What Is A Hashtag?
A hashtag is a word or phrase preceded by a hash symbol (#) that categorizes or identifies a message on social media. They help with search engine optimization and social media marketing and are also used to categorize content for easy browsing and reach a larger audience. When used correctly, hashtags are favored by social media algorithms to promote viral marketing. Read more about this in our blog affiliate reciprocal and viral marketing techniques: What are they and how to use them and understanding social media algorithms.
Why Use Hashtags?
Increase Engagement With Your Followers
By including hashtags in your posts, you can participate in conversations happening on various social media platforms. Doing this will encourage others to share their thoughts and opinions with you and it makes your posts visible in these conversations. This could boost your brand’s social media engagement through likes, shares, comments, and new followers.
Build Brand Awareness With Branded Hashtags
A branded hashtag is a custom hashtag that is unique to your brand or business. Creating a branded hashtag can be an effective way to promote your business and drive conversations. To create a branded hashtag, add the hashtag symbol ‘#’ before the word or phrase (without punctuation). One of the most popular and successful branded hashtags of all time is #ShareACoke by Coca-Cola.
Show Support For Social Issues
Hashtags are a great way to show your support for an issue that concerns more than just your business. For example, #EachforEqual and #IWD2020 were used across social media platforms, on International Women’s Day. Brands can also create a branded hashtag that shows its connection to a social issue. For example, the Canadian telecommunications company, Bell, uses the branded hashtag #BellLetsTalk to promote mental health awareness.
Add Context To A Social Media Post
Twitter limits captions to 280 characters. Longer captions are not always the most effective. This is the same with LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest or any other platform… sometimes less is more. Using a hashtag can be an effective way to put your content into context without writing repetitive captions or using up valuable characters.
Help Your Target Audience Find You
Hashtags help you reach a targeted audience. For example, if you are looking for people who love cats and travel, you can include #cats and #travel in your post and it will be more likely that the people who follow both of these topics on social media platforms will see your post. On Linkedin and Instagram, users can follow hashtags as well as other users. Another way to help new users and followers find your brand is by using a few trending hashtags in your posts. For example, if you use #travel in your Instagram posts, someone who follows that hashtag will be more likely to see your recent post in their search or discovery pages.
Are Hashtags Still “A Thing” And Do They Work In 2022?
Hashtags have been around for almost 15 years and even though they may not be as cool as they used to be, they’re not dead in the water yet. Hashtags are a great way to grow your social media presence, organize content and help people find relevant information. They can be used in a variety of different ways, from promoting a product to initiating an online conversation. A number of consumers are still using hashtags to search for content, and it’s still one of the easiest and fastest ways to gain impressions on certain social media sites. But you have to use them correctly.
How To Use Hashtags Effectively
Hashtags can be used on various social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. It is easy to make up a hashtag, but if you need a little help with finding the correct hashtags to use, you could make use of a Hashtag Generator. This is a tool that helps you create the most relevant hashtags for your brand or campaign. They provide you with the best hashtags for the given topic or niche. Examples of some hashtag tools are All Hashtag and Hashtagify.
Here are some of our top tips to help you make the most of using hashtags:
- Hashtags 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.
- Search a hashtag before you use it to check that your hashtag isn’t being used for the wrong reasons. Also, ensure that you don’t choose a hashtag that can be interpreted negatively.
- Utilize trending hashtags. A trending hashtag is a hashtag that has become very popular and is a great way to increase a brand’s visibility.
- Find a balance between using hashtags that are incredibly popular, and not popular enough. Using high volume hashtags bears the risk of your content getting lost in the masses, while using a hashtag that doesn’t have a large following means that you may not not be experiencing the level of reach you are looking for.
- Lastly, limit the number of hashtags you use. More isn’t always better and it actually looks spammy.
In short, it seems that hashtags are here to stay, and the right use of them will not only help you reach out to a broader audience, but also tap into new avenues that you might not have thought of before. Start incorporating them in all your social media posts and watch your online brand presence increase significantly.
Want to learn more about Social Media Marketing? Check out our blog for more on this and other interesting topics.