Social media channels provide fun ways to connect and be known. Users have flocked to these platforms to find valuable, entertaining, and informative content. As a result, content saturation occurred making important to know the best tips for using hashtags.
Social media has become even more saturated with businesses joining the bandwagon. They are now using social media to go after their target audiences and to gain clicks and shares. They publish videos, reels, and posts that continue to add up to these channels’ content. This challenging landscape results in tough competition among organizations leveraging social media.
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With the ever-increasing saturation levels of digital content, you must be clever in boosting your business’s social media presence. One of the ways to build credibility and authority is through hashtags.
Learn what hashtags are and how you can better maximize their advantages below.
What are hashtags?
Hashtags are pound (#) symbols placed before words or terms used on different social media channels. They have become a popular way to achieve brand visibility.
These clickable social media features use keywords posted by users to segmentize topics and content across digital platforms. They’ve been around since 2007, when product designer Chris Messina introduced the idea worldwide.
You can use hashtags on all social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok. In Instagram alone, the average engagement impression of posts with three to four hashtags gained more than three percent.
This three percent average post impression proves that hashtags effectively boost your brand. However, numbers don’t equate to virality. You have to employ strategies that are popular and relevant to your brand. You also need to know the best hashtags to get followers.
This post will give tips on using hashtags to reach your target audience and build significant engagements.
Reasons You Should Use Hashtags
Below are several reasons your brand needs to use hashtags.
Boost follower engagement
Hashtags can attract your target audience better by making your content more visible. The pound symbol will allow users to see your posts among the generated results when they browse for information.
Your content takes part in conversations when you affix hashtags to them. This is an excellent strategy to boost your follower engagement. You’ll be able to gain likes, shares, comments, and a community supporting your brand.
Build brand visibility
Your business has a specific brand. Promote this by creating branded hashtags.
Branded hashtags are essential for brand visibility. You can combine your company name with keywords or incorporate your business’ slogan or tagline.
You can also produce challenges and campaigns, establishing discussions and social media branding for your company.
Examples of Branded Hashtags:
#WantAnR8 by Audi
#NationalFriedChickenDay by KFC
#ShareACoke by Coca-Cola
#OreoHorrorStories by Oreo
#ShareYourEars by Disney and Make-A-Wish
#IceBucketChallenge by ALS Association
#MyCalvins by Calvin Klein
#WorthSaying by L’Oreal Paris
Provide context to social media posts
Hashtags help contextualize your content. Since they use keywords, your audience is provided with the initial idea about your post.
Most social media platforms aren’t ideal for long-form content. Hashtags are a concise way to get your brand’s message across, which lessens the need for you to write lengthy captions.
Hashtags also prevent you from overusing repetitive captions and unfamiliar jargon.
Support advocacies and causes
Social issues are valuable topics circulating on social media. Netizens are now more inclined to talk about politics, economics, and other serious matters that affect lives.
You can use hashtags to support significant movements like Black Lives Matter, Stop Asian Hate, #MeToo, and other causes.
This makes users aware that your company isn’t afraid to discuss issues. You’re also likely to gain good impressions with your target audience by supporting advocacies.
Make your brand easier to find
Users can follow hashtags since your target audience may have topics that they regularly browse.
Using popular tags like #travel, #photography, #love, and #happy will include your posts in their respective topic pages. As a result, your brand becomes easier to find and is likely to interest potential followers.
Promote your brand’s products or services
Businesses and marketers use hashtags because of their promotional abilities. They allow you to feature and promote your products and services in a simple manner.
You can use hashtags to promote events, new products, service upgrades, or discount promos. When users look for specific services, they’re likely to see your promotional posts while scrolling.
Disclose sponsored and paid partnerships
If you work with influencers or have other partnerships, hashtags are ways to disclose that specific posts are sponsored and paid. This lets users know that your content is branded and not inauthentic.
Disclosing sponsorships and paid content is vital in avoiding fines for you and your influencers. You will have to pay penalty fees should anything come up that’s not in line with industry standards. These include going against disclosure rules or misleading advertising.
Allow better localization or geo-targeting
Hashtags allow you and your target audience to reach each other.
With geo hashtags, you can also target way beyond the domestic market. For example, you can put country names to bring your content to the area you wish to reach.
How To Know Which Hashtags To Use
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Hashtags are not just words you can throw out on social media posts. They are specified and targeted keywords that can build your reputation.
Employing hashtags in your posts is a marketing strategy. Doing hashtag keyword research and finding the best hashtag research tools take comprehensive planning.
Here are ways how to do hashtag research:
Determine your niche
The first step you must do is to determine your target niche. What are your company’s products and services? What’s the branding you want to use?
Create an outline of specific content before thinking about which hashtags to use. You can conceptualize what keywords you need when you consider your marketing goals.
Diverse people of different cultures use social media channels. Therefore, you must be sure of which audience you wish to see your content.
Observe competitors and social media influencers
Looking into competitor and influencer behavior provides an overview of how hashtags work. This will allow you to gather valuable information surrounding your brand’s niche.
Take note of the hashtags used and how often your competitors and influencers use them. This will help you gain insights into how other firms engage with the same target audience. Moreover, you’ll see what keywords they commonly use.
Be aware of the trending hashtags
Popular hashtags across search engines are constantly changing. Some that are viral today would not be tomorrow.
