Social media can be a minefield, especially on top of running your own business. Then they throw in things like hashtags for you to use, but it doesn’t have to be a headache for you. That’s why we have put together this blog post; to explain what hashtags are, why it’s important to use them, where to use them and some tips on finding the best hashtags for your business.
What are hashtags?
Hashtags are an indexing system, a way for the algorithms to categorise posts. For example, if you are interested in baking, you could search for #baking and it will show you all the posts that have used that hashtag, whether you are following that person or not. You can also follow particular hashtags so if you always want to see posts about baking, you can follow it and the posts always appear in your feed. Equally, if you would like to share your recent culinary masterpiece you can add #baking and it will then be shown to everyone who is following or searching that hashtag.
Why use them?
There are many advantages of using hashtags on social media, especially for your business profiles:
• Increase post reach – using hashtags on each individual post will help that post reach more people, including people who don’t follow you already. It is good to keep an eye on your insights to see how many people you are reaching and note successful hashtags.
• Increase brand awareness – people can also find your profile through hashtags which in turn, increases your followers.
• Target interests – by describing your posts via your hashtags, you can reach likeminded people who have the same interests or people you want to target for your business (your ideal customer).
• Collate posts for events/campaigns – by using a hashtag for your event or campaign, you can see all the user generated content in one place.
Where to use them?
Facebook – Up until late 2020, hashtags were not really very successful in terms of reach, but in the last couple of months, Facebook has expanded its hashtag feature to help users increase reach on posts. The updated feature is still being tested, but it is likely that the use of hashtags on Facebook will continue to rise throughout 2021. Hashtags on Facebook can also be used for collating content for events and encourage user generated content.
LinkedIn – Hashtags are also not as prevalent on this networking site, they can be used to target a specific audience for publishing articles. However, you can only use a maximum of 5 hashtags on LinkedIn otherwise the algorithm will mark it as spam.
Instagram – Instagram is the most effecting platform for hashtags, along with Twitter. You can use up to 30 hashtags on each post so try to use all 30 so you can trial as many as you can to find the successful ones. Try to use less popular hashtags as you will have more chance of showing up on them if there isn’t millions of hits. Choose hashtags that are relevant to your post and brand, to engage with new audiences. You can track the success of your hashtags and see how many profiles you have reached via your insights.
Twitter – Twitter was the first social media platform to implement hashtags. It is recommended by Twitter to only use 2 hashtags per tweet, and they claim that it can only take one hashtag to launch your tweet’s success! Twitter is also great for location-specific hashtags for events and brand awareness.
Creating a hashtag bank
Creating a bank of hashtags to use on your posts is a great way to collate all the various hashtags you can mix and match to see which ones get the best success. Create banks for different posts and topics that you talk about on your social media.
A few tips on finding hashtags to use:
• Look at what your competitors/industry specialists are using.
• Think about what your target audience (ideal customer) would be searching for, try to really think about their interests and demographics.
• Use the Instagram search facility to see which hashtags come up when you type things related to your business – try to use hashtags that have below 1 million hits.
• Use tools such as RiteTag and Hashtagify.me.
We hope this blog post has helped you to understand hashtags a little more and how you can start using them in your posts starting today!