When it comes to your business’s digital marketing strategy, hashtags are a must!
This little symbol is one of the most powerful organic social media strategies, creating a new way to make your content discoverable. Essentially, when you use hashtags, you are helping the social platform you are using sort and organise your posts, helping them reach people who will find value in them.
We all want to boost our social following, right?
It is important here to find people with the same interests and who will value your content, otherwise there is little benefit. By using hashtags with your content, you are making your posts easily available to these people, and if they like what you have to say, they are more likely to click the follow button to ensure they see your content in the future.
So let’s dive into the how, what, and why of hashtags on social media.
Why use hashtags?
- Makes your content discoverable to users who aren’t following you: Using a few popular hashtags that people are likely to search for within your industry can help new users find your brand.
- Helps to build brand awareness: Help to get your brand name out there with a branded hashtag. This is a great and effective way to promote your business, drive conversations and generate a word-of-mouth type social marketing approach.
- Adds context to your content: Hashtags are a simple way to add context to your posts, without using up valuable characters or posting repetitive captions.
- Helps to increase engagement with your followers: Hashtags are a way for you to take part in a conversation happening on social media, and is a way to make your content visible in that conversation. This can lead to increased engagement from current and new followers alike.
What hashtags should you use?
Finding the right and most relevant hashtags for your industry and audience will take a little research.
- Monitor competitors and influencers: Start with a social competitive analysis. Make note of the hashtags your competitors and the social influencers in your industry are using. This will help you to understand how your competitors are engaging with users and will help you to find popular and established hashtags relevant to your brand.
- Utilise hashtags with a strong following: Make sure that the hashtags you use are actually something people will search for. Don’t be too specific.
- Analyse your past posts: Keep track of hashtags you have used and analyse which ones have been the most popular. Is there a pattern in the hashtags you have used on your most popular posts? If there is, make sure that you use those hashtags on your future posts too.
- Find related hashtags: If you have found some hashtags that have been working well for your brand, consider using related hashtags. This may make your hashtags a little more specific, but may also help you to tap into a connect with a more targeted audience.
How many hashtags should you use?
The ultimate number of hashtags all depends on which social platform you are posting to.
- Instagram:  The latest research on hashtag use on Instagram suggests that using 12 hashtags per post is best for engagement. But make sure you mix them up! Change up the hashtags you use on each post, especially on this platform, to avoid the risk of being labelled automated and your account slowed down by platform.
- Twitter: [1-2] Using 1-2 hashtags on twitter can help to seriously increase your engagement, but keep in mind that using too many hashtags on this platform can actually hinder your post’s performance.
- LinkedIn: [2-3] LinkedIn has now included hashtags on their platform, and have now created a search method that focuses on these hashtags.Therefore, by including 2-3 hashtags in your post on LinkedIn you are helping people with similar interests find your content more easily.
- Facebook: [1-2] On Facebook, hashtags can help your content to gain visibility, attract new followers, and increase the reach of your posts. The best way to use hashtags on Facebook is to find 1 or 2 that are truly relevant to your brand as users will use these to discover and engage with trending conversations outside of their individual newsfeed. This is the ultimate time for your brand to be seen.
It’s hard to believe that this little symbol – # – has all this power, right?
When it comes to how you should approach your hashtag strategy, there is no one-size-fits-all. But one thing is for sure, for it to be successful, you need to know who your audience is and how they search on these social platforms.
While it may take some time and trial-and-error to find the best hashtag strategy for your business, you will find that including hashtags in your social media strategy is well worth the time and effort.