Every brand’s digital marketing plan includes social media. Due to continuous information sharing, businesses often need help to stand out and reach their target audience. This is where hashtags help. Hashtags have transformed content organization and discovery on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and TikTok. This comprehensive guide will discuss hashtags, their function in social media marketing, and how to reach more people and engage with your audience.
What Are Hashtags?
Hashtags, denoted by the symbol #, are keywords or phrases used to categorize and organize content on social media platforms. They enable users to find and explore relevant content by clicking on or searching for specific hashtags. For example, if you are a shoe retailer, you can use hashtags like #skateshoes or #formalshoes to tag an image of those shoes. When users click these hashtags, they are directed to a collection of related content.
The Benefits of Using Hashtags
Using hashtags in your social media posts offers several benefits for users and brands. For users, hashtags enhance the overall browsing experience by allowing them to discover new content and connect with like-minded individuals. On the other hand, brands can leverage hashtags to:
- Expand Reach: Hashtags increase the visibility of your content by making it discoverable to a broader audience. Tweets with hashtags, for example, receive twice the engagement compared to those without.
- Organize Content: Hashtags are a convenient way to categorize and organize social media content. They enable prospective customers and users to find what they seek and navigate your posts more efficiently.
- Improve Engagement: Utilizing relevant hashtags can significantly boost engagement with your audience. Research shows that incorporating hashtags into your social media strategy can result in 21% more employment.
- Convey Brand Values: Hashtags can concisely signal your business’s beliefs and values. By incorporating hashtags like #BlackLivesMatter or #StopAsianHate, brands like Nike can communicate their stance on critical social issues.
Choosing the Right Hashtags for Your Brand
Choosing the right hashtags for your business is essential so your content gets to the right people. Here are some excellent tips that will help you find and pick the best hashtags:
One way to discover good hashtags is by observing what other businesses in your industry use. Analyze the hashtags used by your competitors and identify which generate significant engagement. Tools like Semrush Social Tracker can provide valuable insights into your competitors’ best-performing hashtags, saving you time and effort in the research process.
Utilize Auto-Fill Feature
Many social media platforms offer an auto-fill hashtag feature that generates related hashtags as you type. Take advantage of this feature by typing in a keyword or phrase related to your industry, product, or target audience. The platform will suggest relevant hashtags that you can use in your posts.
Leverage Social Tracker
Semrush Social Tracker may also recommend business hashtags. You may discover which hashtags get people to interact with your posts by watching your competitors on social media and adapting your strategy.
Stick to Industry Relevance
When selecting hashtags, it’s essential to ensure they are relevant to your industry, product, and target audience. Using irrelevant hashtags may need to be clarified or alienate your audience. Avoid the temptation to spam your posts with popular but unrelated hashtags, as this can harm your reach and reputation.
Best Practices for Using Hashtags on Different Social Media Platforms
While the concept of hashtags remains consistent across social media platforms, each platform has its own unique best practices. This section will explore how to effectively use hashtags on some of the most popular social media platforms.
Instagram is a site where hashtags are a big part of finding new content. However, too many hashtags can make your message look like spam and less powerful. Here are some tips on how to use hashtags correctly on Instagram:
- Quantity: Using no more than a dozen hashtags per post is recommended. You can use up to 30 hashtags, but focusing on quality and relevance is better than on numbers.
- Placement: You can include hashtags in your profile description, within your post caption, or as a comment on your post. Experiment with different orders to see what works best for your brand.
- Scheduled Comment: To streamline your hashtag strategy, use tools like Semrush Social Poster to preschedule a comment containing your hashtags. This ensures consistency and saves time when creating multiple posts.
While hashtags are less widely used on Facebook than other platforms, they can still impact reach and engagement.
- Limitation: To avoid overwhelming your audience, using one to two hashtags per post is best.
- Relevance: Keep hashtags relevant to your content and industry. Use famous specialty hashtags strategically in your postings.
- Experimentation: Determine which hashtags your audience prefers by testing them.
Twitter is a platform where hashtags originated, an essential part of the Twitter experience. Here’s how to make the most of hashtags on Twitter:
- Engagement: Use hashtags that start conversations and encourage users to interact with your brand. Incorporate hashtags within sentences or at the end of tweets to engage with relevant discussions.
- Quantity: Aim to use no more than two hashtags per tweet for optimal engagement rates.
- Trending Topics: Monitor trending hashtags and join relevant conversations to increase visibility and engagement.
LinkedIn is a professional networking platform where hashtags can help you reach a targeted audience. Follow these guidelines when using hashtags on LinkedIn:
- Quantity: While there is no strict limit, using no more than three hashtags per post is recommended.
- Relevance: Choose hashtags that align with the nature of the platform and your industry. Avoid using inappropriate language or hashtags that may be seen as unprofessional.
- Content or Comment: You can add hashtags directly to your content or click “Add hashtags” at the bottom of your post. Experiment with both methods to see which works best for your brand.
TikTok is a video-sharing platform known for its creative and viral content. To maximize your reach on TikTok, consider the following hashtag strategies:
- Mix Popular and Niche Hashtags: Combine viral hashtags with more niche or branded hashtags to attract a broader yet engaged audience.
- Analyze Competitors and Followers: Study your competitors’ most popular videos and the hashtags they use. Additionally, explore your followers’ hashtags to understand their interests and preferences.
- Hashtag Challenges: Participate in or create hashtag challenges to increase engagement and generate user-generated content. Research existing prevalent challenges or create one that aligns with your brand.
1. What are hashtags, and how do they work in social media marketing?
Social media hashtags are terms or phrases prefixed by #. Social media marketing increases post visibility and reach by expanding the audience.
2. Why are hashtags important in social media marketing?
Hashtags are essential in social media marketing as they help increase brand visibility, reach target audiences, boost engagement, and create brand awareness.
3. How do I choose the right hashtags for my social media marketing campaigns?
Research popular and relevant hashtags in your industry, use tools to find trending hashtags, and create unique branded hashtags for your campaigns.
4. How many hashtags should I use in my social media posts?
Twitter suggests 2-5 hashtags, and Instagram up to 30.
5. Can hashtags improve my social media marketing ROI?
Using relevant and strategic hashtags can increase engagement, expand reach, and ultimately contribute to a higher ROI in social media marketing efforts.
In social media marketing, hashtags help firms reach and engage with their target audience. Use clever hashtags to boost visibility, organize postings, and communicate brand values on social media. Research, evaluate, and experiment to find the hashtags that work best on each platform. Be consistent and innovative; hashtags can boost your social media reach.