How Good Is Your #Hashtag Strategy?
We are all using Hashtags pretty generously in all the online posts we make across various platforms. But do you know exactly what benefits your business is getting from these #Hashtags? Do you know how to ensure that you get your Hashtags right?
By the end of this post, you'll become an expert on how you can utilize Hashtags and what difference your Hashtag Strategy can make in your online marketing reach & engagement.
Posts Which Include Hashtags Get Twice the Engagement Than Those Without!
1. What does Hashtag mean and how they help your post stand out?
In simple terms, # symbol attached with any keywords with your post on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn is hashtag.
There are millions of posts made on each social media platform and hashtags help you stand out from the others. Hashtags help you reach out to a wider audience outside your followers.
If you include hashtags in your content, you help social media platforms index your content in a way that is discoverable to everyone who is searching or interested in that particular keyword.
Let's take an example, suppose you are a Real Estate company that sells and rents residential apartments in Mumbai, you can add hashtags like #ResidentialApartments, #RentalApartments, #MumbaiApartments in your Instagram or Facebook posts.
If someone has followed that keyword or hashtag, despite being outside your followers' list, your post will be shown to such an audience. Thus, posts with Hashtags are much better than posts without one.
2. How to properly plan your Hashtag Strategy?
So now since you know what difference having Hashtags makes, it's important to have a proper strategy for Hashtag which shall ensure that you reach out to maximum relevant customers. You can include following points while choosing your hashtags:
a. #TrendingHashtags : It's no rocket science to understand that trending hashtags are the ones which get the maximum traction and reach in social media searches. It's always advised to check for Top Trending hashtags and if your post has a content that fits right in any of these trending topics, it's recommended to put that in your post. However, do not put hashtags that are unrelated to your post as it just reaches out to a wider audience who might not be interested in your post, reducing your engagement.
b. #ProductOrServiceHashtags : If the shared post is about a product or a service, you can include the service or the product name as well. Also, you could include what problem your product or service solve such as #AntiDandruff Shampoo along with your shampoo ad or post. This highlights your product or service from rest of the text, getting readers' attention.
c. #BrandHashtags : all the popular brands have their unique identity which they want their customers to think of when they hear that particular brand name.
For Example, Nike has a tagline 'Just Do It' associated with it which is an important part of the brand identity. So, when Nike posts anything on Social Media, they include #JustDoIt in their posts which empowers their brand identity.
3. What are the best practices for using Hashtags on Various Platforms?
If you're using Hashtags, it is important to be aware of the best practices to follow across various platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Here are some of the tips which can be used for using hashtags across these platforms.
a. Facebook: Facebook had begun supporting Hashtags back in 2013 but they're not very popular as they are on Facebook-owned Instagram. Using hashtags along with your brand's post on FB will help you reach a wider spectrum of relevant audiences.
- Use about 2-5 hashtags per post, don't overdo it.
- You can place the hashtags within the sentence or add them at the end of the post.
b. Instagram: Instagram is the one social media platform that has popularized the trend of using hashtags. You can use Hashtags with the brand image or video you want to share with your defined audience.
- Use about 5-10 hashtags per post which are relevant to the post.
- The best placement is after your post's caption
c. LinkedIn: LinkedIn has come pretty late in the hashtags, and it does work like a charm to have hashtags along with the posts. The platform promotes your content to people who follow the hashtags you're putting so be wise about planning what all hashtags could lead to a bigger audience.
- Use relevant 5-10 hashtags
- The best placement is along with the text and towards the end of the post. You can use LinkedIn suggested Hashtags as well if they're related to your content.
d. Twitter: The microblogging site Twitter was one of the first platforms which came with the concept of hashtags. As the word limit per post is limited, it's advisable to keep hashtags short and relevant.
- Use about 2-4 hashtags
- A good placement strategy could be along with the text content as the limit is just 140 characters.
4. How to use Hashtags for your own business/ brand?
There are a lot of businesses and brands out there in the market, however, you can utilize hashtags to reach out to the customers in a better way than your competitors by using hashtags which are relevant to your audiences. Hashtags can help you market your offerings better than the competitors in the ever-growing digital ecosystem.
Some of the tips which can be used for your brand's hashtag strategy formulation and execution:
- Have a clear-cut goal in mind while posting i.e. what do you want to attain from a social media post.
- Be specific and keep your hashtags as relevant as possible to the content in the post.
- Use hashtag guides that can help you find out which hashtags are trending right now. Some of the sources are hashtags.org, ritetag.com, trendsmap.com, keyhole.co which can help you with the realtime trending hashtags to plan your hashtag strategy.
- Don't overdo and spoil the user experience. Keep your hashtags less in number yet impactful and relevant.
- Do some market research and see what your competitors are doing.
- Keep some of your brand hashtags constant to gain that trending position.
- Keep experimenting with short and long hashtag keywords.
Getting your Hashtags right is a key component of overall online marketing strategy as it helps your brand to have a better online presence and generate higher impressions for the communication which you want to spread across.