Establishing an online presence is more important than ever in an increasingly connected digital world. Businesses that want to expand their reach and acquire more customers will want to be present on social platforms, whether it is on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or Twitter. If you are thinking about doing just that, you need to make sure you have a solid social media strategy in place.

We can’t talk about social media without touching on hashtags. Hashtags are the bomb. If you want to ramp up your marketing efforts, you won’t go wrong with incorporating hashtags into your overall strategy, serving as labels for your content.

Not only do hashtags allow you to sort out and organize your content into some sort of categories to make it easier for people to find your posts, you are also benefiting from the hashtag’s expansive reach, increasing your posts’ visibility in the process. Hashtags can connect you to relevant audiences who won’t otherwise see your posts, especially if they are not following your page.

Another unique characteristic of hashtags is their ability to connect various people that allow them to engage in conversations and interact with one another—all through clicking on a particular hashtag.

Benefits of Using Hashtags

As mentioned earlier, hashtags are highly beneficial if done correctly. If you need more convincing, check out the following benefits of a good hashtag strategy:

Establish Your Online Presence

No matter how good your social media strategy is, without brand awareness, you will gain nothing. You will want to get the word out about your brand to a wider audience. This is where hashtags come in.

Promote Products and Events

 

You may also use this hashtag when you want your followers to talk about your brand or if you are running a giveaway.

Create Conversations Around Your Brand

You can use a branded hashtag to let your interested audience see all the posts related to your business and your product offers in one place.

 

5 Clever Ways to Use Hashtags

While it seems easier said than done, there is a lot of work involved when it comes to a great hashtag strategy. You are not including hashtags just to ride on the trending topic of the day. You need to use hashtags in a way that will benefit your brand, reaching out to relevant audiences who will likely be more interested in learning about your brand.

You have to use hashtags in a clever way. Here are some tips that can help you get started:

Start by Doing Your Research

You cannot have an effective hashtag strategy without first conducting a thorough research. Some of the things you need to consider when doing this include the following:

· How many hashtags can you use in one post? For example, IG allows a maximum of thirty hashtags.

· What is the ideal number of hashtags you should use? This can affect the number of people you will reach. Instagram said posts that use just around five hashtags achieved the best performance. Too many might make your posts look like spam.

· What hashtags are relevant to your industry?

· Do the hashtags on your list have a significant number of followers?

· What hashtags are currently trending? You might want to identify those that are useful for your brand.

Doing a hashtag research will let you see which hashtags you should utilize. Popular and relevant hashtags can effectively boost your visibility and allow you to reach more people, drive engagement, and grow your audience.

Another tip when doing hashtag research is to check what your competitors are doing with their own hashtag strategy. This can help you discover new hashtags for your content or find an alternative if you don’t want to use what they are using.

Choose Only the Relevant Hashtags

There are tons of hashtags out there, but not all of them are relevant to your brand. You need to be smarter when utilizing them.

People will not like it if they see your posts under hashtags that have nothing to do with your content. They click on hashtags most of the time to check out what is trending and learn more about it. If your posts cannot contribute anything under those hashtags, they will be easily turned off. This poses a problem as you are doing the opposite of what you sought out to achieve—expanding your reach and attracting potential customers.

Another consideration when choosing hashtags is to make them simple and easy to remember. Hashtags that are using long, complicated words will not perform that well. People will not be actively looking for a hashtag that is obscure and hard to spell.

For example, if you want to ride the popularity of the holiday hashtags, you will most likely get more traction when using popular hashtags like #happyholidays instead of #yuletideseason, which has fewer posts compared to the former.

Of course, a simple hashtag does not equate to a general one. You will want to mix it up and include some specific hashtags for a more targeted audience. Popular hashtags like #holidays will have millions of posts under them. Your own content will most likely get lost in the pool of #holiday posts. Instead, you may want to pair general hashtags with more specific ones.

If you are running a holiday giveaway, for example, you may want to consider using #holidaygiveaway or #christmasgiveaway. That way, people will know that you are actually running a giveaway and not simply sending them your warm holiday greetings. Your posts will also reach people who are interested in and are actively searching for giveaways that they can join in.

Create Branded Hashtags

Hashtags are a great way to show off your brand messaging. You will want to stand out, too, especially if you have already built your own solid following. Generic hashtags will not get you in front of your followers.

Creating a hashtag unique to your brand will give you the chance to set yourself apart. This hashtag should be tailored to your own brand, making it relevant to your business and your marketing campaigns. You can turn your business name into a hashtag, which you can use in all your posts. This will give your followers an easy way to find all your posts in case they miss some in a certain period.

You can also create hashtags for your specific marketing campaigns. Some brands, like Adidas, have hashtags that allow them to see posts from their customers and followers. Adidas launched the #yesadidas hashtag. Users who want to tag the company and get their attention can use this. Adidas can then use photos under that hashtag and reshare it to their followers. It is a good tactic if you want an effective user-generated content strategy.

 

Photo by Mikael Blomkvist from Pexels

We’ve touched on this before, but it needs another reinforcement. Using trending hashtags that are relevant to your posts can be quite effective if done right. This will allow you to take part in relevant conversations and social issues connected to your brand. Social awareness is a huge thing in an increasingly digital world, after all.

Many online users like it if the brand they are following shows support for important social issues. This shows your human face behind the brand, making you more approachable and concerned about the world around you.

Other trending hashtags usually involve key dates. Christmas, Black Friday Sale, Valentine’s, and other popular holidays are often talked about on social media. You won’t want to miss out by not grabbing the opportunity to utilize them in your content.

Tailor Hashtags to Specific Platforms

While it is true that most platforms allow hashtags, it is still important to cater your hashtags to relevant platforms.

On Instagram, for example, hashtags are focused on describing the content since it’s a photo- and video-sharing platform. Twitter, on the other hand, emphasizes the topic of the conversation. Twitter users tend to use the name of the person, holiday, place, event, happenings, and more.

LinkedIn, as a professional networking platform, focuses on hashtags that talk about positions, services, and the like.

When using hashtags for different platforms, you need to create a separate list of hashtags for each. That way, you will not mix them up and end up with a poorly performing post. It is also important to know when not to use them. For example, you won’t want to include hashtags on your Google ads strategy as these are not supported.

Wrapping It Up

Hashtags are undoubtedly useful for your brand and marketing campaigns on social media. They have a wealth of benefits, from expanding your audience reach and building a solid following to driving more engagement and creating conversations around your brand.

You must include hashtags in your digital marketing strategy. And once you get started, you should make sure to monitor and track them to know which hashtags are working and which ones are not. This will help you refine your hashtags strategy to ensure your goals are met.

Elias Stevens

Elias Stevens (elias@gadgetadvisor.com) is a freelance journalist, personal chef, and tech enthusiast.

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