Social media provides brands with the opportunity to connect with potential customers. Through social media, you can build relationships with new audiences by sharing unique and interesting content.
For brands who want to reach an even broader audience without using paid promotions, hashtags can be a great tool for boosting their reach. If you’re interested in using hashtags as part of your social media marketing strategy, here are some basics to help you use them effectively.
What Are Hashtags?
Widely used on popular social media platforms including Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and more, hashtags seem to be everywhere. Despite the widespread use of hashtags, however, there are many people who are still unsure of what purpose they actually serve (or whether they truly serve a purpose at all).
When used correctly, hashtags are an effective tool for brands and users to categorize their social media content and drive engagement. Here are just a few of the benefits of using hashtags as part of your social media content strategy:
- Users can discover new content by browsing specific hashtags on social media or expand their network by using hashtags in their own content.
- For brands and businesses, strategically including the right hashtags can make it easier for the right users to find your content and increase the odds that they will engage with your brand on social media.
- Hashtags can be used to start and monitor conversations about your brand and industry.
Things To Avoid When Using Hashtags
Hashtags can provide you with new opportunities to connect with a broader audience, but there can be some pitfalls that come with using them incorrectly. Here are a few things to avoid as you start to develop your hashtag strategy:
- Don’t Use Hashtags “Just Because.” Because hashtags can make your social content easier to discover, it can be tempting to use tons of hashtags in your content. However, more visibility isn’t always better. Using popular hashtags that don’t relate to your content won’t do anything to help you connect with your target customer.
- #AvoidUsingExcessivelyLongHashtags. While there’s nothing wrong with having fun with your hashtags, try not to get too carried away using long hashtags. Try and stick to short, simple tags that are easy for your followers to remember and use.
- Don’t Get Carried Away with Creative Formatting. Beyond keeping your hashtags short and sweet, you also want to make sure you are formatting them correctly. Avoid using symbols, punctuation, or spaces in your hashtags or else they won’t work. You can use numbers in your hashtags, but you’ll want to include some text as well for context.
Tips For Using Hashtags Effectively
Now that you know what you should avoid doing when using hashtags in your social media content, how do you implement them correctly? Here are a few tips for creating an effective strategy that will resonate with your target audience:
- Do Your Homework. Before you start using hashtags in your social media content, spend some time researching them. If you’re using an existing popular hashtag, be sure to look it up to make sure you understand the context and are using it correctly. If you’re creating your own new hashtag, do some searching to make sure it’s not already being used.
- Keep Things Relevant. Rather than go overboard with tons of hashtags, try to focus only on tags that are relevant to your content. By focusing on quality hashtags that directly relate to your content, you can ensure that you are reaching the right audience.
- Create Hashtags that Represent Your Brand. Unique brand hashtags can be a great tool for building a community of highly-engaged followers. When creating your own hashtags, remember that they don’t have to include your brand name. In fact, “brandless” hashtags can be a great way to start authentic conversations and reach new audiences.
- Interact with Hashtag Users. Beyond using hashtags in your own content, you should also routinely search the hashtags you use and interact with people who are using them. By reaching out and starting conversations with other users, you can start building a community of followers who are highly-engaged with your brand.
When used correctly, hashtags can serve as the perfect complement to your social media content strategy. The right hashtags will help you connect with more potential customers and build a larger audience of highly-engaged followers. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different hashtags until you find the right strategy for your business. By monitoring the performance of your hashtags, you can identify which ones are successful and easily make adjustments to your strategy.
If you need help creating a social media marketing strategy for your business, contact us! We will provide you with a free Digital Marketing Blueprint that helps you understand what you need to grow your business online.