I attended a course last week and the topic of hashtags came up in discussion. Lots of the attendees didn’t really understand hashtags. People see hashtags being used and don’t really know why or how many to use or if they’re making a difference to their posts.
So I thought I’d share my knowledge with you…
Whichever social media platforms your brand uses as part of its social media strategy, knowing how to use hashtags will help boost your brand’s social media engagement.
Firstly, what is a hashtag? [Officially named Octothorpe🤓]
They first gained popularity on social media in 2007 and are even more useful for your brand today. Hashtags are a way to connect social media content to a specific topic, event, theme or conversation. They also make it easier to discover posts around those specific topics, because hashtags aggregate all social media content with that same hashtag.
They’re not just for Twitter anymore, either. Hashtags are effective on all other social media platforms too: Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and TikTok.
- They always start with # but they won’t work if you use spaces, punctuation or symbols.
- Make sure your accounts are public. Otherwise the hashtagged content you write won’t be seen by any non-followers.
- Don’t string too many words together. The best hashtags tend to be relatively short and easy to remember.
- Use relevant and specific hashtags. If it is too obscure, it will be hard to find and it won’t likely be used by other social media users.
- Limit the number of hashtags you use. More isn’t always better. It actually looks spammy.
Why use hashtags?
Including hashtags in your posts means taking part in a conversation happening on that social media platform. And most importantly, it makes your posts visible in that conversation. This can lead to greater engagement, boosting your brand’s social media engagement through likes, shares, comments, and new followers.
An opportunity to build your brand and help your target audience to find you
Creating your own branded hashtag can be an effective way to promote your business and drive conversation.
For example, I’ve created my own hashtag of #KristinaHuntVA and I add this hashtag to all my posts so if a reader sees one of my posts and likes my content they can then start following me via my hashtag and will see all of my posts going forward – check me out!
The most popular hashtags
The most popular hashtags out there aren’t necessarily the best hashtags. If you use a hashtag with over 1m posts it will probably mean that your little post will be lost so I would suggest using a mix of popular and not so popular hashtags.
If you do want to use hashtags my advice will be to do your research…
- Look at relevant hashtags to your industry/subject and see how many followers they have, again bearing in mind not using the too popular hashtags.
- Keep track of which hashtags you’ve used on past posts. Analyse which posts have been most popular, then see if there’s a trend with the hashtags you’ve used.
- If you notice some of your most popular posts always contain a few of the same hashtags, make a point to include those in your future posts as well.
A couple essential hashtag tips to keep in mind:
- Technically, you can use as many hashtags as you like in a post, just make sure you keep them relevant to your post or industry
- If you’re creating a new hashtag, do some research first. Make sure it’s not already being used.
If you’re not already, it’s time to start using hashtags in your social media posts…
Get Hashtagging! 😉
And if you thought this info was useful follow my hashtag #KristinaHuntVA for more super-duper marketing tips.