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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.

Why you Need to be Using Tik Tok for your Business

person using tik tok

If you aren’t a teenager right now, you may not know how huge the video-sharing social media platform, Tik Tok, has gotten over the past two years. Not only that, but it has grown exponentially during the pandemic and has been extremely influential in a multitude of ways. There are plenty of opportunities to utilize the app as a means of driving business big and small, no matter what industry you’re in. Here are four reasons to make that account and just go for it!

1. Tik Tok is a massive platform that continues to grow daily

In November of 2020, Tik Tok had 4 million downloads and was the second most downloaded app in the U.S. Today in the U.S. alone, there are over 80 million active users, 90% of which access the app multiple times a day. With numbers like these, there is no way that only teenagers use Tik Tok.  In fact, only about 60% of users are between the ages of 16-24. Even if your target audience doesn’t fall within that 60%, think about the other 40% of 25-44-year-olds that use the app just as frequently! There is a good chance that your business is overlooking the additional sales that Tik Tok could bring in.

Tik Tok is not only in the U.S.; it’s worldwide! The app is available in 154 countries, as well as 75 different languages. If you’re looking to reach an international audience Tik Tok might be the best way to do that.

2. Tik Tok has paid advertising opportunities

Tik Tok ads can be used to send users to your website, the app store, or even to promote branded AR lenses, filters, and stickers that others can use for their own content. The price range depends on what your business specifically wants, but ads can start off at as little as $50 a day. Another benefit of their advertising is that you have little to no commitment to continue running ads. So, if you find that it’s not working for your business, you can stop at any time. 

Have little to no budget for advertising on social media? That’s not an issue! Your business can always create organic content on Tik Tok to be shared with users. Organic reach actually may be more successful than promoting ads, if you can build a big enough following.

3. Your business has the opportunity to build its brand image and awareness

Creating organic content that gives users a behind-the-scenes look at your business has the potential to do extremely well on Tik Tok. If users see this content and like it, they are more inclined to purchase from your business because they enjoy knowing more about your brand and having that personal connection.

This is a great way to build your brand image and awareness! Unlike any other platforms, Tik Tok users actually prefer unpolished content. This could be something as simple as showing users around the workplace or the packaging and shipping of your product.  What’s the story behind your business? Why should Tik Tok users be interested in purchasing from you? If your business comes across as being genuine & has a backstory/behind the scenes look at what you do, chances are users will be interested in what you have to offer.

4. You might already have Tik Tok content at your disposal

Knowing now that there are a ton of different ways to create content for your business, you might be surprised to know that you might already have some on your hands! If you want to promote something like a podcast or a YouTube channel, you could easily take short clips from the existing content and move them to Tik Tok. This gives more people the opportunity to be exposed to what your business does in bite-sized pieces. In turn, this will help to bring more Tik Tok users over to your full-length podcast, YouTube channel, or whatever your business entails. In creating those short Tik Tok clips, you are giving users a glimpse into what your business does and getting new customers and or listeners! 

Given all of this information, and because Tik Tok is in its infancy, now is the perfect time to create an account for your business. The earlier that you create an account, the more established that your business will be on the platform as time passes. Also, Tik Tok has not been oversaturated with ads and branded content yet, like other social media platforms. So, the sooner you create an account, the better! What are you waiting for?

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.