Welcome to Marketing Monday, where I give you tips and tricks for being your own content marketer. This week’s post is all about how to make sure your hashtags are working for you, rather than against you.
A few months ago I wrote about the importance of making sure you research your hashtags before you use them. This time I want to talk about making sure your industry or job title isn’t a bad hashtag, and if it is, what to do about it.
In my last post, I wrote about the fact that I’m a content marketer, and so I frequently use the hashtags #contentmarketer and #contentmarketing. But I was also using the hashtags #contentcreator and #contentcreation since I am technically also a content creator and what I do could certainly be considered content creation.
But after just a little research into those last two hashtags, I realized I really didn’t want to be associated with the other accounts that were using that hashtag because it turned out they were talking about a kind of content creation that was very different from what I do.
While I still use the hashtags #contentmarketer and #contentmarketing I use them much less frequently now than I used to. I do this because the more research I do into these hashtags, the more I see them used in tweets that either look an awful lot like spam and/or the rest of the post is in a language other than English. (I’m not sure why they would use English hashtags if the rest of their post isn’t in English, but I suppose that’s a question for another blog post.) Still other posts use the #contentmarketing hashtag, even though they don’t appear to have anything to do with content marketing, which goes back to my spam theory.
The problem with hashtags that get used in spam posts is that they’re more likely to get blocked. While the junk filters on sites like Twitter and Instagram are far from perfect, they do pay attention when a lot of people report spam posts that tend to include certain hashtags or have been posted by a particular account. Enough spam reports on a particular hashtag and the hashtag itself could get banned. Enough spam reports on your account and your account could get banned.
What Does It Mean to Be Banned?
If your account gets banned, then you can’t post anything at all and you’ll need to contact the site in order to get it sorted out.
If a hashtag is banned, any posts published with that hashtag won’t show up when people search for it, which renders that hashtag useless. Worse than useless, it could actually impact the other hashtags you use with the banned hashtag(s), which is just another reason to do your research before using any particular hashtag.
Temporarily vs. Permanently Banned
While some hashtags get permanently banned from the site, others are only temporarily banned, which means it won’t show up in searches one day, but it might show up the next. So just because you’ve researched a particular hashtag doesn’t mean that research will necessarily be relevant at a later date.
What if your industry and/or job title is a banned hashtag? How can you continue to get in front of new people and expand your reach?
The good news is there are always plenty of other hashtags to use. No matter which client I’m posting for, I always find that I have a hard time narrowing down which hashtags to use because there are so many relevant possibilities. If one of your hashtags gets banned, chances are good that there are plenty of other relevant hashtags you can use instead, and diversifying the hashtags you use is always a good idea.
Next week I’ll talk about how to start a new hashtag and get it trending, so be sure to come back for that post. If you’re afraid you might forget, you can sign up for my newsletter at the top of this page to make sure it gets sent straight to your inbox.
Thanks for reading! If I missed anything, feel free to let me know in the comments. If you still have questions about content marketing, let’s chat!