Social Media Hashtags

Social Media Hashtags: How to Use Them Effectively

When it comes to building your brand via social media marketing, social media hashtags are a great way to drive views, likes, and shares. Back in the day, we called the # sign a pound sign. Today, hashtags help make your content discoverable to a captive audience that is clearly interested in the topic.

Hashtags were first used on Twitter. However, they are commonplace on other social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and TikTok. If you can master the hashtag, you will have the means to engage your audience and enhance your social impact at no cost other than the time it takes to conduct some research and stay on top of current trends.

When used correctly, hashtags help those interested in your topic find you and help expand your influence and followers.

What is a Social Media Hashtag?

A hashtag is a word or phrase with a hash symbol (#) before it. Digital marketers use hashtags as part of a post on social media. Hashtags make it easier for users to find content by searching for a keyword or particular hashtag. Furthermore, hashtags help draw attention to your posts and encourage users to interact with your content.

What Do You Do with Social Media Hashtags?

Purpose of Social Media Hashtags

When using a phrase as a hashtag, you spell it out without any space, such as #andrewrocherocks. Hashtags can include numbers, but symbols and punctuation are prohibited. You can place hashtags at the beginning, middle, or end of your social media post or comment. Hashtags also help organize content by indexing user content. The real beauty of using hashtags is that people who don’t follow you can still find your content.

What Does a Hashtag Mean on Social Media?

Hashtags are more than simply placing a symbol before your keyword. You need to know some additional basic information when you want users to find you via your hashtags.

Using them only makes a difference in your social media strategy when executed correctly. Here are a few high-level tips:

  • Don’t get hashtag happy and use a hashtag every few words. The number of hashtags that you can use varies on the platform
    • Instagram allows for 30 hashtags
    • Twitter has no limit, but they recommend limiting your use of hashtags to two
    • Facebook and LinkedIn don’t limit the number of hashtags you use
  • Keep your hashtags short and simple. Don’t use a lot of words in one hashtag. Do you remember #BlackOutTuesday as part of the Black Lives Matter movement in 2020?
  • Don’t try to be clever with your hashtags. If you choose a hashtag that nobody is going to search for, it won’t benefit your marketing as it won’t be found
  • Use hashtags that are specific as this will lead to better results than general ones. Broad terms are not likely to be searched, and if you use them, your content will likely get lost in a sea of unrelated content
  • Don’t try to force hashtags into every post. Instead, use them when they add value and are likely to encourage conversation and engagement
  • Hashtags can not ly attract members of your target audience but can also be used to research your competition. Search using hashtags, and you will discover relevant content related to your topic

Why are Social Media Hashtags Important?

Importance of Social Media Hashtags

Hashtags are an important social media element since they help your content get found by the right people. Using hashtags that are on point helps users find your content, which, in turn, drives traffic to your content so that you can boost your views, likes, and shares. The key is to find the right ones that match your content and appeal to social media users.

How to Find Powerful Social Media Hashtags: Start with Influencers

There is a fine line between hashtags that are too general and hashtags that are too complicated or can’t be found. It is a good idea to start by identifying the hashtags influencers in your niche use.

Odds are that you have a good idea of who the influencers are in your niche. However, if you’re brand new to a niche, here’s how you can find them. For a specific niche, the influencers are those whose voices people trust, such as reputable bloggers. There’s also a massive bank of B2B influencers that you can reference to create marketing impact. If you use this collection, you need to ensure the influencers you use are relevant to your business.

A great tool you can use to identify influencers is BuzzSumo. This tool allows you to find the top content, bloggers, publications, and authors in your niche. Once you identify the top influencers, you need to follow them and take note of the hashtags they use on a regular basis to generate clout. You should also use an influencer tracker tool to keep tabs on essential factors such as the social channels they use, their specialties, and general relevance to your brand.

Other Tools for Finding Social Media Hashtags

Hashtag Tools

There are other research tools out there designed to provide precise hashtag information. Here are two tools that will help you identify effective hashtags in your niche:

  • RiteTag returns instant hashtag suggestions in real-time engagement.
  • Keyhole provides a free search tool and gives you real-time data on a range of factors.

Remember to search for keywords that are relevant to your content on each social platform to see what hashtags come up. Furthermore, make sure to use social listening tools to gain a better understanding of what users are talking about and any trends that relate to your brand.

How Do Social Media Hashtags Work?

Twitter Hashtags

Hashtags tell your followers, users, and the platform algorithms that your content relates to a certain topic or category. Doing so helps users find relevant content easily so your content is discoverable to a wider audience.

