How to use Hashtags for Social Media Marketing
How to use Hashtags for Social Media Marketing
Instagram hashtags can make or break your Instagram strategy. Use them correctly and you’ll get your posts seen by an organic audience relevant to your brand. Sounds simple, right? Nope, the wrong hashtags can affect your performance. By using the wrong hashtags, you can do damage to your online presence, from annoying the audience to getting penalized by social media algorithms. To use hashtags for Instagram effectively, you need to understand exactly what they do and how they can influence your performance.
What are hashtags?
A hashtag is a combination of characters that begin with the # symbol (e.g., #FuseAgency). They’re used to categorise content on social media platforms so that certain content is easy to find. Hashtags turn into hyperlinks once your content is posted. Anyone who clicks on a hashtag or conducts a hashtag search will see a page showing all the posts tagged with that hashtag.
How to utilise hashtags for my brand
Featuring a variety of these types of hashtags will ensure that your posts are seen by a large number of people, but also by people who will find them relevant and interesting, and who will be likely to follow you to see more of your content.
Using a selection of hashtags that vary in popularity will make your posts more discoverable. For example, it can be beneficial to use trending hashtags as long as they are relevant to your brand. However, the fact that they are trending means that lots of other people and brands are using them too, and your post can get lost among all the others. Therefore, it can be helpful to also use hashtags that are popular among niche groups that align with your target market to ensure your posts are seen, and that the people who see them will be interested.
Branded hashtags that are unique to your company are also important. These can include a hashtag of your company’s name (or a shortened version), or a catchy tagline that is unique to your brand, and not likely to be used in reference to anything else, especially another brand or something negative. Therefore, make sure you check if and how these hashtags are currently being used before implementing them. These branded hashtags will potentially be used by your followers if they choose to engage with your brand in their own social media posts, so they should be short and easy to spell.
Another type of hashtags that should be considered are content hashtags. These are words or phrases that relate to your post but aren’t branded or trending. They contribute to your SEO performance and help your posts be seen by people who are searching for those hashtags and would therefore be interested in your post.
These can refer to real holidays or seasons, like #summerdays, or they can be used for all those national holidays, like International Women’s Day or White Ribbon Day. If there’s a national holiday or day of note coming up in your calendar, utilise this in your social media posts and remember to include the hashtag.
Hashtags on different platforms
Your hashtag strategy should vary slightly for each platform, based on the affordances of the individual platforms.
Instagram allows a maximum of 30 hashtags per post, however, engagement is maximised when only 5-10 hashtags are used. It is common for these hashtags to be included as the first comment on the post, rather than part of the caption so that people who see your post can focus on the main content of your caption. If your account is set up as a business account, then you can use Instagram Insights to see how effective your hashtags are at leading to impressions (the number of times people see your posts).
Twitter was the originator of hashtags, so using hashtags on this platform just makes sense. Tweets are limited to 280 characters, so it is recommended that posts only include 1-2 hashtags. This ensures that you are left with enough characters to clearly articulate the message you want the tweet to deliver. You can also include hashtags that are relevant to your brand in your Twitter bio.
1-2 hashtags per Facebook post is recommended. An effective strategy is to use one popular or trending hashtag and another that is unique to your brand. You can see whether people are engaging with your brand by featuring your unique brand hashtags in their own posts via facebook.com/hashtag/ followed by the hashtag you wish to search for.
The most optimal number of hashtags to use on LinkedIn are 1-2, and if your post includes more than 5, LinkedIn may mark it as spam. These hashtags can be incorporated into the body of the post to highlight keywords, and LinkedIn can also recommend hashtags that it thinks are relevant as you write a post. Since LinkedIn is used for professional purposes, hashtags should be chosen and applied in a way that reflects the professional nature of the platform.
When planning your social posts, pick and choose a few hashtags to use each time, rather than having to remember the hashtags or search for new ones for each post. This lets you make sure the tags you use are relevant to what you’re posting and current to what’s trending or happening at the time. Remember to avoid being repetitive, and keep content consistent with what you hashtag.
If you need support in managing your social media strategy, get in touch with us today to see how we can help – firstname.lastname@example.org or 3198 4890.