We’re heading into Fall. You know what that means…

For some in the southern states, it’s just back to school; but not much changes with the weather. Looks like Texas is still pretty warm. Here in the northern Midwest, it’s going to start getting pretty chilly. Hoodies, bon fires and hot drinks will serve not only as a foundation for a party – but as a way to stay warm.

People will start talking about “Fall Colors” and going out of their way to see the brilliant reds, yellows and oranges.

Football and marching band will soon be on everyone’s agenda.

I’ve mentioned before how Fall can kind of be a sort of “soft reset”. A new year before the New Year.

As you’re looking over your goals for the short and long term future; one of your focuses might be an expanded social media presence.

And social media might make you think of hashtags. And you might be a little (or a lot) confused. This month’s newsletter aims to abolish some of that confusion and give you some helpful tips.

Read on! I hope you love it.

All the best,

Kristine Schroeder
Chief Solution Seeker
Schroeder Administrative Solutions

Unleashing the Power of Hashtags: From Origins to Legalities

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, then maybe a # is worth a thousand followers.

In a world where a few words can spark global conversations, hashtags have emerged as the ultimate superchargers of social media. From Twitter (X) to Instagram, Facebook to TikTok, these small yet mighty symbols have revolutionized the way we communicate, connect, and discover content. In this month’s edition, we’re diving into the captivating world of hashtags – their inception, their utility, and how to wield them responsibly.

The Birth of Hashtags: A Brief History

As most people know, hashtags weren’t always a staple in our online lexicon. They made their debut on August 23, 2007, when Chris Messina, a social technology expert, suggested using the pound sign (#) as a way to group related conversations on Twitter. Initially met with skepticism, the idea took off like wildfire, and today, hashtags have become integral to modern communication.

Cracking the Code: Mastering Hashtag Research

Creating impactful hashtags requires more than just stringing words together. To truly harness their potential, it’s crucial to understand the art of hashtag research:

  1. Relevance: The Balancing Act of Generic Hashtags

    The use of generic hashtags like “FYP” (For You Page) on TikTok might be tempting. However, it is a double-edged sword, offering both advantages and potential pitfalls. While generic hashtags like #FYP might seem like a simple way to gain exposure, their relevance in content discovery is often overshadowed by their sheer popularity.

    To truly harness their potential, understanding the art of hashtag research is crucial. One prime consideration is aligning your chosen hashtags with your content and intended target audience. While using something as broad as #FYP might momentarily expose your content to a vast audience, it may not necessarily attract the viewers who are genuinely interested in your content’s specifics. 

  2. Popularity: Balancing Broad Reach with Engaged Audience

    As you delve into the realm of crafting impactful hashtags, the concept of popularity emerges as a pivotal factor in your strategy. The delicate balancing act between utilizing popular and niche hashtags can significantly influence the reach and engagement your content garners. Popular hashtags, with their high usage frequency, possess the power to expose your content to a broader audience base. This can lead to increased visibility and potentially attract users who might not have otherwise encountered your content.

    On the other hand, the value of niche hashtags should not be underestimated. These hashtags, while not as widely used as their popular counterparts, offer the advantage of connecting you with a more engaged and targeted audience. Niche hashtags are like the secret passageways into specific online communities where users share similar interests or passions. Engaging with a smaller but more enthusiastic audience can lead to higher levels of interaction, genuine conversations, and a sense of community that extends beyond mere passive scrolling.

    A savvy approach involves combining both types of hashtags strategically. Utilizing popular hashtags alongside well-chosen niche ones can extend your content’s reach while fostering meaningful engagement. However, it’s crucial to remember that the pursuit of popularity should not overshadow the essence of your content. Strive for a balance that not only amplifies your content’s visibility but also establishes connections with individuals who resonate deeply with what you offer. 

