How to Choose a Hashtag in 9 Steps
Choosing a hashtag is like shopping for a perfect gift wrapper. You're looking for a "wrapper" that will attract your recipient's attention and at the same time send her a powerful message.
Hence, there's a crucial need to choose your hashtags properly because these are the magnets that can lead visitors to your products. They are important traffic generators.
A perfect hashtag can draw thousands of visitors to your website. So, be prudent in creating them.
But, how can you choose a hashtag? Here are simple rules that you can follow.
Hashtags must be relevant
Is your hashtag relevant to your product? Does it represent your product well? Let's say you're advertising a new watch - a smartwatch - that is produced by Apple. How would you construct the keyword?
You can Google to search the most- used keyword by online surfers in searching for the product.
Choose the keyword that has the most hits but has fewer competitors. This way, you'll get the hits without having to compete fiercely.
In this example, the most likely hashtag will be #AppleSmartWatch or #SmartWatchApple. Both of the important keywords are found in the hashtags.
Hashtags must be catchy
Yes, even your hashtags must capture people's attention - just like a gift wrapper.
As a surfer, what would you be tempted to click more #SmartWatchApple or #AppleNewProduct?
Of course, this would depend in what you're truly looking for. But, I can guess that #SmartWatchApple will attract more clicks because it's catchier. Who wouldn't want a smartwatch?
Hashtags must be short
In the same example above, can you create a shorter hashtag? Yes, you can. You can use #WatchApple or #AppleWatch - but it would become commonplace, unspecific and boring.
Obviously, #SmartWatchApple is still the best hashtag.
So, shorten your hashtag, but don't remove its "soul" (essence). Use a dash of common sense in this area.
Hashtags must be appropriate for the length of the campaign
You have to use appropriate hashtags for either a short or long lasting campaign.
Very specific hashtags are usually for short campaigns and general hashtags are for long lasting campaigns.
Obviously, if you add "2015" to the example above, you'll come up with this - #SmartWatchApple2015. It will not be always 2015, so the hashtag expires after a year. It can be used for a short campaign, which is applicable for the year 2015 only.
But without "2015", the hashtag, #SmartWatchApple, can be used for a longer campaign.
Hashtags should speak to your audience
Does your hashtag "speak" to your audience? Can the audience understand your hashtag?
If no one understands what your hashtag is all about, then it's useless. Online surfers must know what your hashtag represents.
Hashtags must be unique
If you want to keep track of your conversions, clicks or views, you have to create a unique hashtag.
When your hashtag is unique you can easily track down the data you need.
You can readily check if your hashtag is unique through Google's Webmaster tools and through search engines.
Hashtags must be informative
Your hashtag must provide information. The hashtag, #SmartWatchApple, has given the information that it is a watch, a smartwatch, and that it's a product from Apple. It gives specific information.
Unlike the tag #NewWatches, this tag indicates that these are new watches but what about these new watches? It does not provide a more specific datum.
Hashtags must be straightforward
You can't create hashtags that aren't straightforward because they would be too lengthy.
If you use #SmartWatchAppleAmazingProducts it would be too long. Online users don't want to type very long words when searching.
Therefore, go straight to the point of what your product is all about.
When posting, avoid stuffing your post with hashtags
If you accompany your post with too many hashtags, you'll be confusing search engines and your viewers, as well.
Let's say you used the following hashtags for Apple's smartwatch;
In the above-mentioned hashtags, you can delete #watch, #accessories, #newproducts, #newwatches and #incrediblewatches.
The keywords, #smartwatchapple, #amazingproducts and #apple are enough to draw traffic. Don't overdo adding your hashtags because it can do more harm than good.
Your post might be mistaken as spam, and search engines will ranked it down.
The most important thing to remember is that every word in your hashtag must count. If it doesn't, do away with it. On the other hand, be ingenious too.
Likewise, it's important to note that the corresponding product or post to your hashtags must not disappoint your potential customers. You'll never gain buyers by misleading them.
If your hashtag is brilliant, so should be your product.
Good luck in creating your hashtags! Happy hashtagging!
How do you select your hashtags? Let us know in the comments.