Hashtags have been around for a few years now, and if your company is still wondering why on Earth we’re throwing the pound symbol all over social media, you’re not alone! Hashtags, when used strategically, can be a great tool to increase engagement and visibility on social media. It can be hard to detect this on your go-to social media platforms though with all the hashtag spam tossed around. We’re here to cut through the noise and help you understand the purpose and possibilities when it comes to using hashtags in boosting your business.
Let’s talk marketing strategy as it relates to the infamous hashtag. The purpose of the hashtag is to label your content and help it get exposed to an audience outside of just your “inner circle”. Hashtags become indexed, like keywords, and thus become searchable and visible to a larger audience than just your immediate network.
A few of the most common platforms using hashtags today are Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Interestingly enough, each of these platforms has a different engagement rate based on how many hashtags you use. For example, using 9-10 hashtags on Instagram can get the most potential engagement on a post, whereas only 1-2 hashtags on Twitter or Facebook is the sweet spot.
Like all forms of marketing and advertising, there are some best practices when it comes to the use of hashtags in marketing.
Spam Creates Spam.
You’ve likely seen those posts that have a mile long trail of hashtags at the end. While this could get you some new followers, it’s more likely to attract more spam, fake profiles, and people who are not actually interested in what you offer. You’re basically keyword stuffing when you use dozens of hashtags with every post you make. A better strategy is to use fewer, high-quality, relevant hashtags that are appropriate for your brand and audience.
Do Your Research.
Just like keyword research, it’s important to do your research on social media to see which hashtags are being used and followed most, that relate to your industry, products or services. There are helpful analytics sites for hashtags like Hashtags.org or Hashtagify which can assist you in finding and targeting the best hashtags for your company.
Be Clear and Concise.
Sure, it’s fun to try and read out the long-winded hashtags, but in terms of a marketing strategy to increase your engagement on social media, we recommend keeping your hashtags short and to the point. Your audience is never going to look for long, convoluted hashtags if they’re interested in a specific topic. There’s a fine line between being creative and strategic here, so just be mindful of what your audience or potential customers would be searching for.
How To Use Hashtags For Business
If you’re new to this modern day marketing method, you might be wondering how you even use hashtags for your business. Here are some common ways to incorporate a hashtag (or two) into your everyday marketing efforts:
- Add a hashtag to the relevant keywords within your content posted on social media, so that it’s embedded right into your post
- Add your well-researched hashtags to the end of a post, after the content
- Create a unique hashtag solely for your brand or a specific campaign and then incorporate it throughout your marketing materials
- Join in relevant conversations on Twitter or other platforms where you can add your insight and expertise to an industry related conversation through a comment on someone else’s post
Fun Hashtag Facts & Stats
Chris Messina is credited to have started the hashtag on a tweet back in 2007
how do you feel about using # (pound) for groups. As in #barcamp [msg]?
— Chris Messina (@chrismessina) August 23, 2007
The Oxford Dictionary added the word “hashtag” in 2014
The use of hashtags has catapulted fundraisers like the #IceBucketChallenge which has raised over $115 million dollars for the A.L.S. Association. Sabre recently launched a #Lift4LFS campaign for the Li-Fraumeni Syndrome Association to raise awareness of Li-Fraumeni syndrome, a genetic predisposition to cancer, to build their support community and fight cancer.
Social movements are gaining the power of millions of people through the use of hashtags as a new form of activism and raising awareness
Tag, you’re it! If your company is ready to harness the power of the hashtag into your marketing strategy, be sure to call us at (508) 652-0012, or fill out a form to get in touch. Happy hashtagging!