This is an excerpt from Walking Solution, The by Lee Scott & Michele Stanten.
Using hashtags on social media can help to grow your walking business or programs. A hashtag is any combination of words put together without spaces and preceded by the pound sign (#). Hashtags are used to categorize information posted on social media and to make that information discoverable by others. About 75 percent of people on social media use hashtags. Here are 10 essential points to help you use hashtags to your advantage.
- Hashtags are created and managed by users; that means you. Create your own hashtag or use ones that have already been used. On Twitter, hashtags link your tweet to a conversation. On Instagram, they describe content in your post. On Facebook, hashtags work best on an open business account rather than a personal account with security privacy settings.
- Using appropriate hashtags can help you draw followers and interest in your walking business or programs.
- For your hashtags to get traction, your social media accounts must be public; otherwise, only people who are already following you will see them.
- Hashtags can be used on Instagram and Facebook stories by using the hashtag sticker or simply inserting the hashtag into the text.
- Hashtags are most effective when they are specific to the content of your post. For example, #walking as opposed to #niceday, or #intervalwalking versus #health.
- Based on research, the number of hashtags that are most effective varies by account. For Twitter and Facebook, it is one or two hashtags; on Instagram, it is 8 to 10. Hashtags on Instagram can be inserted into the comment section to keep your caption clean.
- Use hashtags that are appropriate to your current audience and potential audience. To tap into the correct audience, consider checking out hashtags of your competitors (such as local fitness businesses) and do searches on social media using hashtags that you think might be relevant, such as #walk, #walking, #speedwalking, #powerwalking
- If you post with a popular hashtag, your content may get missed because there are so many other posts under this hashtag, but it also has the potential to go viral because of the wider audience.
- A hashtag that has few followers may reveal a niche market for you and potential branding opportunity. Experiment creating different hashtags and reviewing the response.
- In addition to creating and using hashtags on your own posts, follow hashtags to stay up to date on trending information.