RHEN: What’s up ‘Fish Fans’! You know Marcus; I’m Rhen. And this is Marketing Madness, the weekly Marketing Vlog brought to you by Blue Fish. We aim to bring you pure value each week; based on real life situations, we come across working in the trenches everyday. 

MARCUS: You heard Rhen, let's talk hashtags! Some of you are probably thinking “hashtags… is there more to know about those?” Generally speaking, the majority of people we see, tend to misuse them; or they don't understand what the purpose of a hashtag actually is… Here's Rhen to dive in…

RHEN: In today’s digital age hashtags are a prominent part of our culture. In fact, it’s rare to find anyone that doesn't know what a hashtag is… But, just in case you have been living in a cave since 2010, we’ll start from the top.

MARCUS: So the hashtag, or your phones # sign, now has it’s place on all major social networks like twitter, instagram, google+, Facebook and pinterest. The hashtag is great tool to categorize content on social media. It makes your content discoverable and allows you to find relevant content from other people and businesses. The hashtag also allows you to connect to and engage with other social media users based on a common theme or interest.

Knowing how to use hashtags is fundamental to your brand’s success on social media. Now here’s Rhen with a few best practices to help you achieve that success.

RHEN: Be specific when using hashtags. Be relevant and intentional. Try to hone in on a passionate community that shares an interest in one specific theme. The more specific you can get with your hashtag, the more targeted your audience will be—and a targeted audience generally means better engagement. If you don’t have a hashtag in mind already, find one or two that really fit the content you're sharing. Again, you want to allocate your efforts towards your tribe, this is the group of people that are interested in what you are doing. Being irrelevant decreases engagement. Be purposeful in the content you are posting and engage the same tactics when using hashtags.

MARCUS: Think about the culture on each platform you are posting on. While hashtags on all social networks have the same purpose of discovery, the best way to use them will vary from platform to platform.
For instance, hashtags on Instagram are more for descriptive purposes, on twitter they are used more to find groups of people based on conversation topics. Protip: Take the time to discover the most popular hashtags for the platform you are using. A great app we use is “tag-o-matic”, head over to the Apple app store or Google Play store and download it. You’ll immediately see the value. 

RHEN: So often I see people creating their own #hastags. For example, #yourcompanyname… I mean that can be good for branding purposes, but if you are the only one using it, what is the point? Not trying to be the bearer of bad news here, but most likely you're not Nike. Even nike doesn't hashtag #Nike #JustDoIt. So keep that in mind. And be smarter than that. We are all guilty of using irrelevant hashtags, just be aware they are just that…. Irrelevant and unpurposeful… 

MARCUS: I think what Rhen is trying to say is…. In general, if you’re creating a branded hashtag you should try to keep it short and sweet. Even though “#MobileALRunnersClub” might target a very specific audience, you are fighting two battles: 1) very few people will be searching for that hashtag and 2) not many will use the hashtag because that is way too many characters. Instead use Tag-o-matic, or some other similar app, and see what people are already using around your topic, and use that. 

MARCUS: Ok so that wraps up our rant on #hashtags. Your big take away: be concise and intentional with your hashtags. 

RHEN: Thank you guys so much to tuning in this week. Next week we are “TALKING ABOUT WHAT?”, you’ll want to catch that episode for sure! If you are on Facebook please tag and share this with someone who is abusing hashtags. Subscribe on Youtube to stay up to date with all of our content! Thanks again and we will see ya on the flippity flop. 

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