3 ways to improve your hashtag game

Social media plays such a big part in how we communicate nowadays that if your organization doesn't have at least a Facebook page the public might think you're not legitimate. As a nonprofit you use these online platforms to not only engage with your followers but also as a means to convert followers into donors. Your nonprofit can use Facebook's Donate Now button to direct visitors to the online donation form on your own website. However, how do you reach new audiences over social media so you're not just communicating with the same group of supporters on a daily basis?

Using a variety of hashtags in your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram posts is one way to bring new, unique visitors to your nonprofit's website. Since hashtags are searchable, if you tag a post using a popular saying with the pound sign in front of it, your posting will show up in the search results for it. Many social media platforms adopted hashtags that hyperlink making them even more important to getting content on social media noticed, according to Constant Contact.

The only problem is finding the right kind of hashtags to get your nonprofit the recognition it needs. Here are three tips to improve your organization's hashtag game that can translate into more online visitors and possibly new donors:

1. See what's trending
Use a free app like Hashtagify.me to find out the most popular hashtags you can use related to events or to your nonprofit and its cause. Incorporating a trending tag that's applicable to your post or tweet can multiply the number of people that see it. #GivingTuesday or #fundraising can give your words a boost. 

2. Use some old standbys
While many hashtag phrases go in and out of style in just 24 to 48 hours, there are a few that continue to remain in vogue. Use #ThrowbackThursday along with older photos of your organization and a little blurb about your nonprofit's history. Nonprofit Hub suggested using #ThankfulThursday, #CharityTuesday, #FollowFriday or #SelfieSunday to show you and your volunteers hard at work. Not only can you use these phrases to show the public what a day at the office is like you can also utilize the technology to thank your donors.

Use #ThankfulThursdays or #DonorLove to highlight particular volunteers or donors and how they help your cause. Also encourage your organization's supporters to retweet your posts or use the hashtags you developed to spread the word.

3. Keep it simple
The goal of a tweet or any other social media message is to get your point across both quickly and clearly. Sometimes, as on Twitter, you're limited to 140 characters so being as concise as possible matters. Mass Nonprofit News advised keeping your hashtags short and simple as a key to getting others to use them. Also, remember to check your spelling before posting. Just as long and complicated phrases can turn followers off, so can adding too many tags onto the the end of your tweets or posts. Nonprofit Marketing Guide noted organizations should only use two tags per tweet or your followers might leave you. 

Be on the safe side and don't go overboard with the number of hashtags you use. Keep in mind that adding a few here and there to your social media postings can attract more people to your nonprofit. 

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