Hashtags, Social Media, Conversion Rate Optimization #FridayFinds

by Sherryl Perry on September 27, 2013

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This week’s #FridayFinds introduces a viral video on the use (or should I say overuse) of #hashtags. I’ve also included a link to a study on the effect of using hashtags on Facebook. Did you know that using hashtags in your Facebook posts could actually decrease engagement? I’ve also shared a link to a great article on choosing a social networking site, a free guide to CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization) and some tips on Pinterest. I hope you find some useful information here.

Do You Use (or Overuse) Hashtags?

In case you haven’t seen it yet, Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake have a very funny YouTube video that has gone viral. If you could use a good laugh, watch “#Hashtag” with Jimmy Fallon & Justin Timberlake.

For a more serious look on whether using hashtags as part of your marketing plan, read New Study: Facebook Hashtags Decrease Engagement by Allyson Kapin on FrogLoop.com. Allyson cites a study conducted by EdgeRankChecker.com that casts an interesting light on how ineffective Facebook #hashtags really are.

Two interesting findings in the study are:

  • On Twitter, a hashtag could double the likelihood of being ReTweeted.
  • Hashtags on Facebook posts decreased engagement.

Which Social Media Network should You be on?

We’ve had several discussions here on how many social networks a blogger should participate on and which sites we would see the best ROI on. This week, I came across Choosing The Right Social Media Platform For Your Business – Facebook, Plus, Twitter or Linkedin? by Neil Cavanagh on Tim-Bonner.com. Neil starts his article by asking the question, “What are you trying to achieve?” Neil then goes on to talk about the big four, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn. In my opion, this is one of the better articles that I’ve read on this topic and it’s stimulated an interesting conversation in the comment section too.

Should You be Using Pinterest?

Personally, other than pinning interesting infographics (created by others), I don’t spend much time on Pinterest. For me, it’s not the best use of my time and I haven’t discovered a way to use it strategically. However, it’s definitely of value especially if you’re targeting women and you have a product/service that can be communicated visually.

For those of you who use Pinterest (or are considering it), check out 10 Best Pinterest Practices by Sunny Rodriguez on JeffBullas.com. Interestingly enough, Sunny mentions using hashtags on Pinterest too.

CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization):

Recently, in my #FridayFinds post, I shared a link to a free landing page conversion course that a lot of people appreciated. This week, I discovered The Beginner’s Guide to CRO from Qualaroo.com. This beginners guide to Conversion Rate Optimization includes 12 chapters and is chock full of information. I think it’s going to be a resource that many of you will want to bookmark and come back to. (I know I will.)

Over to You:

What are your thoughts about hashtags? Do you have a good understanding of conversion rate optimization? As always, feel free to share your thoughts with us.

On a personal note, my father-in-law passed away this week. So, this post is a little later than usual and I haven’t been visiting as many blogs as I’d like too. Thanks to all of you for your support.

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Diana
Twitter:
October 2, 2013 at 5:04 pm

Sorry for your loss, Sherryl! In such cases, i like to believe that what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger so… be strong!

As to your Friday Finds – you have again found quite a few good reads. Opened them in new tabs and will read right after i click the submit button.

But something else you said really intrigued me – using hashtags on FB could decrease engagement, really? I would love to learn more about this. As my experience so far had been that when used in moderation, they do increase the reach (more on some pages than others, but always up direction!) – and respectively, if the content is relevant and good, so does the engagement…
Diana recently posted..Elance Review – One of the Best Freelance WebsitesMy Profile

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
October 4, 2013 at 8:54 pm

Thanks for your condolences Diana. His passing was really a blessing. He would never have wanted to live the last years of his life like that.

I’m not sure if you got a chance to read the EdgeRankChecker study, but their conclusion was that using hashtags on Facebook was not effective but if you’re seeing results from them, that’s great! There are always exceptions. So, thanks for letting us know. (Maybe someone else reading this has an experience with them similar to yours.)

I don’t use hashtags on Facebook myself but I honestly spend more time on my FB personal page than my site “fan” page and I try to keep my posts there a little lighter. So, I don’t know if my using hashtags there would be helpful to me or not.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Friday Finds: Google Hummingbird, Social Media Strategies, Facebook ContestsMy Profile

Diana
Twitter:
October 5, 2013 at 4:24 am

If you mean the post by Allyson Capin you linked to from here – yes, saw it but it isn’t comprehensive. I mean, factors like geografical location, type of post, time of posting, age of page, number of fans, etc. do matter for the update’s reach and to some extent, to the engagement.

