First of all what are hashtags? Hashtags are simply a keyword or phrase preceded by the # sign. Why should your company implement hashtags in your social media strategy? Because your customers (and potential customers) are using them to find information on products/services and to keep up-to-date with topics of interest. Hashtags are everywhere and there are several websites (now including YouTube as of May 2016 and most recently LinkedIn as of September 2016) that support hashtags.
But will leveraging hashtags in social media help with SEO? Yes! Social media hashtags help SEO. With a little research and understanding when and how to use hashtags can increase your online visibility. Here are three ways how leveraging hashtags in social media can help with SEO:
1. Hashtags Impact Search
Search is happening all the time, and hashtag search is rising. It all began in 2013 when Google amplified hashtag search results in the organic section. Hashtags are becoming the evolution of search. People are now searching hashtags as well as following conversations, topics, trends, and events on social media as well as the search engines.
Here’s an example of a search result utilizing hashtags on Google:
This hashtag search resulted in two of Construction Optimize’s social sites (Google+ & Twitter) in the organic section.
Here’s the exact same search but searching the hashtag as the keyword phrase. For this example, Construction Optimize is #1 spot in the organic or natural results–not bad:
While I was managing a company’s social media efforts several years ago, I was able to improve their online visibility on the search engines as well as drive traffic to their website. I did this by simply leveraging the #construction hashtag in all conversations, tweets, updates, and news articles on all the social media platforms. This practice proved invaluable. If you have a hashtag that you would like to register, visit Twubs or hashtags.org
Search is happening all the time, and hashtag search is rising.
Will Social Media Hashtags Help SEO?
2. Hashtags Enhance Engagement & Reach
Hashtags are a great way to attract conversations on social media and to engage in conversations with your existing customers as well as potential customers. In fact, according to Buddy Media, tweets with hashtags get two times more engagement than tweets without hashtags. Hashtags also expand the reach of your tweet or conversation beyond those who follow you.
3. Hashtags Create Promotion
Leveraging hashtags correctly is a great way to promote an event or product. While managing the same company’s social media efforts, I was able to promote their local marketing event by creating a specific hashtag surrounding that event. This also complimented their online visibility as well. If you stay disciplined and do it correctly, the results are rewarding.
So in conclusion, social media hashtags help SEO. Leverage hashtags in your social media campaigns to increase your online visibility, to engage your customer base, and to promote your products/services and marketing events. Don’t forget to combine your online marketing with traditional marketing. Both are a powerful combination.