted to take your marketing a step further, there are several different things that you could do. With Instagram, you are able to utilize photo ads, video ads, carousel ads, and stories ads. Each type of ad is displayed on a different area of Instagram in an attempt to capture the attention of different audiences. Before you throw all of your ad spend into each type of ad, think about what would most successfully bring your brand more awareness. 

When deciding whether or not marketing on Instagram is right for you, ask yourself if these five positive aspects of advertising fits in with your brand goals. As mentioned before, Instagram has unlimited marketing potential. It all depends on what you do with that potential that can take your brand to new heights. Along the way, you may even gain a better understanding of your customer base, reach untapped customers, and build a better brand-follower relationship.