• Douglas White

Social Media Tips, Growth Hacking made easy: What Where and Why of #tags

Yesterday I attended a talk sponsored by Startups HK featuring Dave McClure, a true Internet guru, and he stated that the most important thing for a biz to do is scalable, repeatable customer acquisition on a profitable basis using multiple online platforms or #GrowthHacking. I am sure if he had more time he would have added CRM and retention. He also mentioned that it requires effective use of Technology and Psychology. However when I look back at the Tweets #daveinhk this very important last point seems to have been missed. I mention this because if you do not “Get” that social/ digital media is about the interconnectedness of Technology and Psychology then you are likely just pissing into the wind, people off and your money away.

My agency PRDA has been combining deep knowledge of technology and online consumer behavior for 10 years. For the last 7 we have used the same proven process to deliver results that outpace any other agency. I have shared many times before and will continue to share our experience on simple to understand best practices for targeted customer acquisition and retention.

Growth Hack tip #tags why we use them and how to use them for different apps

#tags for 2 purposes:

  • Aggregate conversations

  • Facilitate indexing of high use search terms for more efficient processing for such functions, as SERP, Algorithm newsfeed selection, Trending and other database management functions

Whereas #tags can be used for fun or emphasis like “air quotes” they will not add value to your posts to the rule is to #knockthatshitoff

Aggregate conversations - Above I mentioned that I searched on Twitter for #daveinhk to see who and what people had Tweeted. can be useful for a number of purposes.

  • Curating a conversation. Finding what questions are being asked, which points seem to resonate by number of posts, etc

  • Tracking posts from multiple locations for to pull together later such as tagging pictures so that they can be easily found a reposted. This works well for games and competitions.

  • CRM - find out who is talking, identify potential leads, problems, key opinion leaders, new ideas and information

Dave McClure in Hong Kong for Startupshk

Facilitating Indexing - this is a fancy way of saying that it makes it easier for computers to keep track of important words (keywords). Words that have a #tag in front are looked at by applications e.g. Facebook, Twitter as more important just like Google puts greater value on some words (keywords). So it is in your best interest to select the best keywords to #tag, as the more often it is done by more people the more likely it will show up in News Feeds. Describing how all that algorithm stuff works is too much for this blog, or me for that matter, but if you follow these simple guidelines you will do well.

  • Pick words or phrases that you would search on if you were looking for something on Google. On Facebook and Twitter you can enter the #tag directly into the search bar and it will search for you. Ask yourself, is what shows up in the search related to your message? Does it show up enough to show it is important? I searched on #pickmynose and only got two results. This is not important enough. But when I searched on #doorknob there were a gagillion results. Clearly people are more interested in doorknobs than picking their noses.

Apps have different requirements and etiquette for #tag use

Using #tags on different apps such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Sina Weibo have different requirements. Here are some basic guidelines for use.

Facebook and Sina Weibo - #tags are used as part of the message. They are used to replace words that appear as part of the message in the example below. For Sina Weibo the #tag needs to go on both sides of the word. #tag#

Twitter #tags can be used in the post, but it is customary to add #tags to the end of messages to provide more search terms which helps to aggregate conversations.

Instagram is the craziest. Outrageous number of #tags are used to help with search and description. This is primarily because Instagram does not have any good 3rd party apps or a desktop version to better manage content and so lots of descriptors (keywords) are turned into #tags. Please note that what looks acceptable on Instagram looks terrible on Facebook.


#tags can be an important tool for your social media/ digital marketing strategies. But like all things, understanding the how, what and why will take you further. PRDA uses this strategy effectively across multiple platforms for clients to intensify the result and produce additional value such as search and CRM.

Much success,


www.PRDA.Asia is a leading social media management agency

#douglaswhite #facebook #prdaasia #prda #sinaweibo #socialcooperation #socialmediainsight #wechat #hashtags #tag

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