You see them on most posts and may occasionally throw up a #throwbackthursday or #mondaymotivation on your own when you remember but are you using hashtags correctly to impact your social strategy?
What are hashtags?
The pound sign on your keyboard (#) was turned into a way to group relevant topics on social media and was first used by Twitter in 2007. Hashtags are used to make information on specific issues, events, or conversations more easily searchable for users. In addition, companies and brands create personalized hashtags so that consumers can find information about their products and services and see other consumers’ experiences with them.
Rules for hashtags
For hashtags to work, you have to follow a few rules:
- Your account must be public for your hashtags to be seen by those who don’t follow you
- Short, memorable hashtags are best
- Your hashtags must start with #
- Hashtags do not include punctuation, symbols, or spaces
- Research relevant hashtags to optimize your results
- Too many hashtags can look like spam, so keep your hashtags targeted
Why should I use hashtags?
Hashtags can be beneficial for many reasons and should always be incorporated into your social strategy. You can research hashtags applicable to your company or brand and keep a list to use on most posts, but you should always add more targeted hashtags to each post to stay relevant.
Attract your target audience
On some social platforms such as Instagram and LinkedIn, users can follow hashtags the same way they follow accounts. This means that your hashtags can directly connect you with your target audience.
Increase follower engagement
Adding hashtags to your posts adds you to the conversation happening on social media. This means that your followers are more likely to see your post and engage with likes, comments, or shares.
Develop your brand
Creating a personal hashtag for your brand not only allows you to bundle together your posts but also gives your followers a way to participate in your conversation. In addition, users can use your hashtag when referencing your company, which acts to develop your reputation and gives you access to user-generated content to use when planning your content calendar.
Support social issues
When large movements sweep through society, social media is a resource for brands and individuals to show their support. Using hashtags tied to social issues helps to make your brand more dimensional and show your audience where you stand.
How to choose the right hashtags
- Influencers – Search for influencers in your industry and see which hashtags are working for them.
- Platform tools – Many social platforms have mechanisms for businesses to optimize their posts, including suggestions for relevant hashtags.
- Third-party tools – Several free or low-cost tools can assist in determining which hashtags would benefit your brand and monitoring hashtags in your niche that might be useful.
- Trending hashtags – See which hashtags are currently trending and use a few that apply to your brand.
Improve your social strategy
Hashtags are another tool in your social media arsenal to help you attract your audience, provide them with valuable and relevant content, and create a reputation on social platforms. Choosing the right hashtags, creating a hashtag to represent your brand, and monitoring the performance of hashtags to tweak your strategy will all result in a better user experience and better social performance for your brand!