Actually, I think hashtags have very little to do with engagement at all. With reach – yes, maybe, but the engagement totally depends on the quality and timing and how well you know your audience… The study lacked this aspect so I am still searching for info to back up this interesting claim 🙂
Diana recently posted..Blog Commenting – Have It or Not?My Profile

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
October 5, 2013 at 12:13 pm

Diana,
The full study that Allyson Capin referenced was conducted by EdgeRankChecker.com. You can find it here: http://bit.ly/15cqfa1.

I’m confident that you’ll find that article enlightening. Actually, it’s so comprehensive, I keep going back to it. There’s a lot of information there to absorb.

Susan Cooper
Twitter:
October 1, 2013 at 12:33 am

Wow I think it is interesting that hashtags are productive on Twitter but can also be counter productive on Facebook. I am one who loves Pinterest. I find it a great avenue for my site. 🙂

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
October 4, 2013 at 8:42 pm

Susan,
I think of you as a poster-child for Pinterest! 🙂
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Friday Finds: Google Hummingbird, Social Media Strategies, Facebook ContestsMy Profile

Catarina
Twitter:
September 29, 2013 at 8:18 am

Have never started using Hash Tags and from what you share it looks like it was just as well.

Isn’t it interesting that Swedish B2B companies mainly use Facebook. Why? Because Swedes seem to be unable to really move to Linkedin. Personally don’t use Pinterest because, like you, I have nothing that relates to my business to pin. Besides my target group isn’t young American women:-)
Catarina recently posted..Do you agree with Joseph Stiglitz that inequality is a threat to growth and stability?My Profile

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
October 4, 2013 at 8:33 pm

Hi Catarina,
Thanks for dropping by. (I need to pay your blog a visit but I’ve been a bit overwhelmed lately. I’ll be there soon.)

Do you know why Swedes are unable to move to LinkedIn?

Ray September 28, 2013 at 8:23 pm

They say enjoy in moderation right? I don’t know if that applies to hashtags or not. I am not a big fan of using them myself, and I definitely see them over-used on occasion. I was on someones Twitter page recently and nearly all of their tweets were hashtags. It was so confusing and difficult to understand that I left almost as soon as I arrived.

I also noticed a few sites that started using hashtags in the title of their post. I don’t know if they are just experimenting or what, but it looks kind of strange to me. It just seems like they are misusing/over-optimizing.

I don’t know if the average person notices hashtags and would become annoyed with them or not if there are too many.
Ray recently posted..Why You Should Avoid Using a Gmail Address for Your WebsiteMy Profile

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
October 4, 2013 at 8:27 pm

Ray,
I get annoyed by too many hashtags too and I’m not a big fan of their use in the body of a tweet either. I personally think they belong at the end of the tweet. They’re less disruptive there. Then again, I have a lot of rules that I follow when I tweet. Like, punctuating my tweets (if it makes sense). For example, if it’s a sentence, what’s wrong with ending it with a period or question mark? I don’t have any stats to prove that it helps but I remember reading (a long time ago) that someone had tested it and they recommended doing it. (Don’t ask me where I read it though.) I think anything that makes our brain feel comfortable helps to get it read. Then again, it could just be the ex-teacher in me that makes me think that. 🙂
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Ways of Protecting Your ID on Social MediaMy Profile

Ashley
Twitter:
September 28, 2013 at 1:10 pm

Hi Sherryl, sorry to hear about your loss. Always a tough time and I can only offer my condolences.

Hashtags are a big topic for me, and from the comments here it seems I need to do my post on that sooner rather than latter. ;> I am a big believer, and it does not suprise me that facebook does not appreciate them

Pinterest I am only getting to know and it seems to be improving and I don’t have a pinterest friendly blog topic – so just goes to show you :>

as for your other resources – great stuff, given me plenty to read! appreciate the finds
ashley
Ashley recently posted..How to Create Perfect Posts on Social Media – An Amazing InfographicMy Profile

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
October 4, 2013 at 8:19 pm

Thanks Ashley. You know I’m a fan of your blog. So, I’m looking forward to reading your post on hashtags!

I liked your description that your blog is not “pinterest friendly”. That’s exactly how I feel about this blog. I think Pinterest is great for sites that are promoting products or services that can be represented visually but for blogs like ours, it’s just not a good fit.

