Hashtags need to be part of your social strategy, they need to be identified as part of your overarching marketing plan. It really is a no-brainer. But still, brands are using them without any thought or purpose behind them.
Hashtags are great for increasing your reach, making connections and for finding awesome, and relevant, content. When marketing your brand, hashtags can be your best friend; but only if you use them properly.
So, how does one go about using hashtags ‘properly’ then?
Plan your hashtags: research, identify & discover
The first rule is research.
You have to know what hashtags are going to work for your brand and your message. Explore the hashtags that are being used, by big companies, in your industry, by your competitors. Also look at the trending hashtags and ones that are widely used such as #dogsofinsta or #tbt. Can you apply any of these to your post?
Trending hashtags can increase your reach but don’t just use them for the sake of using them, only use trending and popular hashtags if it relates to the post or is relevant to your brand.
After doing your research you will need to identify which hashtags are going to be useful in attracting your target audience. Start using them in your posts and monitor which ones have a more positive effect on your post engagement and reach. Once you’ve started posting and engaging with accounts you will begin to discover more hashtags that may be suitable for your brand.
5 tips to help you get more from your hashtags
1. Use them appropriately
Not all platforms support hashtags, and some allow for more than others. Stick to the guidelines and work with the social media platform that you are using. Don’t try to make it do something that it doesn’t. If you do, your post will just end up looking clunky and out of place.
2. Be relevant
It’s is going to sound really basic, but make sure that the hashtags you use match your message and the image you’ve used in the post.
A lot of people get blindsided by trending topics and try to cram as many on-topic hashtags into their posts as they can, regardless of their relevance, which only ends up confusing (and annoying) users. Unless a hashtag is relevant to your brand and the post’s content, don’t use it.
3. Mix things up
You will probably discover a few hashtags that hit the spot but using the same hashtags over and over for every single post will do nothing to further your reach.
Try out some variations of your go-to hashtags. For example, add your location #copywriterfreo, use different verb forms #marketer #marketing, does the word order make a difference, #perthsmallbusiness #smallbusinessperth.
4. Keep it simple
Hashtags can combine a few words, but they shouldn’t turn into entire sentences. Being clever and witty won’t work in your favour. You still need to be found, so #DontBeASmartArse.
The same applies to #hashtagging #every #word #in #your #message, it’s totally unnecessary, and as you can see it makes it pretty hard to read.
5. Think like your audience
Get to know the hashtags that are specific to your target audience. Think about what words and phrases they would use to search for the products or services you provide.
Hashtags & strategy
Hashtags are not just a frivolous feature of social platforms to add when and how you choose. They can do a lot for helping you achieve your goals and therefore need to be used strategically.
Do your research and find relevant hashtags that will help you reach your target audience and incorporate them into your social strategy.