How to Use Hashtags on Twitter

When applied correctly, Twitter hashtags can increase your engagement. However, you need to make sure that you don’t go hashtag-crazy. One or two hashtags per tweet should do the trick. Using a couple of hashtags and specifically asking your followers to retweet can result in exponentially higher engagement rates.

Using hashtags on Twitter will make your tweets more accessible when people search for a certain topic. Hashtags can also help you find conversations that you might find interesting.

How to Use Hashtags on Facebook

When you’re looking to gain more exposure for your Facebook posts, the correct application of hashtags can help as they can improve your organic reach. It’s important that you don’t use too many hashtags. Like Twitter, you want to limit your posts to one or two hashtags. If you exceed this limit, your audience may view your content as unprofessional. Furthermore, too many hashtags may just annoy your audience.

You can identify relevant hashtags by simply typing a keyword into the search bar.

It is also worthwhile to go back to your top-performing posts and repost them with relevant and targeted hashtags. This not only reuses effective content that resonated with your audience, but it may also attract new users that could have an interest in your product or service.

How to Use Hashtags on LinkedIn

People haven’t always used hashtags on LinkedIn. However, they work the same way as they do on other platforms. At this point in time, LinkedIn doesn’t allow for clickable hashtags in articles, so you need to add hashtags in the body of your posts. One to three hashtags are the accepted norm in the LinkedIn world.

If you use hashtags on LinkedIn, you can get your content in front of users outside your network. For instance, let’s say you have 1,000 connections. If you don’t include hashtags in your posts, you’re limiting your reach to those 1,000 connections. However, if you add a hashtag such as #digitalmarketing, you can easily triple your reach. This will likely result in more engagement and improve your overall credibility and brand.

How to Use Hashtags on Instagram

Using hashtags on Instagram is a great way to increase your reach and improve your engagement rate. That being said, most users employ 10-15 relevant and popular hashtags for Instagram Stories to reach the widest possible audience.

You can use as many as 30 hashtags on a regular post. While you don’t need to use that many, it’s nice to have a high limit and to know that it’s totally acceptable to go hashtag-crazy every now and then.

I highly recommend checking out SocialHustlr if you’re serious about taking your Instagram hashtag game to the next level.

You can use the search box to research what hashtags influencers and competitors are using to engage with their audience. Since this is the ideal platform for multiple hashtags, try a wide range and use them on posts, photos, and comments.

How to Use  Hashtags on Pinterest

Hashtags are a phenomenal way to help people find your content via keywords. Posts using hashtags are ordered chronologically, so the platform puts the newest content first, which helps you get your fresh content seen right away.

You’ll want to use a maximum of two hashtags that are closely associated with your topic. Broad terms won’t do much for you on Pinterest, so you need to use hashtags that are unique or specific to your topic. This is especially true if you use Pinterest for business.

How to Use Hashtags on TikTok

TikTokers employ hashtags on their videos to categorize their content. These hashtags are clickable, which means that your content will feature alongside other similar videos. Similar to the other social platforms, using hashtags on TikTok helps to increase reach and helps the TikTok algorithm decide who will find your content beneficial on the precious “For You” page.

TikTok captions have a 100-character limit, so make sure your hashtags don’t exceed that limit. In all honesty, that’s plenty of room for you to experiment and see which hashtags work. You’ll want to mix things up by using popular hashtags and niche hashtags to gain the largest possible reach. Lastly, you need to be aware that hashtags on TikTok change all the time, so you need to keep tabs on the ‘Discover’ page to see which hashtags are trending.

How to Design a Social Media Hashtag Strategy

Hashtag Strategy

You want to identify and select specific hashtags whenever possible because the more specific you get, the more likely you are to attract a targeted audience. The use of capital letters at the start of each word, while not required, does clarify what you are trying to communicate.

Your competition is likely already using hashtags in its social media strategy. If this is the case, how successful are they at connecting with your mutual audience? You’ll also want to pay attention to how much or little your competition uses hashtags and what sort of response they garner.

There are no clear-cut answers when it comes to which hashtags you should use or how you should structure your strategy. An effective hashtag strategy starts with genuinely knowing your audience. You also need to invest the time to become familiar with what works on each platform. Beyond that, you will continue to develop your understanding of what works (and what doesn’t) by using hashtags as part of your digital content strategy.

Hashtags are a great means to communicate with your followers, increase engagement, and attract new customers.

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