Hashtags are one of those mysterious phenomenons that have taken the social media world by storm. Most marketing and business professionals know that hashtags are an integral part of their social media strategy, yet they don’t understand how to use them. Or the purpose behind using them.
In this article we’ll share with you what hashtags are, why they are important and some basic fundamentals and simple tips for you to learn how to make them work more effectively for your brand or business.
What is a hashtag and why is it important?
A hashtag can be almost any word or collection of words, without any spacing. By placing the hashtag symbol (#) in front of of the word or phrase, different social media platforms will recognize this and make it a clickable link.
“A post with at least one Instagram hashtag averages 12.6% more engagement than posts without a hashtag.”
Hashtags are used to connect your social media content to a specific topic, theme or conversation. This allows your target audience to discover you before they have even connected with you on social media. When hashtags are used correctly, they can help you to grow your reach, increase your engagement, make your posts more visible and even attract more followers. Therefore, hashtags need to be strategically thought out and planned – making sure attention is paid as to which hashtags to use on which platforms and when.
To help you get started, we have provided some effective and simple tips to support you in developing your hashtag strategy.
- They will always start with a ‘#’ symbol, however if you see spaces and punctuation they will not work
- Hashtagged content will be seen by followers as well as non-followers, if your account/s are made public.
- The ideal number of hashtags depends on the social media platform that you are posting. While the optimal number to use for Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn is between 1 – 2, Instagram is be between 5 – 10 (though Instagram does allow up to 30).
- The best hashtag is one that is relatively short, sweet and easy to remember.
Choosing the Right Hashtags
The most common question our clients ask is, “how do you go about choosing the right hashtag?” or “Which hashtag should I use?” As with any strategy, it completely depends on the brand.
- The most popular hashtags are not necessarily the best choices. Instead, we encourage clients to use a hashtag that is smaller, more niche and has a engaged audience that is appropriate for your industry.
- The best way to start developing your list of hashtags is to research your target audience, competitors and industry leaders and determine what hashtags they are using and which options are providing the most engagement.
- There are also some tools such as me and RiteTag that help you generate trending hashtags based on your content, as well as determine their popularity.
- Create branded hashtags. They are a great way to help spread the word about your business, find content created about you by your followers, and create a community around your business
A hashtag, branded or otherwise, can be an incredibly useful facet to your social media strategy. They have the ability to connect your brand with topics and industries that are relevant, as well as your target audience.
If you need support in developing your hashtag strategy please email us at email@example.com and we would be more than happy to assist.