Most of the hashtag tips below are relevant for Facebook, Gplus, as well as Twitter although there are some specific methods for each social network.

graph-hashtag-tips-increase-followers

Hashtags Tips for Gaining Targeted Followers?

The main aim is to develop a list of targeted followers; those who are interested in your particular type of content and recommendations. You might provide excellent value to readers but you need those readers to find you.

  • Keep your hashtags obvious and always use those that relate to the topic you are posting about.
  • Keep them simple. Shorter hashtags are easier for your followers to remember and are more likely to be searched for.
  • Search for and use preexisting hashtags so that you show up in popular hashtag searches.
  • Overused and very general hashtags are less effective but combining them with other less used, but still popular, tags  works well to further define your topic. Example A search for #free also showed up #freestuff #freebies #freesample along with the type of give away eg #ebook, #freebook, #clipart, #coupon, #deals
Search for related hashtags to #socialmedia

Hashtags used that are related to #socialmedia

 

  • Post messages with your followers and potential followers in mind and not just promotional links. Add some general interest type messages and photos too so that people can get to know you.
  • Avoid hashtags that will bring you a lot of non-targeted followers such as #Like4Like #TeamFollowBack.
  • Find trending hashtag topics in your niche and use those. One that springs to mind for me is #panda for the latest Google search update but there is no point in me using top trending topics from the world of entertainment.
  • Use hashtags on links that have the most value to potential followers. Hashtag searches are used for research so show that you are an expert in your field and get yourself noticed.
  • Take part in a network’s global community by commenting on and sharing posts you find in relevant hashtag searches.
  • Try taking advantage of the  curiosity factor to encourage clicking on your own content by creating a few of your own hashtags and including them along with popular hashtags.
  • For branding purposes  try using an original hashtag, as well as the more popular. You will need to promote it to gain any leverage. If you are still developing your brand, ask your closer contacts to use the hashtag when sharing your content. This also gains attention for themselves. Use your brand name, name, nickname blog name or its initials. Link to the your brand’s hashtag search in blog posts and other content.
  • Instead of linking directly to your content which shows a small image, upload a larger image, add your link to that and use your favored hashtags.
  • Ask questions and add a hashtag to try to get a response from that hashtag’s community.
  • Do you want to attract a local market? Post content with hashtags about your local area, such as, a favorite photo of your city using your city’s name in the hashtag.

General Hashtag Tips

  • Too many hashtags used in any one post appear spammy and you are likely to be unfollowed. As a rule of thumb use a maximum of three on Twitter and Gplus and one or two on Facebook.
  • Avoid Hashtag trolls who have fun spamming posts with hashtags they don’t think relevant or, as in the more extreme case below, enjoy poking fun at you.
  • Be consistent with the hashtags you use across networks as well as within a network.
  • Capitalize each word to make them stand out. (#BloggingTips)
  • Search hashtags to learn and keep up to date with your favorite topics. For example search for: #blogging, #smb or #smallbiz, #socialmedia or #marketing, #health. Although general these will lead you to more specific and relevant tags.
  • Take Advantage of memes, such as Follow Friday by using the hashtags #FF or #FollowFriday, to highlight your favorite contacts, along with topic hashtags and their @ symbol.
  • Encourage members of online networking groups to use a mutually agreed hashtag to help make it popular.
  • Cross promote your content by linking to your hashtags in blogs, articles, forums and other social media sites, creating conversations and chats.
  • As with any type of promotional campaign, measure your results and find out what works best.
  • Finally, be careful with abbreviations or when combining words. I could not use my maiden name initials: #seks and you don’t want to make the same sort of mistake as Powergen Italia did with their old hashtag, #PowerGenitalia 🙂

A word on security.

Finding Hashtag feeds/conversations

Click on a hashtag in a post on any of the supported networks.

Twitter

Type the hashtag in the Twitter search bar (include the #)

Facebook

Search for Facebook hashtags in your address bar by typing in facebook.com/hashtag/ plus the keyword you are looking for, without using the hashtag symbol, (facebook.com/hashtag­/HASHTAGNAME).

Google Plus

To find a particular hashtag in G+ simply type the word along with its hashtag in the Google + top search bar. You will also see related tags.

Facebook Hashtag Tips

  • As hashtags are not as widespread on Facebook, don’t use them on every message.
  • On Facebook you can compose posts directly from a hashtag’s feed and search results as well as directly from your profile.
  • Hashtags that are overused on Twitter are OK on Facebook for now : Examples #blogging #socialmedia #twitter #marketing #recipes. Search for a particular hashtag and you will find more.
  • Build upon one of the more popular ones  to create own,  it is less likely to exist than on Twitter. Example: Use #bloggingtips #blogseo as well as #blogging
  • Be aware of your privacy settings. If a message is restricted to certain users, any hashtags used on that post will not be seen globally.
  • Use hashtags in Facebook if you automatically cross-post messages from Facebook to Twitter and or Gplus.

Google Plus Hashtag Tips

  • Google Plus displays the first 3 hashtags you use in a post as Related Hashtags in the upper right of the post. If you use more than 3, add the more important tags first.
  • Related hashtags are automatically added to your posts. If you are happy with these then fine, otherwise make sure you add your own.
  • Write content or re-purpose existing content directly in Google Plus and use hashtags. G+ is becoming a blogging platform in its own right and is becoming more useful as a research platform.

 

Hashtag Tips do's and don'ts forGoogle Plus

Click for full size Infographic. Image courtesy of Everypost

I will talk about tools and  resources that help you find the best hashtags in another post in this series.  I have not yet talked about Hashtag Chats but will do so.

Finally, don’t expect a sudden rise in popularity and number of followers. Use hashtags regularly and be patient and you will see results.

I could make this post even longer but I hope that I have included the most important tips. As an exercise why not practice a hashtag search using the hashtag #hashtag. Here are the search links:

If you know of or find any tips that I should have included, please post them in a comment. I will edit this post later and give you credit for the tip.This post is the third in my series on Hashtags;

  1. An Introduction to Hashtags
  2. Why Do I Need To Use Hashtags