  3. Competitiveness: Striking the Goldilocks Balance

    The world of hashtags is dynamic, with trends and user behaviors constantly evolving. To optimize your hashtag strategy, it’s essential to delve into the concept of hashtag competitiveness. This involves analyzing the balance between how frequently a hashtag is used and how often it’s being searched. A hashtag that’s overly saturated with usage might make your content get lost in the sea of posts, diluting its chances of being noticed. Conversely, using hashtags that are too rare might limit the potential for your content to be discovered by interested viewers.

    Striking the perfect balance lies in identifying hashtags that are neither excessively competitive nor underutilized. The ideal hashtag sweet spot combines moderate usage frequency with a healthy amount of active search activity. This ensures that your content has a fair chance of being seen while not being buried under an avalanche of other posts. To determine the competitiveness of a hashtag, consider employing various online tools that provide insights into usage data, engagement metrics, and trending patterns. This informed approach allows you to refine your hashtag choices and increase the visibility of your content in a way that resonates with your target audience. 

  4. Platform Specificity: Decoding Hashtag Norms

    In the ever-expanding universe of social media platforms, each has its distinct ecosystem of user behavior and engagement dynamics. This brings us to the crucial concept of platform specificity when it comes to crafting effective hashtags. It’s not enough to simply transplant your hashtag strategy across all platforms; instead, you must take into account the unique norms and functionalities of each platform.

    For instance, Instagram’s hashtag culture involves incorporating multiple relevant hashtags into a post’s description or comments to enhance discoverability. Twitter, on the other hand, often revolves around trending hashtags tied to timely events or discussions. Understanding these platform-specific nuances is essential for achieving optimal impact. To master this, conduct thorough research into each platform’s guidelines and best practices for hashtag usage. By doing so, you can tailor your hashtag strategy to fit seamlessly within the existing user behavior, thereby maximizing your content’s visibility, engagement, and overall effectiveness. 

  5. Tools: Navigating the Hashtag Landscape with Precision

    Online resources like Hashtagify, RiteTag, and Trendsmap are your compasses in this vast hashtag terrain. Hashtagify grants you a peek into the popularity, trends, and related hashtags for your chosen keyword, ensuring you’re always on the pulse of the conversation. RiteTag, on the other hand, helps you choose the most effective hashtags by color-coding them based on their potential reach and popularity. Meanwhile, Trendsmap maps out hashtags geographically, unveiling global trends with local relevance. Keyhole is emerging as an industry leader; but it’s probably out of the scope of budget for many. I prefer Hashtagify – which is only about $30 a month and includes unlimited searches. Don’t worry though! You can even just use Instagram. If you type a #keyword; Instagram will tell you how many posts have used that hashtag. You can then make a decision based on what your audience preferences are. These tools aren’t just shortcuts; they’re your companions in crafting hashtags that resonate and reverberate.

Hashtags and the Law: Navigating Legalities

While hashtags are a playground for creativity, it’s essential to be aware of legal considerations:

  1. Trademark Issues: Using a trademarked term as a hashtag without permission can lead to legal trouble. Ensure your hashtag doesn’t infringe on intellectual property rights.

  2. Defamation and Libel: Be cautious not to use hashtags in a way that defames or libels individuals, organizations, or brands.

  3. Privacy Concerns: Respect individuals’ privacy when using personal names or sensitive information as hashtags.

  4. User-Generated Content: If you plan to use user-generated content with hashtags in your marketing campaigns, secure permission from creators to avoid legal complications.

  5. Regulated Industries: If you’re in a regulated industry like healthcare or finance, be aware of industry-specific rules and guidelines.

Let the #Adventure Begin!

As you navigate the hashtag universe, remember that hashtags are more than just keywords with a “#” before them. They’re gateways to communities, conversations, and trends. Whether you’re aiming to amplify your social media presence or simply engage with your passions, harnessing the power of hashtags can be a game-changer.

So, dare to be #creative, stay informed, and use hashtags #responsibly – and watch as your digital endeavors take flight!

Stay #Savvy.