Top 5 Tips - Hashtagging Advice for Voice Over Artists
Updated: May 27, 2020
Self-marketing is an essential part of being a voice over artist - but understanding all the ins and outs of how to do it, maintaining the motivation to keep up to date and the creativity to produce interesting content can be an on-going battle. And that’s before we’ve even thrown the idea of integrity into the mix! While I considered writing a general post about marketing as a voice over artist, I thought it might be more useful to spread it out and share more specific, practical advice / tips / ideas related to marketing, particularly for voice over artists. Due to recent personal experience, I thought what better marketing niche to kick off with than hashtagging?!
I recently (and rather belatedly) joined Twitter to expand my online social media presence as Voice Over Katie. As I sat to compose my first Tweet, it occurred to me that I wasn’t entirely sure how to write it. I’ve been a regular poster on Instagram for a while and learning the ropes for better utilisation of Linkedin over the past few months - but Twitter, with its character limits, retweet options and community atmosphere has a notably different vibe. My problem was not a case of being unsure of what to say so much as knowing how to lay it out - specifically, how to hashtag.
The concept of hashtagging is approaching it’s teenage years, originally starting in the summer of 2007 when web marketing specialist, Chris Messina, suggested that Twitter use the pound symbol as a method of organising and grouping related Tweets. Since then, it has come to be used across all social media channels, becoming an important part of businesses marketing strategy. However, as you may have noticed, people are drawn to and operate differently in the various mediums - and hashtag accordingly.
Qu. How should I hashtag?
Ans. Vary the words you choose and the quantity depending on the social media channel
For example, Linkedin is the professional, business focused channel so the popular hashtags are business appropriate and people tend to only include 1 or 2 when writing posts. Compare this to Instagram, which centres around photos. Businesses that offer voice over recording or casting services, as well as voice over artists themselves, can quite literally present images that build a story - a sort of ‘behind the scenes’ gallery. This means that the popular hashtags are a little more personal and are used less sparingly.
Qu. Why should I hashtag?
Ans. To boost engagement and relevance
If you are completely new to social media for business purposes, to develop your marketing strategy, you might ask why you even need to hashtag.
In a nutshell, you should be hashtagging to:
Help your content reach the right audience - as a voice over artist, you may particularly want your content to be seen by fellow voice actors, casting directors, potential clients.
Get more engagement - in the form of people liking, commenting, sharing your posts.
Attract more followers - meaning a wider audience and potentially more connections if you network correctly.
In case you are wondering if hashtagging really does result in the above 3 factors, here are some interesting statistics for you!
Facebook - (On average) A post with 1 or 2 hashtags will receive 177 more interactions compared to a post with 0 hashtags.
Instagram - (On average) A post with hashtags will receive 12% more engagement than a post with 0 hashtags.
Twitter - The life of your Tweet is about 15mins long with 0 hashtags, but incorporating hashtags will extend the life, and therefore relevance, of your Tweet.
Qu. Where should I put the hashtags?
Ans. In an unobtrusive, almost subtle position
This issue depends slightly on the platform. Instagram is generally considered the platform where the most hashtags are ‘acceptable’ - although there is some conflicting advice on where best to put your hashtags. Some people suggest that putting a list of hashtags in your caption can look spammy and it is best to put them as a comment as soon as you’ve posted your picture. Although I’ve also heard that in doing so, your post can partially lose the effect of the hashtags (I’m not entirely sure on the truth of that so will leave you to see what works best for you!) Personally, I just put my hashtags a few spaces beneath my content caption so it looks tidy and out the way.
However, other channels, such as Twitter and Linkedin present different issues regarding hashtagging. Twitter limits the amount of characters you can put in a single Tweet, meaning you have to be a bit more selective in what you write and your Linkedin persona ought to present content in a more efficient, professional way. Therefore, prioritise your overall content and pick out the most important words, like you would select words for SEO, and slot your hashtags into the sentences that way.
Qu. What should I hashtag?
Ans. Be niche
The most popular hashtags are quite general (the top hashtags for Instagram are #love, #instagood and #photooftheday and for Linkedin are #branding, #business and #networking). Choosing these will not necessarily benefit you though. Instead, you will likely receive more engagement by choosing smaller, more niche hashtags that are particularly relevant to the voice over industry and the industries and departments associated with it. A great way to find out what these are, are to check out what the top dog voice artists are using, what your potential clients are using and what your competition is using.
Be aware of banned hashtags
Something that I recently discovered and thought well worth sharing was that there is a list of banned hashtags. And I’m not talking obvious swear words or smut! There is a growing list of words that have either been permanently or temporarily banned due to the fact that they particularly generate a huge amount of spam from fake accounts and bots. This means that a lot of seemingly innocent words (for example ‘besties’, ‘elevator’, ‘skype’) are on the banned list of Instagram words. Using any of these banned hashtags in your post could mean that your post will be hidden from hashtag searches and explore pages, significantly reducing the reach of your posts.
So there we have it. Whether you are a social media newbie or aficionado - I hope there were some interesting gems that you were able to take from that! If you have any questions, suggestion or opinions you’d like to share, I welcome your DMs. Find me on Linkedin, Instagram or, as of a week ago, Twitter!