Keeping up with the trend is a must in doing hashtag research. You must regularly explore commonly used hashtags. Awareness of the latest keywords is essential to always be in the loop. It will also ensure the success of your digital marketing strategies.
While researching trendy hashtags, find ones that match your branding and tagline. Various hashtag options await your business.
Popular Hashtags on Instagram:
No matter how popular hashtags are, they still have to match your niche. Although many users and brands use them, you don’t have to unless necessary. These hashtags might be universal, but they’re not industry or theme-exclusive.
Look for hashtags relevant to your content
Aside from finding popular tags, look for ones relevant to your brand, niche, and content. Go for keywords with a specific target market aligned with your company’s goals.
Related hashtags will help you connect more with your target audience. They can help generate more potential followers, primarily when you use them with popular tags.
Analyze previously successful hashtag posts
There are lots of hashtags already published on various digital platforms. Social media sites like Twitter regularly update their hashtag trend lists daily. Sometimes, even just within minutes, tags are rapidly changing.
Hashtag popularity depends on how it can sustain user engagement. Successful hashtags may last minutes, hours, days, weeks, or months. It’s imperative to analyze these effective tags and see why they were able to reach a vast audience.
Document your observations on Google Sheets or a similar app. Doing so can help you visualize and possibly see patterns on what makes a hashtag successful. As one of many powerful collaborative tools, you can also use it to share your data and findings with other people on your team or in the company.
By studying hashtag behaviors, you get an idea of how keyword algorithms work and affect their virality. This way, you’ll know how to utilize hashtags effectively in your social media posts.
Use hashtag analytics tools
Manual hashtag research can be time-consuming. However, there are now hashtag monitoring and analytics tools that can help. They allow you to know which hashtags are popular and relevant. They also present you with the figures stating the longevity of these tags’ popularity.
Some hashtag analytics tools are expensive, but there are free ones you can use. Others even offer free trials. Social media platforms like Twitter can also help you discover valuable hashtags through their search systems.
You can also find paid hashtag analytics tools at a reasonable price if those can help you achieve efficiency. Although this seems like a trial and error, you’ll eventually know what suits your business branding.
Tips on How To Use Hashtags Effectively
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Now that you know why you need hashtags and how to look for the ones that work, let’s look at tips for practical hashtag usage on social media.
Use simple words
When you know what relevant hashtags to use, you’ll be able to use simpler words. Understandable keywords will yield more desirable results than the ones that aren’t. The more effective tags are those that users can easily understand and recall.
Don’t use long phrases and vague words. It’s essential to keep your target users’ hooked the first time they see your content.
Keep your hashtags short and sweet
Limit your hashtag to one to four words. Stick to striking keywords that take up little space in your content. Users can get bored from reading lengthy captions. They’d either go past your post fast or unfollow you immediately.
Knowing how to shorten hashtags can take extensive brainstorming but is necessary for your social media presence’s growth. You’ll get more followers when you make this a habit.
Make your hashtags clear and concise
Some users may have a limited attention span. They usually only read the headlines and brief descriptions when searching for information online. The same goes for content publishing on social media platforms.
Chances are high that your target users will only look at hashtags. They scroll through relevant posts they need and likely stick to the first appealing one they see.
So make sure that your hashtags are direct to the point. It’s vital to ensure conciseness since you’re aiming to reach a wide range of audience.
You will only be able to achieve brand visibility when you make sure your hashtags are easier to understand.
Don’t force hashtags in every post
Many content creators may use several hashtags in one post. However, using lots of tags risks your content from being included in irrelevant topics.
Putting many hashtags when using only relevant ones can suffice your content isn’t necessary. That’s why you must do keyword research. Once you find the appropriate ones for your content, there’s no need to use too many and inappropriate keywords.
There are hashtag regulations on different platforms. You can be banned when you violate them by spamming. Getting blocklisted isn’t an ideal situation you want your company to go through, so be mindful.
Visuals have the power to communicate with your audience. Emojis are great examples of these.
While emojis showcase specific images, social media users can interpret them in many ways. This creates flexible communication essential for virality.
Emojis can be symbols of pop culture that unify people from different backgrounds. They transcend conventional beliefs that produce more open-ended conversations.
Simple emojis can bring your brand to the top. Consider using them in your hashtag marketing strategies.
Don’t use symbols, punctuations, and spaces
Be wary of what you’re putting in your hashtags. When you click “publish” without double-checking, you may notice that your tags are not working later.
Hashtags only work with letters, numbers, underscores, and emojis. Don’t put anything after the symbol “#” other than these.
Do these: #HashtagTips, #HashtagTips101, #HashtagTips_101
Don’t do these: #Hashtag Tips, Hashtag Tips #101, #HashtagTips.101
It’s crucial to be mindful of the characters you use in your tags. Don’t risk losing your audience by making these mistakes.
Use the Right Hashtag Techniques To Strengthen Your Brand
Making your brand visible online in a competitive digital market can be overwhelming. You and your competitors are doing your best to stay afloat.
Hashtags are here to help scale your business. They have been a staple in gaining social media brand awareness and popularity. Although they’re easy to use, you still need to understand how it works to know which hashtags to use to go viral.
Take note of this guide when using hashtags in your social media strategy. With the help of the proper hashtag techniques, your business is guaranteed to reach your target audience.