Thanks for letting me know that you enjoyed last week’s finds. I think you’ll enjoy this week’s too. I found a couple of great articles on Google Hummingbird.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Friday Finds: Google Hummingbird, Social Media Strategies, Facebook ContestsMy Profile

Lisa
Twitter:
September 28, 2013 at 8:29 am

Hi Sherryl, so sorry to hear of your father-in-law\’s passing.I love Pinterest and do generate traffic from it for a variety of my sites. (Sales too!) You have to use it or lose it…like most social sitess right?I\’m doing research on hashtags and there are so many websites that help you pick them and even register them. They are great for events, chats and more. One has to be careful not to overuse them.
Lisa recently posted..Bing Webmaster Tools – How They Differ From Google’s ToolsMy Profile

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
October 4, 2013 at 7:12 pm

Thanks Lisa. I appreciate that. I’m just now getting back into the swing of things. (As you can see by how long it took me to reply!) That’s wonderful that you’re generating traffic for some of your sites through Pinterest. I’m definitely keeping it in mind for the future.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..4 eCommerce Marketing Channels You Should Use – Part 2My Profile

Tim Bonner
Twitter:
September 28, 2013 at 5:25 am

Hi Sherryl

I’m sorry to hear that your father-in-law has passed away. That’s sad news. I’d like to pass on my condolences.

I appreciate you mentioning Neil’s article on my blog. It was really great to have him as a guest author and he did a good job.

I don’t use hashtags an awful lot to be honest. I forget about them and don’t generally search social media using them either. Perhaps I should.

Some great finds Sherryl. I’m be sure to have a look over them all this weekend.
Tim Bonner recently posted..Building A Niche Site – Earnings UpdateMy Profile

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
September 30, 2013 at 1:59 pm

Thanks for your condolences Tim. I was happy to include Neil’s article here. It was extremely well written and it was a nice addition to your blog.

I use hashtags quite often on Twitter but never anywhere else. To me, hastags can be helpful in identifying what the tweet is about. I think of them somewhat as a flashing roadway sign that is meant to draw attention to something.

Thanks for letting me know that you found my article informative. I need to go back to the CRO beginner’s guide myself.

Heather Stone September 28, 2013 at 2:22 am

Hi Sherryl,Great Friday finds here. Wondering whether you have your own thoughts, as an experienced social media user, on when to and when not to use hashtags. Could you possibly share observations in the comment section on BizSugar? I think our whole community could benefit.
Heather Stone recently posted..The No. 1 Reason Business Ideas Fail and How You Can Avoid ItMy Profile

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
September 30, 2013 at 1:55 pm

Hi Heather,
I dropped by BizSugar and added my 2 cents in the comments. As a recap for anyone reading this thread, my 2 cents were:

Personally, I have found that using hashtags on Twitter helps to get a post re-tweeted. I’m not a fan of hashtags on Facebook and the study confirms that they’re not effective. While I haven’t tracked the statistics on whether it helps to include hashtags in the body of the tweet, personally, I find it disruptive. So, I always add my hashtags at the end.

As an ex-teacher (reading & English), I believe that a short, grammatically correct and punctuated tweet is the easiest for your followers to read (not only on Twitter but on all social networks). Whenever possible, I end my tweet with a period or a question mark, followed by an @credit and then (if there’s room) a hashtag or two. Of course, I always leave enough room for someone to add “via @keepupweb”.

Thanks for dropping by. I’ve been a fan of BizSugar for years now and count on it as a source of referral traffic.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Ways of Protecting Your ID on Social MediaMy Profile

Jeevan Jacob John
Twitter:
September 27, 2013 at 5:33 pm

Sorry about loss, Sherryl. Hope everything goes well.

The video was certainly funny 😀 Thanks for sharing that 😉

I don’t use hash tags very much, at least not now. I used to be active in a few Twitter chats, so plenty of hash tags to go around. Unfortunately I am no longer active in any Twitter chats. If you know any good ones, please do suggest 🙂

I have been trying to increase my usage of hash tags, particularly in Twitter. I heard about the study, few days back, through Ana’s FB page (Trafficgenerationcafe).

As for Pinterest, I had created an account, but I never used it. Few weeks back, I decided to use it regularly, but never got around using it. Perhaps when I launch my new blog. I have heard that Pinterest can help to gain a lot of traffic 😀

Anyways, thank you for sharing all the resources! I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
September 30, 2013 at 11:17 am

Thanks Jeevan. It was difficult but we’re starting to get back in the groove of things.

I’ve never participated in a Twitter chat before but I’ve often read recap posts from them and some of them seem very lively with a lot of great ideas exchanged. I should try one out some time.

I didn’t see this study on Ana’s FB page. I need to make the rounds soon and see what I’ve missed.

I maintain a presence on Pinterest only by sharing inflographics. Like you, I’m keeping it in mind for a different blog. I don’t see the benefit in it for this one. I hope you have a great week!
Sherryl Perry recently posted..4 eCommerce Marketing Channels You Should Use – Part 1My Profile

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