One of the things that many newbie entrepreneurs don’t understand is how to tag and hashtag posts they create for their social media pages. This quick how-to will fill you in on the details, and some of the rules to follow when tagging and hashtagging posts.
How to tag people in posts (@)
When you tag someone in a post, you let that person know that you’ve mentioned them. So, tagging someone is kind of like the social media equivalent of tapping someone on the shoulder and directing the person to something you’ve posted.
To tag your business or the business of another person (hopefully someone you know or have mentioned in your work, or who you think would be genuinely interested in your post), you usually put an @ sign and then the person’s Facebook or Twitter name. For example, if you wanted to tag me in a Twitter post, you’d type @sueellissaller. The same idea works in Facebook, Instagram, and many other social media sites.
Be sure to check that the name that auto-populates into your post is the right person! Many people have social media names that don’t exactly match their real names, so you need to find out exactly who you are tagging in order to make sure that you are tagging the right Mary Smith or Tommy Jones.
How to use hashtags (#)
When you add a hashtag to a post, you assign that post to a specific topic, like #angelreadings, #tarot, #bizadvice, etc. Hashtags make your posts come up if someone is searching for a particular subject. (I talked about hashtags for tarot readers in this article).
Twitter was the first social media site to use hashtags, but they spread to other social media sites as a way to quickly find posts that relate to a particular topic. Google started using hashtags to pull up information when people search for it (click here for details)!
Hashtagged phrases start out with a pound symbol, and then no space is used between words in a hashtagged phrase #howtohashtag. You can also use capital letters to better distinguish between hashtagged words #AngelReading.
Interestingly enough, Twitter lists their most popular hashtags for the moment on the left-hand side of the screen, under Trends. If you have content you can relate to a trending hashtag, it is a wonderful way to get your content seen by more people. You can also search Instagram for popular hashtags on a regular basis or use an app like Hashtag Expert.
Some rules to follow when tagging and hashtagging posts
1) DON’T tag a bunch of random people. This is spamming. You’ll risk annoying people AND quite possibly getting booted from your social media page.
DO tag people who have expressed (to you) an interest in a particular topic, especially if you wrote a blog post with that person in mind. Just don’t overdo it.
2) DON’T just tag random celebrities. If you tag someone, make sure there is a reason. For example, I tag Kim Garst in posts where I talk about her awesomeness or mention her in some way. I don’t tag her in posts that don’t have anything to do with her.
DO write a blog post that mentions the work of someone you admire. If you’ve read a fabulous article, share that article with your audience and, perhaps, write a blog post that expands on the ideas presented in the original post or praising them. THEN feel free to tag the original author to let him/her know that you’ve written this piece about the author and his/her work.
3) As I mentioned earlier, make sure that the person you are tagging is the person you mean to tag. Twitter will automatically give you a variety of choices based on the letters you type in. Instagram will as well. Click on the right one!
4) DO tag your posts! Now that Google is using them to drive searches (think SEO), they’ll help your rankings. 30 hashtags is standard on Instagram, and you can use 3 in your YouTube video description.
5) DON’T click-bait your posts by hashtagging trending subjects that have nothing to do with what you’ve posted. That upsets the algorithm gods and you will be punished.
DO check out the Trending topics on Twitter and Instagram. If you have an article or post that would fit, don’t be afraid to hashtag it. Also, check the trending subjects to see if you can make up a post (reading, funny meme) related to something that is popular at the moment.
Tagging and hashtagging can help to get more eyes on your content when used properly. Don’t forget to tag people you know will be interested in your work or when you directly mention them, and hashtag most of your posts so they are easy to find on social media and on searches.