With over 500 million new tweets per day and over 100 million Instagram posts a day, how are you supposed to get your content noticed? The answer is quite simple, actually, and any 14-year-old with a smartphone would probably laugh in your face if you hadn’t already guessed what the solution is: hashtags.

Hashtags can be used on basically any social media platform, but Twitter and Instagram are definitely the most popular spots for hashtags. 

Hashtags are an extremely vital aspect of your brand’s social media marketing strategy. They provide the perfect way to give your audience a simple way of finding your content and allow your content to be grouped with other similar conversations. For something that is only a few characters long, effective and engaging hashtags can be hard to come up with. Throughout this article, we will talk about all the fantastic benefits of using hashtags and walk you through some steps to help create the best hashtags for your brand.

WHAT IS A HASHTAG?

At this point, you should know what a hashtag is and how it works, but if you don’t, now is the time to learn. A hashtag is a word or phrase that has the hash sign (#) before it. When you put ‘#’ in front of a word or phrase, it turns it into a metadata tag. It automatically groups all posts containing that tag in one spot. Hashtags make it easy to find related content and posts all in the same place.

BENEFITS OF USING HASHTAGS

1.) Increase Engagement

By including hashtags in your post, you are joining a conversation. As a result, more people will be exposed to your content, providing more opportunities for likes, comments, shares, and new followers. In fact, Instagram posts with a hashtag get an average of 12% more engagement than those without them.

2.) Build Brand Awareness

Branded hashtags can be very beneficial for promoting your business and starting a conversation. A branded hashtag is one that is unique to your company. Branded hashtags can be great for a variety of aspects to promote your business. They are super effective for collecting user-generated content, inspiring your community, advertising products, promoting events, and much more. 

3.) Show Support for Social Issues

Nowadays, it is the norm for brands to speak out and raise awareness for social issues. If you don’t, your audience may feel that you are out of touch with their needs and society as a whole. Using a hashtag connected to a social issue outside of your brand is a way to spread awareness about the cause or issue and show your audience that you care. Brands can also create branded hashtags that offer their support for a social issue. An example of a branded hashtag connected to a social issue is #BellLetsTalk. A Canadian telecommunications company started this hashtag to raise awareness surrounding mental health. 

4.) Help Target Audience Find you

Since hashtags create a way for your content to be grouped by similar topics or interests, your content and accounts will be more easily discoverable to people interested in those topics. For example, suppose you are a wedding photographer located in Washington D.C. In that case, you could use a hashtag like #DCweddingphotographer, and people potentially looking for a photographer or wedding inspiration around the area can easily find you. Thus, hashtags help you reach the audience perfect for your business! Now that we know about the amazing benefits of hashtags, it’s time to focus on creating exciting, relevant hashtags to maximize these benefits– here’s how! 

DEFINE YOUR GOALS

Before you do anything, you need to ask yourself: What do I want my audience to do with this hashtag? Do you want them to post a picture wearing your shoes? Do you want to get the foodies in your area to know your restaurant? There are tons of different things you can get out of hashtags but clearly defining your goal is the first step in creating an effective hashtag.

KEEP IT SHORT AND SWEET

Most effective hashtags have very minimal words. A catchy phrase or word is all you need to engage users. A long, obscure hashtag will not help you get noticed and will just take up space on your post.

PAY ATTENTION TO TRENDING HASHTAGS

When creating hashtags, it is vital that you keep up with the trending tags. Knowing which hashtags are the most popular within your content field is critical when deciding which hashtags to include in your post. There are tools such as RiteTag, which can help you find relevant hashtags related to your content that will help you gain the most engagement.

DON'T OVERDO THE NUMBER OF HASHTAGS

A hashtag strategy varies depending on the social platform you are working on. Here are the recommended number of hashtags for the most popular social media channels.

Twitter: 1-2 Hashtags:

Using 1-2 hashtags in your post can actually double your engagement, but be careful; using more than two can decrease your engagement. Pick two relevant and enticing hashtags when posting on Twitter.

Instagram: 5-11 Hashtags:

Even though Instagram allows up to 30 hashtags per post, this doesn’t mean you should use all 30. Having excessive amounts of hashtags in your post can look spammy to your audience and potentially overwhelm them. 

LinkedIn: 2-3 Hashtags:

LinkedIn’s hashtagging ability is relatively new but is a great way to enable people to find your content quicker. Although there is no limit on the number of hashtags you can post, we recommend keeping it to a limit of 2-3 to remain professional.  

Incorporating hashtags into your social media marketing strategy and taking the time to craft the right ones can help your engagement levels shoot through the roof. Hashtags have been around since 2007 and will be a giant aspect of social media for as long as social media is around, and I don’t think it’s going anywhere. If you need help with your social media strategy, our experts at New Target have a strong understanding of various social platforms; we can help your brand get noticed, be heard, and effectively engage with your customers!

Also, don’t forget to follow our social media pages to see how we use hashtags! #happyhashtagging

With offices in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles, Ca., New Target provides digital strategy, digital marketing, web design, web development, branding, website hosting, and creative services for prominent nonprofits, companies, and government.