Before social media gained buzz, a hashtag was merely the # symbol on your telephone. Now it’s served as the primary tool to draw attention to your profile and to bring millions of users together on social media. What began on Twitter, spread rapidly over to Instagram, Facebook, Google+, and Pinterest. Even though, many social media users employ hashtags to boost and market their content, business brands and digital marketers can reap in the benefits of successful hashtags as well. Hashtags are making it much easier for users to search and discover businesses that are relevant to their interests. As we are a digital marketing agency that is aware of the impact of hashtags and utilize them to help our clients reach a vast amount of potential customers, we want to take the time to explore with you the relevance of successful hashtags in order to understand the landscape of social media marketing and what it can do for a young, growing small business.
At First Glance
Since its creation in 2007, hashtags have proved to be an effective tool in a finding a greater audience and content discovery, connecting many unlinked individuals and brands to view genuine moments, experiences and content from your business. Chris Messina is a former Google designer who is also the inventor of the hashtag; his #1 goal was to establish a method for people to converse about various topics through Twitter with minimal effort. At first, the idea was divided among people because at the time, some people could not understand this concept. Today, it’s one of the most important tools in the marketing world.
Right and Wrong Ways to Use Them
In the beginning, hashtags were only used for personal posting. Now, a lot of businesses build their entire marketing campaign around them. Including hashtags into every social media post, particularly on Instagram and Twitter, can boost traffic for your website.
Instagram: According to research, using 11+ hashtags on posts will bring the highest number of interactions. However, we want to caution that it doesn’t mean you should tag every post with 30 hashtags (the maximum amount of hashtags allowed). Overloading your post with random popular hashtags may help you gain more followers, but the majority of them could be spammers or #followme users. You want to attract potential real customers, not fake ones. Overuse of hashtags could also come across as desperate and take away from the actual content. Additionally, adding hashtags in a separate comment or under a few dots and spaces after the caption will hide your hashtags, so it won’t distract the users from the content you created.
Twitter: Tweets with relevant hashtags will get 2x more retweets and more engagements than tweets without. Research study also shows that you should use one or two hashtags for your business tweets. One or two hashtags show a 21% higher engagement than those with three or more. Tweets with a couple hashtags also have a 55% likelihood of a retweet.
Facebook: Hashtags have a different effect for this social platform. Facebook posts without a hashtag actually gain better engagement than those without. Hashtags do not have a great effect on posts. However, it doesn’t mean a business should cease using hashtags completely. It can be useful in specific cases such as a promotion or an event post. Also, like in Twitter, we recommend not to overuse hashtags. A few (1-3) would be fine, but remember, you must choose keywords that are relevant to your business brand and the interests of your target audience.
Very specific hashtags will fare much better than generic ones. It depends on the field your business is in. If your business is a restaurant, then some trending hashtags would be #goodeats, #localfood, #healthyfood, #eaterLA would connect to real, potential customers more than #foodie, #food, #pizza, #hungry, #yummy. There’s a few effective ways for you to find the right hashtags to use. It’s not wrong for a business to look at what their competitors are using, so you can learn new hashtags or hashtags that you don’t want to duplicate. Furthermore, one can use the Instagram search bar to discover which keywords are generating the most engagement. The most popular hashtags may be tagged by a large number of people, but it also means that your content could very well be buried in the oasis of those hashtag usages. Remember to always use hashtags relevant to your brand, industry, and audience.
For a business, a brand hashtag would be an excellent benefit to your marketing campaign. It could be named after your company name, tagline, an instagram contest, or a product of yours. A brand hashtag that encourage customers to share photos featuring your products would influence participation and a high volume of engagement. If your branded hashtag catches on, it can draw a lot of attention to your brand and your identity.
Kick It In High Gear
Now that we laid out the importance of successful hashtags and how to use them effectively, put it to work and see how it does. If you begin to feel overwhelmed in producing potent social media posts, employ the services of a digital marketing agency that has the expertise and the knowledge to develop strong marketing strategies and help your business attract increased engagement and traffic.