How To Get Results With #Hashtags
Hashtags are a hot social marketing tool and show no signs of disappearing anytime soon. For consumers, they’re a way to keep up with personal interests and add meaning to content. For small business owners, hashtags are a way to categorize content and reach specific audiences.
Anybody that clicks on a particular hashtag or searches for it will come across an array of posts tagged with it. Therefore, the right combination of letters, numbers and emojis can make your small business more discoverable on social media.
As simple as hashtags may seem, and indeed they are, there is some thought that must go into their use when it comes to marketing. Let’s delve into the characteristics of hashtags and how to best use them for your small business.
Benefits of Using #Hashtags
One great aspect of hashtags is that these social breadcrumbs allow you to widen your reach. By tagging your content with relevant tags, you’re able to tap into a wider audience of like-minded individuals. This is an opportunity for you to increase your following by appealing to intrigued consumers, while also catching the eye of competition within your industry.
Another amazing facet of hashtags is that they allow you to inject an added notion or layer of meaning to your social content, such as humor, sarcasm, irony, etc. This is a great way to appeal to consumers and increase the chance that they’ll engage with your content. It’s easy for brands to come off as stale on social media, so adding a humanizing notion to your content is a good way to increase your appeal among consumers.
For business owners working on gaining a local social presence, it may be beneficial to use tags such as: #arlingtontx #arlingtonbusiness, #localbusiness, #smallbusiness, #shopsmall, #shoplocal, #businessowner, #businessman, #businesswoman, #entrepreneur, #marketing, etc.
With these generic tags in mind, you should also think of tags specific to your brand/industry. Some examples are:
#finance, #financialadvise, #moneytips, #taxplanning, #investment, #manufacturing, #engineering, #technology, #design, #innovation, #attorney, #legalservices, #litigation, #insuranceclaim, #personalinjury, etc.
Which Social Media Platforms To Use #Hashtags On
Hashtags are synonymous with social media, but using them across all of your social platforms is not best practice. Hashtags are most popular (and first began) on Twitter where they play an integral part in collating conversations and trending topics.
Using hashtags on Twitter is a great way to make your content more discoverable, thus resulting in higher engagement and the potential to spark online conversations around your brand. An easy way to do this is by partaking in popular trends such as #MotivationMonday or #TipTuesday.
Instagram is the next social platform where hashtags can make an impact. Tags are used to organize photos into efficient clusters of intrigue for interested consumers to come across. Utilize hashtags to widen your reach and connect with like-minded individuals. By tagging your brand’s photos with relevant hashtags, consumers will be more likely to discover your content and choose to engage with your brand.
Which Social Media Platforms To NOT Use #Hashtags On
Basically, Twitter and Instagram are your best bet for achieving social success with hashtags as these platforms are designed to make hashtags a front-facing component. When it comes to other platforms, like Facebook and LinkedIn, it is not recommended to utilize tags. Consumers don’t associate hashtags with these platforms, nor do the platforms promote the use of tags. Therefore, using hashtags on Facebook and LinkedIn could have a negative impact on your small business, as consumers would snub your content as they’re scrolling.
How to Use #Hashtags on Twitter
With Twitter, your local business is able to have an open conversation with the public. Consumers on the platform appreciate this aspect and turn to Twitter quite often when they wish to keep up with or initiate contact with a brand. It could benefit a business to tweet out questions, ask for suggestions or do polls on Twitter so that consumers have more incentive to engage with your profile.
Hashtags are a great way to galvanize the Twitter community around a particular topic and attain feedback. Businesses can benefit from this by using tags to initiate discussions around their brand, especially with branded hashtags (hashtags that a brand is well-known for and use often).
With Twitter, being succinct is key. You’re allowed up to 280 characters, but exercise brevity as concise tweets are an aspect the Twitter community greatly upholds. With this in mind, it is best to identify a few key words that can be tagged within the body of your message or insert a few tags at the end of your tweet.
How to Use #Hashtags on Instagram
With Instagram, your brand is visually portraying itself to the public. Quality imagery is paramount on this platform, as well as the use of relevant hashtags. Instagram does an excellent job of promoting tags by displaying them on the explore page.
Consumers can search topics and see what tags are being used and to what extent among the platform’s vast community. This is beneficial for business owners and entrepreneurs, as they can research tags that relate to their brand or industry and designate which would be best to add to their marketing arsenal.
Another cool feature is that consumers are able to follow hashtags that they are interested in. When consumers follow a tag, they’re exposed to a variety of content from others that post with the tag, even if the consumers don’t follow them.
Identifying The Best #Hashtags For Your Business
As a business with an Instagram or Twitter account, or a business interested in establishing one, you should research what audience you’re trying to appeal to on social media and subsequently what hashtags are associated with that audience.
Once you’ve established who you’re targeting, it’s time to identify hashtags that correlate with your target audience, as well as your brand and content. When identifying hashtags, be mindful of what pertains to your industry.
How To Research #Hashtags For Your Business on Instagram:
Identifying hashtags may seem like a no-brainer: choose the tags with the most posts, right? While using popular hashtags may be a way to reach a wide audience, there’s a chance your post could get lost among the rest. Simply tagging a post with a particular hashtag doesn’t guarantee maximum exposure, as your post will be ranked among all the others in the same tagged category. The placement of your post among the rest is based on:
- How much engagement your account has
- How much activity you have on the post
- When you shared it
A good way to begin is by using the search function, as explained above. Another tactic is to look at competitor profiles and identify hashtags you can add to your arsenal. If your competitors have a greater following than you, this is a great way to identify their audience and compete for the same eyeballs.
It may be beneficial for your business to consider hashtags with a smaller audience as you’ll increase your chances of engagement. Experimenting with the use of popular and niche hashtags can help you identify the ones that get your business the exposure it needs. Once you have your collection of relevant hashtags, you’re ready to adorn your content with this fine tool.
Along with tagging content, you should consider including branded hashtags in your profile bio. When consumers come across your page, they can click on the hashtag and choose to follow it. This will help your business with fostering engagement and in collecting user-generated content.
Having a business profile, you can view profile insights which will help you track your overall reach, impressions, audience, etc. You can also view insights for each individual post to identify which content is your top performing. Look to your most popular posts to identify hashtags and content that work best for your brand and that could be used for future posts.
If you’re a business owner in need of digital marketing, contact us here to discuss how we can help.
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