Okay, so you most likely see these things all over Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. No, I’m not talking about pictures, videos, likes, retweets or shares. We see (#), this symbol followed by a word or phrase, nearly every day as we scroll through our social channels. Do we know what they are, how to use them, and what they can offer for a business, personal profile, or brand? Creating a solidified hashtag strategy can help grow the engagement you’ve been yearning for. So, without further ado, #LetsGetStarted.
What’s a Hashtag?
Well, If you’re not an avid social media user, then chances are you’re still slightly confused on what hashtags really even are. Essentially, a hashtag is a word or phrase followed directly after the pound sign (#). Pretty easy, right? Well, there are a couple of stipulations when using hashtags. For a hashtag to work correctly, there are to be no spaces or punctuation within the hashtag.
This quick, insightful, three-minute video can convey the history of the hashtag from the very man who coined the term 12-years- ago.
So, What Do They Do?
Hashtags are like communities. They can create a sense of belonging online. It’s an easy way to join the conversation! Hashtags allow users to communicate and interact with one another through a common topic. They are used to classify posts and make content searchable. All you have to do is click on the hashtag to see posts that are mentioning the same subject in real-time. Nowadays, hashtags have become an integral part of social media. So, if you’re not using them you’re most likely missing out on:
- Promotion- Using hashtags is a great way to promote whatever it is that you are trying to promote. Establishing a hashtag for your new product, event, or story can allow your audience to follow along wherever, whenever.
- Exposure- Once a hashtag is created, then it’s out there for the rest of the world to see. You can create a hashtag that’s consistent with you and your brand, which grants others to join in on the conversation — in the end, leaving you with a larger audience than before.
- Engagement- By using a hashtag, you’re creating engagement within your post through all the conversation. In other words, posts that have more interaction will likely have a better reach.
Strategy Is Key
Throwing whatever word comes to mind and putting the “#” right in front of it won’t be enough if you’re serious about growing your brand. If you want engaging content with a lot of audience reach, then it’s safe to say you’re going to have to step up your game. There are three types of marketing strategies for your hashtags. Which are:
- Branding and Campaign Specific- These are the hashtags that are made for your own business. It could be as simple as your tagline or even your company name. Try and create one or two hashtags that are unique to your brand and/or marketing campaigns.
- Content-Content hashtags are the tags you use in your post. These tags aren’t used to define your business. They’re just common hashtags that are related to your content.
- Trending- A trending hashtag is a hashtag about a topic that has become very popular. Today, trends are changing every second. It’s important to keep up with trending tags in your content because there’s potential for your message to be seen by a larger audience.
Do Your Research
Now that you know that hashtags are important, it’s also essential to know how to use them correctly if you’re focused on ensuring the growth of your brand. If you want to create a hashtag strategy, then you’ll have to be willing to go the extra mile. Here are some easy tips to keep in mind when researching:
- It’s helpful to be aware of what hashtags your target audience is using. When researching, it wouldn’t hurt to jot down a couple of tags to use in you’re related content posts. You can only use 30 hashtags on Instagram, and as a growing brand, you want to use hashtags that have roughly less than 1 million daily uses and are being used by your target audience. If you do this, you’ll stay in the hashtag feeds longer and be more discoverable for other people!
- Explore hashtags that are used within the industry you’re in. More often than not, each industry will have a set of hashtags that are used to promote posts.
- Each social platform uses hashtags a little differently. For example, tweets with two hashtags receive more engagement than a tweet with three or more hashtags. Instagram recommends at least 11 hashtags in your post to encounter high engagement. Be sure to research the different social channels on how you can effectively use your hashtags.