This article on using Story-telling Hashtags is the fourth in our Branded Social Media Profile series.
Branding Your Social Media Profile (BSMP) is a new 1-on-1 program that helps brands bring their social media profile and presence to the next level. This series of articles is an introduction to some of the techniques and experiments that have been proven to make this underutilized real estate work for you. Brands and others looking for customized analysis and guidance specific to their profile(s) can register for 1:1 coaching here.
In the last article in the BSMP* series I explained how you can share YOUR** story: story-telling through profile photos, extended name, profile description, URL, and URL. So, today I will share with you a minimalist, yet clear, and effective way to tell your story: your BSMP story-telling hashtags.
*BSMP = branded social media profile, a term that was coined by… me.
See below and have a look at these examples, because they demonstrate that it’s very possible to tell your** story, via … one hashtag:
#WholeLottaChoppasRemix #killerhappyhour #BLMme #DoGreatThings #Leifestylebyluxxu
Good brand story-telling helps lead your audience (and customers too) to good decisions.
1 – Hashtags in Bio??
When I look through Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc., I notice that many people do not include story-telling hashtags in their profile, and I think it’s a mistake. And here is why:
Hashtags = Searchability
Adding hashtags to your BSMP will increase your searchability on the social media algorithm and will lead to your account ranking higher. This is because hashtags are the social media platforms’ way to index content, and they are searchable. Further, social media platform algorithms love hashtags because without them there is no logic to the content in their ecosystem… And so, if your account focuses its story-telling on pumpkins, and you want to the world to know about it, find a hashtag for that, such as: #pumpkinseeds, #pumpkinpainting and #pumpkinbread:
Hashtags = Clickabilility
In most social media platforms, hashtags on the profile are not only searchable but clickable too. So all you have to do is include a “#” before any font or number in your bio and it will automatically become a clickable link for your visitors to click click click… and explore the story.
This brings me to…
Hashtags = Linkability
The next thing to consider is that hashtags LINK people who use the same story together. So if you & your ideal audience or customers are using the same hashtags, Twitter/Instagram/YouTube/Etc. could match you properly to them.
When you add the “#” on your BSMP, as well as your posts, ads, and what not, you are LINKING your properties to one focused, strong, and effective story-telling stream. As a result, such linking – as any experienced expert will tell you – brings consistency to your story-telling. Furthermore, it will bring not only more traffic to you, but the RIGHT kind of traffic.
Pro tip: If you have a team, ask them all to use your brand story-telling unique hashtag. This will LINK between all of you, creating one powerful concert of your brand story-telling. It will also bring you more traffic.
Hashtags = UGC (User-Generated Content)
Adding hashtags to your bio will also let you direct your audience to a chain of wonderful, from-the-heart tagged user-generated content, and extra traffic. Therefore, this is a great method to link between users who create your story-telling!
In addition, hashtags can be very cute and incredibly powerful and can help you get more likes, comments and followers.
Pro Tips: You don’t need to state your name again in the hashtag
2 – Your Niche Hashtag Story
It is recommended that you enter 2-3 hashtags into your BSMP profile, where at least one of them is unique to you** only.
The idea here is to differentiate. Finding the right hashtag(s) can help you tell YOUR* story with such a clarity that by by doing so it differentiates yours from the other 4 billion social media profiles that don’t do the same. And so, #LifeStyle is probably not a great hashtag to get you there, but #BuildLifeWithBaloons is!
So no, there is no point in borrowing one of the “World TOP 100 hashtags.” Neither does it makes sense to make your hashtag(s) too general or too vague. Instead, brainstorm brand-specific hashtag that will be 100% suitable for YOU** Vs others.
When you do so, make sure you are supporting the story you want to tell, which can be a statement, promotion, a new update, a new event, your services, etc.
Pro Tip: your hashtag can be a statement. And in a way it’s really GOOD if the statement turns off those who you aren’t targeting. After all, you don’t want to market to people from a different planet, but people who care.
3 – A Hack – Finding Not Crowded Hashtags
Next – here is a good hack for searching for your differentiated (also called “long-tail”) hashtag. And I will use Instagram again as an example, because of its popularity and main stream UX:
Step 1: Search for something general that is related to what you do. For example, “#shoes.” But don’t click yet. First, look at the quantity of uses.
Most chances are that using any hashtag that has over 600k uses will make your post disappear into the crowd. Therefore, move to the next step:
Step 2: Keep scrolling down, until you get to the area where the hashtag uses is less than 600k (eg “#shoesfashions”). Then that can be a good potential hashtag for you to use!
Pro Tips: If the hashtag is catchy, why don’t you place it in your BSMP profile URL too, eg to “xyz.com/killerhappyhour” of #killerhappyhour.
4 – Hashtags Platform Config
Now here are the steps to update your BSMP hashtags (and again, I took Instagram as an example because of it’s popularity and mainstream user experience. Look how easy it is:
Step 1: Go to “Edit Profile”
Step 2: Enter the new hashtag into “Bio” field.
Step 3: “Submit” (or “Save”, or “Done” on other platforms).
That’s it, the hashtag change is really simple and easy, and…
5 – The Rest is Up to You**
All the rest is up to you – choosing names, words, games, slogans, attitude, etc. Be creative – express yourself. Dare. Go Crazy! Because if you just do what your neighbor from the same area-code did, people won’t “see the you** in you” and it won’t work.
6 – Track Your Instagram Hashtag Success
If you do it right, the hashtag is you**. And if it’s you, it shouldn’t take more then 3, otherwise 6 months for the platform algorithm to chew it and make yours the dominant use of that hashtag in search results. So you must make it your goal to be on top for that search — not your neighbors, not anyone else… If it doesn’t happen within that trial period, move on, and replace it with a more fitting hashtag.
How to check the results? Simple – after the trial period, go to your new BSMP. Click on any of your hashtags. If you are not on top of the search result page, you are busted. This means that the algorithm did not pick you, and you are under the radar, something is wrong, and it’s time to change that hashtag(s).
In many platforms – if you are a business profile holder, the platform will make available for you an “Insights” section, where you can measure your hashtag success.
PS/as long as it’s YOU**
What Do We Mean by YOU**
**YOU= Since it’s your name, it has to be…you. What I mean is that – yes, you can add attitude, special characters, emojis, a unique photo, wording, hashtags, crazy URL, powerful CTA, SMI of choice, whatever, as long as it comes from you, and as long as it reflects your brand, who you are, and where you want to be.
You should revisit this constantly, persistently, and methodically. If you need 1:1 personalized consulting on how to do this and what makes sense for your brand, you can sign up now.
Takeaway: finding your story is not easy. But once you do know your story, then enter that in a clear way into a hashtag on your profile. Your profile might pop up and your ideal RELEVANT audience will look at your posts!
Don’t underutilize the BSMP area. That makes no sense — you want THAT traffic.
Enjoy the process, my heroes!
Branding Your #SocialMedia Profile (BSMP) Series: Your BSMP Bio Photo Your BSMP Extended Name Your BSMP One Sentence Wordings Your BSMP Hashtags Your BSMP Update Line Your BSMP URL Your BSMP Emojis Elina Svitolina BSMP Your BSMP Social Media Influencer How to optimize your “Branded Social Media Profile” area kick-ss CTAs for your branded social media profile Doing your profile the wrong way Powerpointed (Mobile Growth Virtual Summit 3.0 – “How to Transform Your Social Media Branded Profile to a Sales Funnel Machine, by Dear Mishu’s Dad”)! Coming soon: Your BSMP Location Private, personalized 1-on-1 consulting on YOUR social media profile strategy is available now.
SMI* = Social Media Influencers