Using hashtags can boost your social media posts and help you reach your target audience more successfully. Hashtags are used to organize the different posts on social media and connect users under common conversations. Use this article to help yourself navigate through the world of hashtag marketing on social media.
Navigating your way through the world of social media can be a crazy and confusing experience. Gaining knowledge about valuable social media tools will help your company’s social media strategy flourish and grow.
The hashtag is one of the most valuable social media tools out there. It allows you to turn a word or phrase into a searchable link on different social media platforms. Hashtags make your marketing content more easily accessible to your followers and your target audience. Using hashtags will group similar content together so people can participate in discussions about certain topics.
Hashtags were originally created by Twitter, but now you can use them on many social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. It’s a really good way to get your followers involved with your company by promoting their use of a certain hashtag.
What Exactly Is a ‘Hashtag’?
A hashtag is the pound symbol (#) followed by your keyword or phrase. You can insert hashtags basically anywhere you want in a social media post, whether that’s the beginning, middle, or end.
For example, here at Market Veep we may use the hashtag #MarketingMadeHuman after we post on LinkedIn. This will link all of the posts under #MarketingMadeHuman, which is the company slogan.
Image: MarketVeep LinkedIn
Many companies use hashtag marketing as a way to promote a campaign or contest that they are sponsoring.
CocaCola, for example, uses the hashtag #ShareACoke to sponsor their personalized coke bottle feature and get their customers to show them who they #ShareACoke with.
Image: CocaCola Instagram
Hashtags get your followers and customers more involved with your brand. They allow your customers to promote your brand easily by using your hashtags on their posts. It also starts a conversation between your company and your customer.
Communicating with customers is important to gauge how successful your company is, and hashtag marketing can create another opportunity for your customers to interact with you.
How to Hashtag on Twitter
Twitter uses hashtags to connect different users under one topic of conversation. When you use a hashtag on Twitter, you’ll be able to click on it and see all of the other people who used the hashtag and what they are saying about it. If your Twitter is public, anyone can see your tweet with a hashtag.
For example, HubSpot used #HubThoughts to get their followers to share their best sales tips. They tweeted different questions asking for different sales tips, and then their followers could reply using #HubThoughts to share their answers.
The great thing about the Twitter hashtag is that it’s not limited to just followers. Anyone who has a public Twitter account could’ve responded to #HubThoughts. It’s a great way for companies to attract and gain more followers.
Image: HubSpot Twitter
How to Hashtag on Facebook
Hashtags do the same thing on Facebook as they do on Twitter. What’s different is that most people have a private Facebook account, so hashtags are normally used by companies, brands, influencers, and celebrities.
When you’re posting your next Facebook post that includes a hashtag, make sure that your post is labeled ‘public’ before you post it. This way your post will get grouped with all of the other posts linked under the corresponding hashtag. Once you post, your hashtag will become a clickable link just like hashtags on Twitter.
HubSpot Life uses #hubspotlife to link many of their Facebook posts. When you click on #hubspotlife, you’ll have access to all of the other Facebook posts that feature that hashtag.
Image: HubSpot Life Facebook
How to Hashtag on Instagram
HubSpot describes Instagram hashtags as “Instagram’s sorting process”. Instagram uses hashtags to sort through all of the content that all their users post. Using hashtag marketing techniques on your Instagram posts will boost your chances of it getting discovered by your target audience.
Just like Facebook and Twitter, hashtags on Instagram link people together under a common conversation. Like how #ShareACoke, from the CocaCola example from above, creates a conversation between all CocaCola customers that love sharing their coke with other people.
HubSpot uses a ton of hashtags on this ‘Carpe Diem’ post, which increases their chances of their post being found by their target audience and rank within search results.
Image: HubSpot Instagram
5 Useful Hashtag Marketing Tips
1. Research your hashtags before you use them
You don’t want to use a hashtag that is already widely used because you’re less likely to show up in search results. Using a slightly more specific hashtag will decrease the chance of your social media post being lost in various posts that are unrelated to the conversation you’re trying to engage in.
Researching hashtags will also eliminate the chance of you choosing a hashtag that could mean different things. You don’t want to choose a hashtag with various meanings because you won’t necessarily be attracting your target audience.
2. Don't make your hashtags too long
If it takes you a minute to decipher a hashtag then it’s too long. Hashtags that are too long are often confusing and hard to process. Also, if your hashtags are too long, it’ll be hard for other users to share that hashtag with their own followers, especially with a 280 character limit on Twitter.
Hashtag marketing should be short and sweet. You want to get the point across, start a conversation, and be memorable for your users. Longer hashtags will make it harder to get your target audience involved in your brand’s conversation.
3. Find the right number of hashtags that brings in the best results
Every company is going to use a different number of hashtags based on what works well for them. Some companies might use 5 hashtags, while others use 15. It all depends on what you find brings in the best engagement results.
It’s going to take a little bit of time to find the best hashtag marketing strategy for your company, so be prepared to experiment with the numbers to see what brings in the most engagement.
4. Use your hashtags across your marketing channels
Continue your conversation beyond just Twitter or Facebook. Use it when you’re promoting your blog posts, webinars, or various events hosted by your company. For example, create an event hashtag and use it in email reminders to invitees to spread the message a step further than just social media.
Also, use the same hashtags across social media platforms. You don’t want to limit one hashtag to just your Twitter. You want to spread your message beyond just your followers on Twitter, so promote hashtags across your social media to keep the conversation flowing.
5. Follow your own hashtags
Keep up with how people are interacting, sharing, and using your branded hashtags. This will make it easier for your company to interact with your followers. You’ll be able to connect with anyone with a public account that has used your hashtags.
Following your hashtag will create a better relationship with your target audience. You’ll be able to effectively communicate with the people that are sharing and promoting your brand.
Hashtag marketing, when used well, will boost your social media game and help you reach your target audience. Keep this article in mind when you’re crafting your next hashtag to promote your company’s content.