Hashtags are a largely misunderstood and yet excessively used component to almost all social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, Google+, and more. Hashtags are an incredibly important tool for marketing your business, acting as a key driver of online engagement when used successfully.
So what is the best approach to using hashtags? What’s the best strategy to integrating them into your business campaigns to help you generate results? We’ve outlined some great tips to help your business leverage hashtags and create more successful social media posts and campaigns.
- Categorize the Message of Your Business
Hashtags are ideal for organizing content so that people can easily find posts related to a particular topic they’re interested in. When you create a social media post, use hashtags to brand, categorize, or further describe and show the value of your message. For example, if your post relates to #business, #beauty, or a #sale, include the hashtags. This is critical in promoting the content of your business.
You can categorize even further by adding tags such as #marketing, #B2B, and even give particular posts their own unique hashtag like #AOMtips for posts that relate to a certain subject or event.
- Extend Your Reach
On top of defining content, hashtags can also extend your reach. They act similarly to SEO keywords, except that the hashtags you should use are already popular and well known to an audience. When you use hashtags that are frequently searched, it will increase the likelihood that your posts will appear in hashtag searches and reach more people.
You can also measure the popularity of trending tags by looking in the social media platform you’re using, like Twitter and Instagram. This is a great way to help you choose hashtags for your business. Think of it as finding a starting point to identify the best tags to include in your post.
- Starting a Topic Trend
Hashtags are an excellent way to get creative online, giving business owners an opportunity to start something unique with your audience that is specifically associated with your business or message. When you choose to develop a hashtag trend, it’s important to stay consistent and relevant with your overarching goal. Or, alternatively, you can use pop culture references and align them with an aspect of your business. This technique is a great way to demonstrate that you are connected to your audience, and will help to keep you relevant and on their minds.
- Use Hashtags based on the social media site
It may sound like we’re going against common sense, but hashtags are most useful when they aren’t overdone. Too many in a post will make it look like cluttered spam, which deters people from paying attention and could even cause them to unfollow your business. We recommend using only 1-3 hashtags per post on Google+, Pinterest and Twitter. Instagram and Facebook are exceptions to this rule. Engagement has actually been shown to decline for Facebook posts that use hashtags according to a recent study. Additionally, Instagram uses hashtags heavily and the magic number there seems to start at 5.
Ultimately, hashtags have become an essential aspect of social media campaigns and strategies. They organize your posts and make certain topics easy to find, while also providing you a soapbox for particular things that people are already interested in and searching for. They can even help you start trending topics online, giving your business the opportunity for increased followers, leads, and sales. Best of all, this great little social media tool will help your business stay relevant and accessible!
If you’re interested in creating successful social media campaigns but don’t know where to start, The Art of Online Marketing is offering a free consultation to help you get started. Call us today at (800) 764-8528.