Social Media Education Series [2 of 4]: Hashtags, Keywords and SEO

This is part 2 of 4 in our FREE Social Media education series (based on our Peaceful University course “The Social Classroom.”) Click here to visit part 1 – Magnetized Shareable Content

Why Are Some Brands Growing So Quickly While Others Flail?

Does it ever seem like some online business owners have some sort of secret fuel additive in their online business?

You’re posting quality material on your blog and social media. You’re doing it just as frequently as them, too.

Yet, they keep doubling their followers, getting more likes on their videos, more eyes on their articles, more clicks to their websites.

Is it luck?

Or maybe it’s because these people have whiter teeth than you?

Our hunch: neither.

Assuming the quantity and quality of your Magnetized Shareable Content is equal…

…then your growth is likely being hampered because you haven’t created a solid strategy around your Hashtags, Keywords, and Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

Let’s jump into Phyllis’ Classroom to get an overview on these 3 traffic igniters.

Video Transcript

Hello everyone – Did you know there are only 4 ways to expand your REACH online?

Well, now you do! And if you are following this series, next up is Hashtags, Keywords and SEO.

You can review what we discussed in the first post, which was all about creating Magnetized Shareable Content.

Here’s a little reminder of the the four ways to expand Reach online.

4 Ways to Expand Reach

So, let’s dive into Hashtags, Keywords and SEO. Why is this important? Because Search is still the way people find what they REALLY need. It’s all about Search. And it turns out that hashtags – these beautiful little things – automatically gather everything together using that same hashtag into a neat little search results feed.

Most people haven’t realized that hashtags are the same function as “keywords” — except they show the results inside social sites, instead of on a Google Search results page.

Now, Search Engine Optimization (or “SEO”) is just the art of making sure that when people search for the things you are providing, your business comes up as high as possible in the search results. This world of SEO is a huge topic, but for this short post, just think of SEO as the underlying architecture of the words that are used on your social site, About pages, Bios, and of course on your website.

All three of these things; hashtags, keywords and SEO are the underlying threads that are used to pull your business up into the open when someone is searching.


Out of all the 4 ways to expand reach online, the one that most people tend to gloss over is the search function gold that hashtags, keywords and good SEO can provide.

What’s the Power of Hashtags?

  • You can be found online more readily if you use appropriate hashtags in your social posts
  • You can research social posts easily using hashtags
  • You can quickly convey your company voice

So, let’s explore the 3 types of hashtags you can use to gain more reach online; branded, functional and fun.

Branded Hashtags

When you use your business name, your name, your tagline or your branded company motto – or anything you have copyright ownership of, as a hashtag – that is a called a branded hashtag.

Here are a few examples:

  • #justdoit
  • #phylliskhare
  • #yellowbirdhotel
  • #SustainableLivingPodcast

Functional Hashtags

One of the best ways to think about this type of hashtags is – take any keyword and put a # in front of it. That’s really all it is. Whatever people are using to search for something – that word can be a functional hashtag.

Some good examples of this are:

  • #beach
  • #socialmedia
  • #marketing
  • #author
  • #podcast

Functional Hashtags

You might think the following are Branded Hashtags, but they are not really “owned” by anyone even though they are Names, so they end up in the functional category.

A few examples are:

  • #Orlando
  • #USA
  • #Canada

Also, there are some hashtags that have become functional through use — especially on Instagram. These are hashtags that at one time were fun and then caught on and are now highly functional. A few examples of this would be:

  • #ThrowBackThursdays
  • #catsofinstagram (ANY animal of Instagram, in fact)
  • #ihavethisthingwithfloors (I have this thing with anything; flowers, tiles, carpets)

Fun Hashtags

The fun type of hashtag doesn’t help one bit in increasing your Reach, but it DOES increase your cool factor – if done well. It’s also a good way to convey your company “voice” or personality.

Here are a few good ones:

  • #iwanttogoonavacation
  • #IWantToGoOnAVacation (remember you can use caps)
  • #whoneedsavacationwithworklikethis
  • #thisgrandmadoesntgetit


It might be easy to see how hashtags can be used in social posts, but there is a power in using keywords, too. Basically, don’t write any social post unless you know which important keyword you want to include somehow in the text. I realize this might be challenging if crafting a tweet, but keywords are still one of the best ways to be found and/or ranked in search.

“Social media” and #socialmedia produce different search results.


You might run into something called “Social Media Optimization” or SMO. This is not the same as SEO. SMO is more about creating engagement on social so that Google sees how you are authentic and have authority, and will rank you higher as a result.

“Google has multiple named parts of the algorithm that influence search rankings. Google Panda is part of the algo that is specific to the quality of content, Penguin is specific to the quality of links, and Hummingbird is Google’s part of the algo for handling conversational search queries accurately.”Search Engine Journal

Whereas SEO on social is more about where you need to make sure that your best keywords, hashtags show up on all the About Pages, bios, and other fields that are a part of a social media account. This also applies to description area, like on YouTube and anyplace that has a place for words.

To Round It All Up

Be deliberate about the words you use on all your social posts. Use some words for hashtags and some for SEO. By doing this you will be found more often by those who are looking for you.

We have a lot of resources in The Social Classroom for knowing which hashtags to use, where on which social sites, and also how to research them for better use and effect. Check it out here:

The Social Classroom - Social Media Education by Phyllis Khare

Get deeper social media education & training in our online course, The Social Classroom!

Next up in this series is the 3rd way to expand REACH online – Strategic Partner, Affiliates, Street Teams, and your Super Fans.

Some Super Stats and Resources

  • 30% of mobile searches are related to a location. (Google, 2016) (Source:
  • 65% of smartphone users agree that when conducting a search on their smartphones, they look for the most relevant information regardless of the company providing the information. (Google, 2015) (Source:
  • Tweets with hashtags get twice as much engagement as those without them, and 55% more Retweets. On top of that, 75% of people on social media use hashtags. – BuddyMedia (acquired by SalesForce in 2012)
  • Infographic about Hashtags by Phyllis Khare
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