When you’re scrolling through social media, it seems to be rare to see a post without hashtags. Hashtags are words following the pound sign (#) which can be used to boost engagement, gain followers, and categorize social media posts. They started being used on Twitter back in 2007, and their popularity has grown exponentially since then. So, how can you use them to their fullest potential? And why should you?
Use the right amount of hashtags for each social media platform.
Each social media platform has a recommended number of hashtags per post. Certain platforms boost hashtags whereas others don’t. It’s important to keep in mind which platforms can actually grow from using tags. Facebook and Pinterest don’t see any content growth from hashtags. For this reason, it’s best not to use them there at all.
However, Instagram and Twitter definitely boost hashtags. On Instagram, you are limited to 30 tags per post – to increase your engagement to its fullest, use all 30 of those available spots. On Twitter, the recommended amount of hashtags is one or two; more than that can actually hurt your engagement. The biggest piece of advice when hashtagging is this: use them wisely.
See what other people in your industry are tagging.
Mockery is the sincerest form of flattery, right? By using the same hashtags as other popular creators within your industry, you’re making use of those tags to channel some of their audience to your profile. This can seriously help your engagement and your reach – try it out!
Reference a website to find the most popular hashtags.
Because of the popularity of hashtags, websites exist with the sole purpose of identifying and providing the best and most effective hashtags for different topics. Websites like Hashtagify and All Hashtag allow users to see the most popular tags on different social media platforms. These hashtags, when searched, allow traffic to be driven to any profile using them. This can be a huge benefit when you’re trying to boost engagement and reach more people.
Use them to grow your brand.
Hashtags, when used correctly, are a very effective way to bring new people to your social media profile. To make sure you’re reaching the fullest potential of the tags you’re using, there are a few key steps to keep in mind.
1. Hashtag your existing audience’s interests.
If you’re aware of the demographics of your audience, you’re able to cater your posts to that group of people. (Not sure about your demographics? Check out our post about analytics to open the door to a whole new world. Trust us.) Each demographic shares certain interests and views. By having an idea of the type of content your target demographic enjoys, you can add hashtags reflecting some of those interests. As a result, new people with those interests will be led to your page. This can bring new clients directly to your page – why not try?
2. Keep an eye on the Trending page.
Particularly on Twitter, the Trending page highlights which hashtags are currently being talked about the most. By taking advantage of these, your profile can easily land in the mix of trending posts. When you land on the trending page (or the Explore page on Instagram, which operates in a similar way), you’ll increase the reach of your brand and possibly gain new clients just from using a popular hashtag!
3. Make sure your hashtags are relevant to your brand and content.
If you’re posting a photo of coffee, you probably shouldn’t put #tea in the caption. This is a silly example, but when your tags don’t match the photo, your post looks just as silly. Hashtags work best when they emphasize either the subject of the photo or the mission of the brand. With this in mind, make sure you’re using tags that make sense – even if that means mixing those in with the most popular tags.
Struggling to grow your brand and looking for a solution? Reach out to us here at Blackwood Creative. We’re experts at using social media strategies to grow your brand and increase your reach.