How to use Hashtags and how they can benefit your Social Media Campaigns
Social media is a great way to communicate with potential and regular customers about new products and services, or upcoming events and promotions.
Hashtags, when used correctly, help you to find and engage your target audience, create brand awareness and build brand loyalty.
Here we will show you how to use hashtags to take your content to another level and reach a wider audience.
Hashtags are simply an increased way to leverage social media as a powerful marketing tool. They work in a way that allows you to find topics of similar content. Anyone can click on your hashtags and view your post, they don’t even have to be following you. This is a great way to build your customer or fan base and connect with people who might not find you through your regular social media channels.
Direct Traffic to Your Website
Integrating social media with your website helps to boost your presence on the web, so it’s always a good idea to stay up to speed on the best practice for each platform. When used intuitively, social media platforms can direct traffic to your website on a regular basis. Tailoring your content to each social media platform such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram will help you to increase your inbound links. This, in turn, will increase your SEO or search engine page ranking. It is important however that you keep your social media relevant to your goals. Check out trending topics that you can add value to. Keep your posts simple and memorable and make sure they are appropriate to your voice and brand.
What exactly is a Hashtag
To put it simply a hashtag is a hash mark (#) used before a relevant keyword or phrase to categorise the keyword or topic of interest. It basically works like the index pages of a book. When you use the # symbol before your keyword it is indexed by your social media platform and becomes searchable by other users.
It must be written as a single word, without any spaces. It’s also a good idea to capitalise the #FirstLetter in grouped words to make it more readable. Hashtags are simply a great way to expand your reach and grow your audience.
Discover Relevant Content Faster and Easier
All Social Media Platforms have a search facility which means you can search by a hashtag to find the content you are interested in. To make the most out of your hashtags make sure they reflect the strongest assets that represent your brand. And don’t forget to join in on relevant conversations to help people get to know you. This is another great way to build trust and build your brand awareness.
So, for example, if you are a Web Designer you might use #WebDesignDublin #WebDesignInspiration #WebDeveloper
This strategy can bring real results and provide a wealth of potential connections.
Here are a few ways you can use hashtags on your Social Media:
- Create a Social Media Campaign for your Service or Product
- Reinforce your Company Values and Expertise
- Make new Connections
- Build Brand awareness
- Create or Follow Trends
- Find potential Customers/Clients/Fans
- Interact with your Customers or Fan Base
- Get Valuable Feedback from Clients.
- Find valuable UGC (user-generated content)
- Attract Influencers
Sharing with Hashtags on Social Media
So what are the best practices for using hashtags on each social media channel?
Twitter is an excellent social media platform to help promote your business. It is also the first platform to embrace the use of hashtags. Using relevant hashtags here will help you gain maximum exposure and increase your chances of connecting with others significantly. With Twitter, you only have approximately 20 minutes to engage your audience. It doesn’t seem a lot, and it isn’t so you need to make your content stand out.
Effective strategies to use on Twitter include:
- Share articles from your blog or webpage using existing hashtags that cover your post topic. Make sure to link back to the corresponding article on your website. This generates important traffic to your webpage which is great for your SEO. It encourages link-building, leads generation and conversions.
- Follow trending topics or better still create a trending topic!
- Make sure your content stands out and use your hashtags wisely and creatively to gain maximum exposure.
- Try to post in specific knowledgeable niches. This will most likely have more longevity than say a trending hashtag.
- Remember too many in a single tweet is considered spammy so select the most relevant. For best results on Twitter use 1 -3 hashtags maximum.
- Join a Twitter hashtag chat. These chats usually allow anyone to follow or contribute to the conversation. They are almost always pre-scheduled events and cover many diverse topics such as social media, networking and community groups. If you can’t find a chat group relevant to you then why not start your own? The standard practice is to use the word “chat” in the hashtag i.e. #ArtChat #WebDesignChat to denote the topic of conversation.
- Last but not least, think about adding value. Don’t be all about promoting your business because people will eventually tune out. Find interesting articles to share or maybe an inspirational story or quote that is worth retweeting.
Remember Twitter is all about audience engagement, so you have to engage too! Always experiment to see what drives the best results for you. For more information please see the Twitter guide to using hashtags
Instagram is mostly used for sharing images and it’s very forgiving where hashtags are concerned so you can use lots of them here. In fact, you can use up to 30 hashtags. It’s always a good idea to use them all in this instance, just think how much valuable exposure you leave on the table if you don’t.
Put #Hashtags on your Instagram Stories.
There is also a story section on Instagram as I’m sure you all know by now. This new Story feature is completely supportive of hashtags. This means that your story is visible to everyone who searches your hashtags in your stories.
Don’t forget, it’s always a good idea to include a link back to your website or landing page where you can include a call to action for your potential clients, visitors or customers.
LinkedIn now encourages its users to use hashtags on their platform. This will help others find your LinkedIn content to further establish your professionalism on the platform.
If however, you are a Private User, then you must change your privacy settings from Private to Public to enable the visibility of your content which includes hashtags.
Again you don’t want to appear spammy here so a maximum of three hashtags should be enough. A good tip is to keep your hashtags relevant to the topic covered in your content to be shared.
Facebook is great for posting recent work or new products, with links to your website’s portfolio or products page. Use hashtags very sparingly here and keep them on-topic and relevant. Recent surveys have suggested that the overuse of hashtags on Facebook can do more harm than good. In fact, Facebook posts without a hashtag can often fare better than those with a hashtag. It’s best to experiment here maybe stick to 1 or 2 and see what works best.
Social Media Trends
Use your hashtags wisely (don’t overuse them!). Keep up to date with what’s trending, but only use trends that are relevant. You can check the relevance of Twitter trends or use tools such as Google Trends to gain insights into recent popularity spikes worldwide. Google trends allow you to examine what’s getting people excited on a country-by-country basis or in select specific categories such as business and entertainment. However please note piggybacking on trending hashtags for traffic’s sake is just a no-no. Make your hashtags simple, memorable and unique, and try not to over generalise.
See the infographic below for more ways to use hashtags.
Start using hashtags to expand your content’s reach now
When used correctly hashtags really are a powerful marketing tool. The next time you have something new to share, think about how you can use your social media channels to get maximum exposure. If you having difficulty coming up with relevant hashtags there are a number of tools you can use to assist you.
Hashtagify: is a free tool you can use to find hashtags. You can search for real-time data and insights about any hashtag on Twitter and Instagram: popularity ranking, related hashtags, trends, and much more.
RiteTag: Get instant hashtag suggestions for images and texts on desktop and mobile. Based on real-time hashtag engagement.
Mention: This tool tracks mentions of your brand and its hashtags across all social media.