It’s safe to say that there is no constant when it comes to the digital world except for the need for creativity. I mean, who doesn’t #love a little creativity? Since 2007, hashtags have been an important part of the social media experience and they’re trending now more than ever. What is the magic formula for hashtagging? Creativity plus Market Insights.
What is a Hashtag?
Social Media Hashtags are basically a way to classify your content. Creative and relevant keywords are used as hashtags to further describe content. Hashtags can help classify your content based on your posts and your target market. It helps you reach the correct audience who has similar likes and preferences. Along with that, if used correctly, hashtags help you expand your online presence and reach more users.
Apart from increasing engagement and building your online presence, social media hashtags are a great way to create an online movement and support social issues. You can become a global citizen by following and reposting certain hashtags.
Social Media Hashtags add context to your posts without having to say a lot. A creative hashtag can be more impactful than writing a long winded caption. When it comes to writing hashtags it is better to take a minimalist approach.
Since everything is being digitized it is now important more than ever to be able to reach a greater audience and ramp up your social media presence.
How to Use Social Media Hashtags Effectively
Hashtags can help your business generate content ideas. Start with a broad approach by searching for the hashtag that describes your product or service, and go deeper by looking into your niche market. It is important to know where your target market’s preferences lie. You can keep an eye on what your competition and leaders in the industry are posting, and the type of content that is working for them through hashtags. Research is key for staying up-to-date with your content and hashtags.
Now the question is, when should we use them?
Well, hashtags can be used on any platform, at any time of day. The strategy should be to follow what’s trending and take advantage of any hashtag opportunity relevant to your business. Using trending hashtags effectively could help your content reach a greater audience. The most recent example would be the #supportlocal movement which currently has 23.8 million posts on Instagram. Businesses are posting using this #supportlocal tag to reach users that are not already following them, who support the movement. Big businesses are also using this hashtag to promote entrepreneurs in their communities, all thanks to trending hashtags.
Using hashtags effectively increases online visibility.
#Research is Important
Using hashtags doesn’t seem like a big deal, but keep in mind that apart from the creative aspect, it is a tool that helps analyze the customer behaviour and provides growth opportunities.
When picking your hashtags make sure you know your target market, what their interests are and what draws their attention. Knowing this will help you select hashtags and place them in your posts to drive traffic to your content and ultimately, to your page.
Keeping track of what industry leaders are doing can help to guide your business in the right direction on social media. Now, that doesn’t mean you should duplicate their page, your followers will always respond to #authenticity.
There are tools available which show how popular a hashtag is, what is trending and what is not. You can make use of them to get your hands on some of the popular hashtags in your industry.
#Keep it Simple
Creativity is great when it comes to hashtags, but make sure your audience understands what you’re putting online. There is no thumb rule for using short or long hashtags, but using short and simple wording is recommended. #Noonelikesaconfusinghashtagtheycan’tread. Ensure your consumers are not overwhelmed, that they understand your tags so they can engage with your posts.
As they say, “too much of anything is not good” and this applies here with hashtags as well. Make sure you are not overdoing it as hashtag spam can ruin your post aesthetics. Just because you CAN post thirty hashtags, doesn’t mean you should. The goal should be to reach your users and make sure they understand what you are conveying to them, rather than bombarding them with lots of useless tags. Remember, simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
#Analyse what worked best for you in the past
It’s all about experimenting when it comes to social media, and hashtagging is no exception. It’s important to keep experimenting with your tags, while keeping track of what worked best and what did not. This will give you an idea of what hashtags are effective based on how your target market is responding.
Using Hashtags on Various Platforms
Twitter is the birthplace of the modern hashtag. On Twitter, hashtags are integrated into your tweets as part of the overall message. With only 140 characters to write, ideally you want to stick to using one or two hashtags per tweet. Make sure to use your research skills before deciding on a new hashtag.
Hashtags if used correctly, gives your post more exposure on the Facebook platform. You can use them in your posts as well as in comments and stories. Make sure you don’t over do it! Stick to a few extremely relevant hashtags for better post engagement. On Facebook, because a lot of users have private profiles, it might be a challenge to monitor how they are viewing and interacting with your hashtags.
When it comes to using hashtags, Instagram has greater flexibility than other social media platforms. You can use hashtags on your posts in several different ways: throughout your caption, after your caption, in your comments, on Instagram stories, as well as in your company bio.
Though you can use up to 30 hashtags per post, five to ten hashtags are just as effective and ensure your post doesn’t look like spam. It is recommended to add hashtags into the first comment if you want your audience to focus on the caption.
You can also follow trending hashtags in your industry to stay updated on the latest trends and events.
Instagram provides ‘Insights’ for the business profiles which easily allows you to see how people are engaging or how many impressions you got because of your hashtags. This metric makes it quite easy to decide which hashtags to continue using in the future.
This is a platform geared to professionals and usage of hashtags should be kept to a minimum, around one to two per post. You can make use of hashtags on any written update or articles posted on LinkedIn, but be sure to keep them formal. As usual, follow your industry hashtags to see what others are posting.
You can use hashtags in the title or the description of your YouTube video, but make sure to keep them concise. YouTube allows users to search videos based on their hashtags; potential followers can find your content easily and you can keep track of what your competition is posting at the same time.
Make sure you don’t use more than 15 hashtags because chances are, YouTube will flag your content for being considered “spam”.
It is extremely important on YouTube to always use relevant keywords for your hashtags. Viewers are searching on YouTube as they would on Google, having relevant and consistent hashtags on your videos will help place at the top of their search results.
How are you using your hashtags on social media? Let us know! Email us what’s working at firstname.lastname@example.org or reach out on social.