Social Media can be a fickle beast. What drew huge engagement one week, could fail to even spark a hint of interest the next.
So what gives? It’s not your content. That’s been refined, edited twice, and is discussing a timely subject. It’s not the time when you submitted the tweet, blog post, or Facebook share. You’re posting based on a calculated system, when the social media network in question is most active.Twitter, and to a lesser extent Facebook, is often times unpredictable; but you can increase your chances for success by implementing a few best practices, and creating consistency with your posting technique.
What can’t be overstated is the importance of effective hashtagging of your posts Tweets. Hashtags are what identifies your post, tweet, or share, and what gives the user an idea of what to expect from that post at a glance. Not properly using and refining your hashtags could be what’s holding your nonprofit back from maximum efficiency on social media networks.
Here are 6 hashtag mistakes your nonprofit is probably making on Twitter and social media.
Tool long, or too confusing
The dreaded 140 character limit on Twitter has handcuffed us too many times. What this means for your hashtags is they need to be short enough to be included in a tweet where a full thought can be conveyed as next to the hashtag in question.
Make sure your hashtags are kept below approximately 15 characters. You want to give your followers enough space to use the hashtag, while being able to craft an intelligent, and thoughtful reply to your tweet. Your goal with a hashtag is to create a dialogue, and if your hashtag is too long to start a meaningful conversation, you’re hamstringing yourself to start.
2. Only using hashtags on Twitter
Hashtags became pervasive in our lives since Twitter was born in 2006. Since then, almost every social media outlet is utilizing the worldwide identifier for posts on their site. It is imperative for the continuity of your social media strategy that hashtags are included everywhere you’re posting. Whether it be Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, or Instagram, you need to be utilizing the same hashtag through out.
3. You’re not considering how a hashtag is already being used
Depending on how you want a hashtag to function, you need to make sure you fully understand how it is already being used.
For example, if your post is simple adding to a conversation that’s already happening, it is okay if there is already a large following behind that particular hashtag. However, if you’re looking to align an entire content, or informational campaign around a hashtag, it is best that there is little to no conversation already behind it.
4. You’re using trending hashtags wrong
It may seem like a great idea hopping on the bandwagon of the top trending hashtags worldwide, and sprinkle a few of those in with your strategy; The problem is, Twitter users are savvy, and they can spot this kind of underhanded strategy a mile away.
Before using an outside hashtag, ensure you fully understand the conversation that’s happening around it first. If your tweet is not adding to that conversation, it might be best to hold off on sending it. If not, your tweet will look out of place and regular users will spot it instantly.
5. You’re using way too many hashtags
According to recent research by HubSpot, Tweets with approximately two hashtags receive the best engagement. Anymore than that, and you’re flirting with an ineffective strategy.
6. You don’t consider how your hashtag could be negatively perceived
No matter how well intentioned you think your hashtag was, Twitter has a way of finding its flaws.
When coming up with a hashtag to attach your nonprofit’s social media campaign to, make sure it’s been reviewed by individuals outside of your department and even outside of your company. The more eyes you get on your work