I’m sure that by now you all know what hashtags are. What you may not know, however, is how to best use them for your business. Just to quickly reiterate, hashtags are the linking of a word or phrase across social media to a single stream.
How To Use Hashtags
While they may seem simple, they do need be used with caution. Simply tagging everything under the sun will not help your cause. You must ensure that you are using the correct hashtags and using them in the correct way.
It is important that you only use hashtags that are relevant to your business. If not, your intended audience may not be the ones that see your social media post. To get started; make a list of keywords related to your business, search similar businesses to see what hashtags they are using and search your target audience’s interests. The more specific you can be the better. It is also important to avoid long, complicated hashtags. Your target audience is not going to be searching for #hashtagsthatareaslongasthisandaresuperhardtoread.
Born on Twitter, hashtags are now used on Facebook and Instagram as well. Whilst their purpose is largely the same on each of the networks, it is still worth researching whether there are any differences in their type or use of on each network.
There are a number of strategies for using hashtags in business. One of the most common and effective strategies is using brand and campaign specific hashtags.
A brand specific hashtag is created by a business and should be unique to that business. Often they are the company name and/or a tagline that defines the business. Brand hashtags a great way to link all of a company’s content together. They also provide brands with the opportunity to encourage their customers to also use the hashtags, which in turn promotes the brand and can help expand reach.
Campaign hashtags are created specifically for a company’s unique marketing campaigns. Campaign hashtags are often heavily pushed for a short period of time in order to almost inundate customers with the particular campaign. They are particularly effective when used in campaigns such as sales and competitions and can be an extremely effective way to extend the reach of a campaign.
One of the most commonly used types of hashtag are trending hashtags. When a topic becomes popular and large amounts of people begin to talk about it on social media it is said to be trending.
Monitoring trending hashtags is crucial for businesses. Should a trending hashtag relate to your business, you have the ability to launch your message to a much larger than normal audience.
Content hashtags are another useful type of hashtag for businesses. While they are not used to directly market your brand, they can be used very effectively to tag content in your post. For instance, a fashion brand selling a pair of high heels might #shoes. These are not necessarily trending or even popular. However they can be useful for users that are searching more generally. Content hashtags can also improve the SEO of your posts.
Another extremely effective type of hashtag is a call-to-action. The main goal of these types of hashtags is to encourage people to perform a specific action involving your brand. It is somewhat different to the other types of hashtags we have described as the hashtag is not necessarily linking to something tangible.
A call-to-action hashtag will often start with a verb, such as share or talk about. Followed by a few short instructions. The idea is to get people posting or talking about whatever it is that the brand has requested. For example, a healthcare organization may use a call-to-action hashtag such as #TalkAboutMentalHealth.