There seems to be a lot of misleading information on the internet about using hashtags in your social media platforms. It's always the usual general pieces of advice from content writers that might not actually have a strong social media following, but are instead repeating what they hear thus perpetuating the bad advice. If the most common hashtag strategy suggestions were valid, you'd think more people would have bigger followings right?
Here is the Truth About Hashtag Strategies
1. Hashtag feeds are filled with other people using hashtags
If the preferred result of using hashtags is to be found, it is really hard to be found if you are competing with other people using hashtags for the same reason. Who is browsing those hashtag feeds really? It's like a community of musicians where everybody is a musician, but nobody is a fan...so as they put out new music, there is nobody to buy their albums. Hashtags are not the best option to be found...collaborating with other accounts, businesses, and peopel are.
2. If you create a new hashtag, do it with a purpose
Another common mistake is using hashtags that nobody else is using. For example, there is no reason to add #HouseWithARedRoof to your instagram caption, because nobody is actually using that hashtag. The purpose of social media is to connect with the community, and contributing to commonly used hashtags can acheive that. #DenverRealEstate or just #Denver is a great way to connect with people in Denver. If you create a new hashtag, be sure to do it with a specific purpose such as branding your business. #JakesGreatLakesHomes is a fantastic idea when used with consistency. Your followers can browse other posts tagged with #JakesGreatLakesHomes and see your past inventory of listings!
3. Hashtags in general don't get engagement
Want more followers? Want more likes? More comments? The worst advice you can listen to is "use hashtags!" - because hashtags will help you connect to a community, but you need to do actual outreach to get the community to connect to you. Following local people and liking pictures will get you on peoples' radars. Commenting on their photos (with genuine comments, not just thumbs up emojis) can be great conversation starters.
4. Hashtags are great for YOU to discover new content
As social media evolves, different aspects will change in function. Hashtags are now a great way for YOU to discover new locations and people in your local community. Search for a relevant hashtag such as #RealEstate to connect with other agents nationwide. Or you can get more defined with a neighborhood-specific hashtag. This will allow you to see what your prospects are posting, and even if your competitors are trying to reach the same audience on that specific platform.
At the end of the day, social media is not won by "hacks", but actual engagement. These are real people you are interacting with. Treating them like individuals, instead of a by-product of an algorithm can get you far.
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