No longer simply the pound sign on your telephone, hashtags are showing up all over social media channels. If you’re confused about how they work, and more importantly, how you can use them as part of your financial advisor marketing strategy you’re not alone. Hashtags can be a great social media tool on platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and even LinkedIn. But knowing how and when to use them effectively is paramount for financial advisor social media accounts.
Hashtags Work Differently Across Social Media Channels
Hashtags first became popular on Twitter and Instagram. And while Facebook and LinkedIn have some use for them, it’s not on the same level. Twitter and Instagram are meant to be either visually based (Instagram) or short, micro messages that are 280 characters or less (Twitter).
Facebook and LinkedIn have always been better suited for longer, more detailed content. Hashtags rose to popularity when it became necessary to break through the fast-paced clutter of a news feed and find the type of posts you’re looking for.
Now, if something is “trending” on a social media channel, it can easily be seen and posts using that tag are grouped together. If you’re using multiple hashtags, your content can be associated with a search on any of them regardless of how different they are from each other.
Use to Unify Branding and Marketing Messaging
With a better understanding of how hashtags work, the next step is to establish new ones that are relevant to your financial advisor brand and can unify messaging across platforms. To reinforce brand awareness, here are a couple of best practices to keep in mind:
- Keep them short and informative. The longer a hashtag, the harder it’s going to be for people to remember. An excessively long hashtag can be confusing and also runs a greater risk of being misspelled. Also, remember the purpose of the tag is to find information easily on social media channels, a long-convoluted hashtag doesn’t do anyone any good.
- Don’t Choose Tags That are Too Unique. While it may be tempting to come up with something unique and never heard of before, that works against the concept and purpose of hashtags. Conversely, using a hashtag that is too broad can drown your posts in millions of other posts using the same tag.
For example, as a financial advisor in Dallas, using the hashtag #financialadvisor is going to be way too broad. However, using the hashtag #texasfinancialadvisor is common enough to be searched but also specific enough to attract the right people to your social content.
- Can Be Used Short or Long-Term. If you have an event, whether it’s a one-time event, annual event, or series of events, create a hashtag that will help tie those events back to your financial advisor firm.
Hashtags Should Be Relevant to Your Message or Brand
While it may be tempting to jump on the popularity bandwagon of trending hashtags, it’s considered a best practice to avoid doing that. If something is trending, that may not always be a good thing.
They could be trending for any number of reasons and associating your brand with something controversial for the sake of gaining short-term traction could do more harm than good. If there is a relevant topic trending and it seems like something that could be included in your firm’s social content, be sure to thoroughly research the content before hopping on that particular bandwagon.
Perform Hashtag Research
Instead of having to think of hashtags on the spot, it’s beneficial to come up with a list of them that you want to be associated with and use them regularly. Similar to keywords, there are many online resources for researching which hashtags are popular within your industry, location, and other categories that refine searches.
Once you have this list curated, you can create consistency by adding them to your social posts frequently. Another reason to perform a search before using a hashtag can be to prevent embarrassment or an unintended association with another brand, social movement, or anything else that can become a trending hashtag (which is pretty much everything). Don’t assume because the tag seems relevant that it is. Doing your research ahead of time could save time and confusion down the line.
Yes, You Can Have Too Many Hashtags
Depending on how they are used within your content, too many hashtags can take away from the post itself and be distracting. For example, if you’ve established a list of rotating tags you have curated and would like them to be associated with your brand, it’s usually not beneficial to use them all at once.
This is a valid concern because you have taken the time to identify several hashtags and how they can be used with different campaigns and events. Stringing them all together isn’t how they were intended to be used. Also, when using too many in your post, you run the risk of looking like you’re just throwing a bunch of things to the wall to see if they’ll stick.
Instead, think about what that specific post is trying to promote or the message it’s trying to communicate and choose your hashtags from there. Note: depending on the platform, using excessive tags may not be acceptable compared to other platforms. For example, Instagram and Twitter posts tend to be more hashtag-heavy than LinkedIn and Facebook because of the nature of the platforms discussed previously.
How and Where to Monitor Your Hashtags
Like any other digital marketing tool or campaign, your use and effectiveness of hashtags is something you can – and should – be monitoring. Within each platform, use the analytics tools to determine their effectiveness and use them more often to engage your audience.
And remember, a digital marketing agency can offer you any level of support you need to get your financial advisor hashtags started in the right direction. Look for a partner with a dedicated digital team that can help you find the best hashtags and even show you the most effective ways to utilize them across channels.