Maximising Your Usage of Hashtags
Each social media site has a unique system, as they individually offer us something different. For example, Instagram is the space to share images (and now videos too). Twitter is the space for sharing your thoughts in text form, and LinkedIn is dedicated to all things business and of course, showing off your professional accomplishments. The one thing that unites all of these platforms together is the wonderful ‘hashtag’.
What are hashtags?
A hashtag ‘#’ is described as a ‘metadata tag’ and will appear at the end of a sentence which promotes an idea to audiences online. The involvement of a hashtag acts as a playful and tactful reinforcement about the punch line of an idea. It’s a great way to also create a network between your image, text, or product, with new audiences online.
The best way to maximise your usage of hashtags, is by understanding the pros and cons that come with using them. One of the possible cons is that it can be hard to create a short, simple, and unique hashtag that is memorable and catches on. If, however, your hashtag is your brand’s name, you’re good to go! It’s then about ensuring that you have included your individualised brand hashtag on enough footage and content. The more you incorporate it into your posts, blogs and texts, the more likely it is to stick in the mind of your audience!
One of the most effective aspects of using hashtags is that it enables you to be part of a digital network. When inserting a hashtag in your online post, it immediately becomes part of something bigger. You are imprinting your own unique form of content into the midst of millions of other pieces of content – subsequently becoming part of an online community. Hashtags are therefore a great option to draw promotion, raise awareness and build relationships with new audiences online.
Pro Tips for using hashtags:
So let’s go over some of the fundamentals for involving hashtags on your posts. Firstly, you want to ensure that your social media accounts are all public. If they are private, there is no point in adding hashtags to your posts because your content won’t be seen by non-followers. A pro tip to remember when adding hashtags to your post is to only include a few and this is very dependent on the platform that you are using (don’t worry we’ll go over that in a bit!). But before then, remember to keep it cool. Don’t use hashtags to string an entire sentence together. Just have a few key words inserted at the end of the sentence and use hashtags to elevate them. For example your post might say: “Shop our radiant knitwear collection to liven up your wardrobe this autumn #autumnullooks #fashionlooks #knitwear #fashion”. This use of hashtags clearly indicates the overarching message that you are looking to communicate and will attract audiences who are interested in these sub-themes.
A recurring question that marketers stumble across is ‘what hashtag is the most popular?’. Now, it is important to remember that when you use hashtags you need to keep it relevant to the post that you are sharing. A smart way of doing this is through combining your keywords with popular hashtags. This way you can guarantee that your content is going to reach a wide span of audiences online. Keep it short and simple and opt for five key hashtags as a maximum amount. Some of the popular hashtags from June 2021 for Instagram are: #love 2.1 billion posts, #instagood 1.3 billion posts, and #fashion 972 million posts. It’s therefore clear that the popularity of hashtags lie in words that aren’t too complex or alternative.
A great site to use for creating hashtags is RiteTag, which is an easy online system that can help you with crafting, publishing, and hashtag suggestions for your individual social media sites. The site allows you to insert your intended caption, and it will generate hashtags for you based on your content to match this with the ideal audience.
How many hashtags should you use on social media?
When adding your hashtags, remember that less is more. We don’t want to appear spammy, so leave the 100 hashtag ideas that you have planned at the door. For Twitter, opt for using 1-2 hashtags as the content is already text heavy and you’re either going to reach people or you won’t. Keep it clean. It looks more authentic. A great tip for creating hashtags for Twitter is by using Hashtagify.me who will analyse the popularity of each hashtag. Similarly, on Facebook the ideal number of hashtags is 1-2, and can be added at the end of a Facebook post or in the comments section. These hashtags can then be found in the search bar, connecting you with new audiences.
Contrastingly, on Instagram the optimal number of hashtags is much larger as it is between 5-10, depending on the post. After you’re done creating a great Instagram caption, and have your glowing image ready to post, it’s time to add your hashtags. A perfect place to start is by looking at what hashtags are trending in relation to your brand’s identity. For example, if you are a homeware brand, look at hashtags for ‘interior design’ and ‘homeware’ by searching them in the search bar. You’ll immediately see how popular the hashtag is and how often it has been used. Consider adding these to your selection of hashtags. It is also important to use hashtags that are relevant to the image that you are posting. Similarly, on LinkedIn you can find out what hashtags are popular, by selecting the ellipsis underneath a new hashtag. Another pro tip, for using Pinterest hashtags is involving 2-5. With image based platforms, it's better to involve more hashtags as there is often less text.
Now, you’ve got your hashtag knowledge on point, it’s time to define what hashtags are going to best suit your audience. Here is where you must consider your audience – who is your typical consumer, what is their age and gender, what is their profession? This will guide you towards creating key hashtags that are appropriate and will effectively match the interests of your target audience. Most importantly, if you have used hashtags before, analyse what has worked previously and keep that going. Hashtags are ultimately a bit of fun, so use them skilfully to elevate your brand’s online expression! #marketingblogs #hashtags #socialmedia #digitaltrends