This post by Kristi Kellogg is an entry to our $4,000 Blogging Contest. Kristi is a content strategist at Bruce Clay, Inc., journalist and social (media) butterfly. Her articles appear in newspapers, magazines, across the Internet and in the book Content Marketing Strategies for Professionals.
A tweet without a hashtag is a wasted opportunity. Hashtags amplify the reach of your tweets and by extension, the content and links you share in those tweets. As a writer and a community manager, I want people to engage with my tweets – that’s why I optimize all my tweets for search (and therefore discovery) by using relevant hashtags. Using relevant hashtags gets your tweets in front of your intended audience, which leads to increased engagement, increased social influence, increased traffic to your site and, ultimately, conversions.
A lot of the articles I write at global Internet marketing firm Bruce Clay, Inc. center on search engine optimization, search engine marketing and social media marketing. While tweeting about these articles throughout 2013, I most often used #SEO and #SMM. For 2014 I wanted to audit those hashtags and make sure #SEO and #SMM were the best hashtags I could be using – for example, how does my default social media hashtag #SMM compare to #socialmedia or #social? Am I using the most popular — and most relevant — hashtag?
I turned to Hashtagify.me to find out.
Hashtags Related to Search Engine Optimization
When adding hashtags to tweets on search engine optimization, it seemed unlikely to me that people would be using the full 24-character #SearchEngineOptimization when they could use the three-character acronym #SEO. In an effort to determine if that is, in fact, the case, I created an SEO “bundle” with these hashtags:
- #SERP (the acronym for the Search Engine Results Page, commonly used among Internet marketers)
- #SearchEngineOptimisation (using the British spelling “Optimisation”)
After creating my SEO bundle, I used Hashtagify.me to find each hashtag’s popularity score. I used the Hashtagify.me data to create this chart:
As I suspected, #SEO is the most popular hashtag related to search engine optimization. I was surprised, however, to learn that #SearchEngineOptimization does come into play. Though #Search came in second with a 55.6 popularity score, as #Search is a general term, it could be used in tweets unrelated to search engine optimization.
I used Hashtagify.me to verify how much this is true:
According to Hashtagify.me, #Search has an 18.8% correlation to #SEO and a 14.6% correlation to #Google – the rest of the terms each had less than an 8% correlation to #Search. Based on this data, I would feel pretty confident that utilizing #Search will put a tweet in front of my intended audience of Internet marketers.
Hashtags Related to Social Media Marketing
For tweets concerning social media marketing, I usually use #SMM, but I wanted to check if that is the best choice. So I created a social media marketing bundle using the hashtags #SocialMedia, #Social, #SM, #SMM and #SocialMediaMarketing:
My preferred (and very specific) hashtag #SMM falls below #SocialMedia, #Social and #SM, and this caused me to rethink my use of #SMM. I wanted to make sure, however, that #SocialMedia was being used in tweets related to social media marketing. Looking through recent #SocialMedia tweets, I discovered many unrelated tweets, including tweets regarding viral memes, general social media news, social media fails, solicitations for followers and occasional NSFW tweets. But when I used TweetDeck to narrow my search to show only the top tweets related to #SocialMedia, almost all of the tweets were, in fact, related to social media marketing – which confirms that I should use #SocialMedia in my tweets.
Tweets about “#SocialMedia”
Hashtagify.me also identified social media marketer Jeff Bullas as the No. 3 influencer for the term #SocialMedia and the No. 1 influencer for the term #SMM. Looking at his tweets, I discovered that Bullas often uses #SMM and #SocialMedia within the same tweet – therein capturing engagement from the broader yet popular #SocialMedia and the specific yet niche #SMM. Because #SMM is incredibly relevant and a very popular hashtag in its own right, I will continue to use #SMM – but I will also take a cue from Hashtagify.me and Bullas, and start using #SocialMedia more often in relevant tweets.
#SMM & #SocialMedia
Are You Getting the Most Reach Out of your Hashtags?
Whatever field you’re in, knowing what are the best hashtags to use is a great help in maximizing your social media efforts. With Hashtagify.me you can discover if the hashtags you are using are, in fact, reaching your intended audience. With the popularity scores and the related hashtags report, you can assess your current social media strategy and identify top performing and relevant hashtags – all to your advantage!
Kristi Kellogg is such a fan of hashtags that she dressed up as one on Halloween!