Hashtags have become so popular, for some people they’ve become part of everyday speech. We don’t recommend using them like this though.
The truth is hashtags are a powerful tool for spreading your message and engaging with people online.. So… What are Hashtags?
What's A Hashtag?
Start with the ‘hash’ sign ‘#’ and write a single word or short phrase describing your post, like this: #explanation. Adding hashtags to your social media posts categorises them, allowing them to be found by people looking for posts on a similar topic.
For example, you could post to Facebook, Instagram or Twitter: “This #chocolatecake recipe is delicious and so easy to bake!”
Now you have two options for finding new content that interests you. The first is to click the ‘#chocolatecake’ hashtag and you’ll see posts from other pages using the same hashtag. You’ll see plenty of posts offering photos, recipes and ideas for your next chocolate cake.
What if you can’t see the hashtag you’re interested in, so there’s nothing for you to click? No worries! You can type the hashtag into your Twitter, Instagram or Facebook page search bar and get your fill of #chocolatecake posts that way.
So now you understand hashtags, how can you use them for your business?
For starters, don’t go overboard. It might be tempting to throw in as many hashtags at the end of a post as you can think of, but this is more likely to alienate your audience. Instagram won’t let you post if it contains more than thirty hashtags!
Between three and five hashtags per post is a good number to use. Whatever hashtags you use, make sure they are relevant. #food is a very popular hashtag with over 202,635,481 Instagram posts, with people posting and searching about food every. If your post has nothing to do food, you will lose more followers than you gain.
Expand Your Audience
You can use hashtags to cut through the noise of the millions upon millions of posts being uploaded to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram each day.
Search for popular or trending topics to see if you can jump onboard the latest craze. For example, #tbt or #throwbackthursday are very popular hashtags people use when posting old photos of themselves, preferably with embarrassing hairstyles or outfits.
How could #tbt apply to your business? Perhaps showing employees in an old uniform? Compare where your business was to where you are now? Maybe revisit a popular post from a long time ago? Experiment posting using a few different hashtags to see what works and what doesn’t.
Join the Conversation
Major brands use and monitor hashtags to see what people are saying about them. Searching by hashtag is also one way to see what people’s opinions around keywords or phrases you’re looking to target.
If people are publicly posting about a negative customer experience, even if they haven’t posted to your business Facebook page, if they have used a hashtag relating to your business you have an opportunity to find and join the conversation. You might be able to turn the negative experience into a positive one!
Monitoring hashtags relating to your industry will keep you up to date with what’s happening and what people are saying about you and your competitors.
Hashtags are useful tools for inserting your posts into trending social media conversations, and be found by your target audience. They aren’t as popular on Facebook, but on Twitter and Instagram they are the way to get noticed.
Want to know more about hashtags in your social media strategy? Contact the team at Inform PR for a free consultation.
If you're looking for ways to make your business stand out and get noticed, you've come to the right place!