How To Effectively Use Hashtags

effective hashtag use

Watch your Facebook hashtags.

If you choose irrelevant hashtags or add too many hashtags, it can distract your audience and disrupt your messaging.

I warn clients all of the time that on Facebook posts specifically, adding more than three hashtags is actually hurting the visibility of that post. They are creating a traffic jam of sorts if you will. And it’s surprising how many big marketing agencies do not know this.


“From a user standpoint, hashtags are used to categorize content, making the discovery of new or related articles and insights easy to do […] When hashtags are used incorrectly, people looking for new content have to dig through irrelevant, miscategorized content in order to get to what they’re actually looking for.” –Sprout Social


Amen to Sprout Social on that observation!


Now then, let’s talk about using hashtags on other social media outlets because the use is a bit different on say Instagram and Twitter.


Q: Should you use hashtags in your social media content?
A: Yes. Using hashtags is an effective way to enter new conversations and get your content in front of new eyes.


Q: Are there certain platforms where I should use hashtags?
A: Yes. Consumers tend to use hashtags more on Twitter and Instagram.


Q: Do social media users actually use hashtags?
A: Yes. When users are looking at social media, they click on hashtags to discover more relevant content and learn more about topics that relate to what they just looked at or read about.


Q: Are hashtags really an effective way to increase reach and engagement?
A: Yes. Think about it: if you post a photo on Instagram or Twitter without any hashtags, only your current followers will see it. However, if you post a photo on Instagram or Twitter and use effective hashtags, you have the potential to reach thousands of new potential followers and customers with that post.


Thanks for hashing out hashtags with us. Now that we’re all on the same page, we’d like to dive into the best ways to use hashtags in your content to bring potential new fans and followers to your social pages, and ultimately, your business. Go Daddy Social did some very cool research on the effective use of hashtags on Instagram and Twitter that we love. Click here to read on!

Small Business Marketing Tips

Have you noticed that your marketing efforts have plateaued and growth hasn’t been where you hoped? It’s not that you’re doing anything wrong. It’s just that tactics you’ve relied on may no longer resonate with your audience. So why not spice it up a bit? Here are eight fresh and exciting marketing tactics perfect for small businesses.

1. Offer rewards for referrals. 

Did you know that 82 percent of Americans seek recommendations from friends and family before making a purchase? For those between the ages of 18 and 34, that figure jumps to 92 percent 

Simply put, word-of-mouth recommendations can greatly influence purchases. But how can you encourage referrals and recommendations? 

One of the easiest ways is to simply offer discounts and deals to current customers who refer your business to friends and family.   

2. Experiment with different social channels.

Chances are you’re at least using Facebook, but why not experiment with some other social channels like LinkedIn and Twitter? Instagram and Pinterest are ideal for sharing visual content. This may not work for every business, but they could be used to share images of your products, behind-the-scenes pictures, or even for user-generated content where you ask your audience to share pics of them enjoying your product or service.  And there’s Snapchat. It’s extremely popular with millennials, and brands like Taco Bell have figured out how to tap into that popularity. 

There’s also the microblogging platform Tumblr that comes with multimedia functionality. Want to learn more about how Tumblr can help your business? 

Before committing to a new social channel, weigh the pros and cons to make sure it’s a good fit with your business and audience.  I’ve found that most clients do best with one or a combination of social channels. You just need to figure out what works best for your company.  

3. Combine email and social.

Email marketing remains your most powerful tool for gaining and retaining customers. Because social media platforms make algorithm tweaks that can limit the visibility of your content, email marketing gives you the chance to reach your customers directly. 

Combining your email marketing and social media activities using simple social sharing tools can help you find new customers as you reach out to existing ones. 

For starters, you can include a simple “share” button in your email content so your subscribers can post your message on social media. You can also convert your social media followers into email subscribers just by sharing a link to your email signup form on your various social media channels.  

And thanks to Facebook’s Custom Audience, you can target customers via their email addresses. This allows you to stay engaged with customers who have abandoned old email addresses. For example, you can retarget customers with ads for the products that they either viewed on your site or left in their shopping cart.  

4. Interact with other businesses online or build friendly rivalries. 

This can get tricky, but when done correctly, it’s definitely a unique and effective marketing idea. For instance Old Spice. The brand’s sassy tweets have engaged brands like Oreo. It’s not vicious, nor does it cross any lines. It’s lighthearted and amusing banter that keeps their audiences engaged. 

For small businesses, engaging in friendly rivalry may not work in close-knit communities. But giving them a shout-out on social media or linking their pages is an excellent way to build a mutual and beneficial online relationship. Eventually, you may even decide to team up together for contests and deals.  

5. Run contests.

Contests are an easy way to encourage your audience to engage with your brand. 

For example, you could organize a photo contest or raffle for which customers could win a prize. Just make sure the prize is something your audience actually cares about or is somewhat relevant to your brand. 

