To use or not to use hashtags? How many do I use? Which hashtags do I use?
The burning questions for every social media marketer!
It's to no surprise that there is so much confusion around it due to constant social media platform updates along with the vast amount of misleading information out there!
That's why I've spoken to our team of digital gurus who are always on it, teaching our clients the best, up to date social media strategies.
And now, I'm going to share with you the best hashtag strategy that works.
Why Use Hashtags?
Posting on social media is the first step to reaching your current audience (followers), but using hashtags broadens that reach by putting your brand in front of a unique audience - people who don't follow your social media pages.
Hashtags help to increase your contents reach, boost your social media account discovery and improve your brand's awareness.
Additionally, hashtags help categorise your content which will ultimately be discovered in feeds when people search for specific hashtags and keywords on Google and social media platforms.
Choosing the right Hashtags
Selecting the right hashtags every time can be tricky due to ever-changing trends and customer needs. That's why you need a proper hashtag strategy. Use the following best hashtag tips to pinpoint which hashtags will help you grow your social media presence.
1. Use Active Hashtags
First things first, you want to make sure that the hashtags you want to use are actually being used. You cannot use hashtags blindly. You need to check that your hashtags are active.
On Facebook and Instagram, it's super easy to verify if a hashtag is active. Simply enter a hashtag and use the keyword you wish to use.
For example, when I typed ?social media? on both platforms, below the active hashtag, it tells me how many followers are using that hashtag, which confirms its activity and popularity.
Of course, we'd want to use this hashtag to broaden our reach for our social media services!
For Twitter, type your hashtag in the search bar. You'll be presented with active hashtags.
For example, when I typed in ?social media?, I received the following results in the below example. So, now I know which hashtags within the keyword searched would be valuable to use on Twitter.
What's even better about Twitter is that you can also research trending hashtags within your location, as shown in the example below:
Hashtags on LinkedIn are pretty much the same. In the below example, I did the same as above. I typed in my desired hashtag and was presented with several active hashtags used on the platform.
Just like Facebook and Instagram, you can view how many people follow specific hashtags.
Please note that you should only use trending or active hashtags if they are relevant to your content!
2. Make Them Niche Specific
Another hashtag strategy that you need to practice is researching the hashtags that people within our industry use. This includes but is not limited to your target audience, industry professionals, such as influencers, and especially your competitors!
You'll need to take a nosey at their posts to find out which hashtags they use to reach their audience, which is essentially your target audience too.
In doing this research, you'll be practising social listening, a vital social media marketing tool. You'll be able to monitor the content within these hashtag categories and gain valuable insight into the mindset of your audience, such as what they like and dislike.
In addition, it can help inspire you to create content confidently with ideas you know that your niche will like.
3. Keep It Relevant
As I mentioned before, the hashtags you use need to be relevant to the content that you share. The last thing you want to do is confuse or mislead your audience, and using irrelevant hashtags will do just that.
An easy way to ensure you stay relevant is always to keep your value proposition in mind.
4. Use a Mix
Don't just use popular hashtags with loads of followers. Use a mixture of popular, mid-sized hashtags along with smaller, niche hashtags. Plus, it's also recommended to add in some branded hashtags from time to time. Here's an example of a hashtag set we use that consists of the above:
How many hashtags do I use?
Currently, these are the following hashtag limits you should use per platform:
Create a list of different hashtag sets for each platform that are active, niche and relevant to your brand.
Please note that these do change from time to time. Sign up for our weekly newsletter, where I share the latest updates across all social media platforms.