Remember, too, that you’ll need to have a clearly defined goal that benefits your business on top of that awesome prize you’ve put up for grabs. This goal could be anything from getting more visitors to your websites to building your email list or increasing your social media followers. 

And don’t forget to announce your contest or raffle on your social media channels and send out an email blast as well.  

6. Participate in small business sites and forums.

Participating in small business sites is a learning experience, as well as a viable marketing strategy. Sites like Startup Nation and /r/Entrepreneur subs can be used for business owners and marketers to discuss and exchange ideas on marketing strategies and campaigns. 

For instance, you can create a case study for one of your business projects or marketing campaigns. Because entrepreneurs are constantly on the lookout for tips and tactics they can use for their business, it’s an easy way to generate some buzz for your business. 

As an added bonus, you can include some links to previous blog or social posts that are relevant to the discussion to gain some traffic back to your site. That will probably help optimize your site for SEO too.  

7. Publish other content besides blog posts.

Publishing blog posts that contain valuable content for your audience is always a smart move — as long as it’s consistent and provides your audience with value.  

However, you can’t just rely on blog posts.  

Most of us are visual learners. That’s why content like inspiring pictures, infographics, or videos are so effective. They’re easy to digest and can be shared online with just a click of a button. Other content, such as case studies or white papers, prove that you’re an authority figure, while podcasts and webinars give your audience a chance to become part of the discussion.  

8. Share your community and social efforts. 

Customers are now paying attention to the social, economic, and environmental impact that businesses have. And it’s a prevalent mindset among the largest age demographic: millennials.  

One study found that “81% of millennials expect companies to make a public commitment to good corporate citizenship.” Another discovered that “more than nine in 10 millennials would switch brands to one associated with a cause (91% vs. 85% U.S. average).” 

But don’t give back just for a photo op. Giving back needs to be integrated into your brand’s identity.  

You can give back to your community by: 

  • Leading a fundraising mission for a local nonprofit. 
  • Hosting a community volunteer day. 
  • Sponsoring a Little League or high school sports program. 
  • Donating unsold items. For example, if you run a bakery, you could give food products to a local food bank. 
  • Hosting an informational service around your products or services. For instance, if you were an accountant, you could provide free tax preparation for seniors or your fellow small business owners.  

Has Your Facebook Really Been Hacked or Cloned?

facebook cloning
Two different viral warnings are spreading on Facebook in the past week. One is about a rash of “cloned” accounts and bogus friend requests. It is mostly fake, say security experts, who ask people to stop forwarding it. The other is about a security breach resulting in 50 million Facebook users accounts being hacked. Let’s look at both below and see if your Facebook has really been cloned or hacked.


I have received a few Facebook messages from friends warning me that my account has been hacked or cloned. A couple of examples are:

“Hi….I actually got another friend request from you which I ignored so you may want to check your account. Hold your finger on the message until the forward button appears…then hit forward and all the people you want to forward too….I had to do the people individually. PLEASE DO NOT ACCEPT A NEW friendship FROM ME AT THIS TIME.”

“Almost every account is being cloned. Your picture and your name are used to create a new face book account (they don’t need your password to do this this). They want your friends to add them to their Facebook account. Your friends will think that it’s you and accept your request. From that point on they can write what they want under your name. I have NO plans to open a new account. Please DO NOT accept a 2nd friend request from “me”. please forward to all your contacts.”

Now my account wasn’t really cloned or hacked, but this was the end result of someone sending the canned message to all friends.

Warning people that you’ve received a second friend request from their account is only helpful IF you’ve actually received one. And encouraging people to forward the message to their entire friends list, well that’s just pointless.


One easy way to check to see whether your account has really been cloned is to search your name on Facebook. If more than one account with your photo and details shows up, your account may have been cloned.

Simply contact Facebook using the “report this profile” link on the bogus account, and it will be removed. Most of the time, this is resolved within 24 hours, but could take longer to be removed.


The reality is that Facebook announced last week that about 50 million users were recently hacked. The hacking was the result of a flaw in Facebook’s “View As” feature. The “View As” allows you to see your profile as others do. Users can type in a person’s name to get an understanding of what can be seen when a particular person is viewing their page.

Affected access tokens, which are like digital keys that allow a person to access their account without having to log in each time, were reset, forcing millions of users to manually log back into their accounts. So if you were automatically logged out on all of your devices on the morning of Friday, September 28th, then there’s reason to believe your account was susceptible to the vulnerability.

Currently, the “View As” feature is not available while Facebook works to rectify the problem, those who try to use this feature should see an error message.

When Facebook announced the attack on its blog last Friday, it said affected users would receive a notification at the top of their News Feed when logging back into their account explaining what happened and what steps to take moving forward.

If you received this notification, you can select “Learn More” to get an understanding of how this breach will affect you. If you did not receive a notification at the top of your News Feed, your account was probably not affected by this security issue.

If you want to be extra safe, go to Settings– Security and Login– Where You’re Logged In to see if there are any unfamiliar devices attached to your account.