A Question: How to use hashtags effectively with your social media strategy?
But, firstly why do you even need to use hashtags?
Hashtags can attract enormous traffic to your website and expose your business to a larger audience if utilized correctly.
Hashtags with proper content on your post can make a larger impact on the audience. Among other ways of marketing such as on-page optimization & technical SEO hashtags also play a very important role
Social media has given rise to new forms of communicating and interacting with different mediums with the public.
What is a hashtag?
The short words or phrases that follow the hash or pound sign (#) are called HASHTAGS.
Born on Twitter, hashtags have now spread to many social media sites such as Instagram and Google+, Facebook & LinkedIn
“ Users create and use hashtags by placing the number sign or pound sign # usually in front of a word or unspaced phrase in a message. The hashtag may contain letters, digits, and underscores ”(Source)
How are Hashtags Created?
You might have seen trending section on twitter where it displays trending ones such as#AvengersEndgame, #CWC19, or #LokSabhaElections2019 #mothersday
The hashtags start trending when a lot of people start to add the same word with a “#” sign before it on their posts Example #savetheplanet.
And by lots we mean hundreds and thousands of posts mentioning the same hashtag.
With such quirky and trendy hashtags, support your brand movements, indulge in archive (older) messages and threads for workshops or exhibitions, and also allow those audiences who are not personally connected to you to see and comment on messages with that hashtag.
According to a research journal The Strategic Use of Hashtags in Social Media Advocacy Gregory D. Saxton
“Using hashtags allows activities to spread organically to like-minded individuals and an organization, in addition, it also spreads virally to other users of social media platform.”
How to select the right hashtag?
Let’s take an example of a person who owns a travel agency/blog
1. Research & identify your niche & audience
You just can’t jump on your social media profile and start putting random hashtags with your posts.
They sure give you a lot of traffic but if you fail to identify your own niche & bifurcate your audience and its interests. The whole strategy can backfire at you and you may actually end up losing followers and engagements, resulting in losing long term traffic.
TIP: Make an excel sheet which has a collection of these things and you’ll kind of understand who to target
In our case travel agency/ blog
a) Your business sector (travel &tourism)
b) Your product/ services (Packages for a honeymoon, group travel, family packages, solo trips)
c) Who will be interested to use it (people from ages 21– 45, Men + women)
2. Find out what will be relevant to your audience
Once you’ve figured out your niche & audience, See what kind of hashtags will pull your audience to your profile.
You can use tools like:
Focalmark – Recommended for beginners
Or you can use the ultimate free tools like ” explore ” an area of Instagram & Twitter to do that for a traveler in our case can be searching #travel and see subsequent search results to understand the popularity of the selected site.
TIP from the expert: Try to start with knowing what your immediate competitors are doing and what hashtags they are using
3. Make a list
This one is easy to do what is said, document all the interesting things you find.
Make a list of all hashtags you possibly found useful.
4. Which hashtags should you pick?
There are no fixed criteria for this or a rule book.
But treat them the way you treat keywords.
You can use these tips to select your hashtags:
- Make first 2,3 hashtags primary ones these are the ones that will really help you with the engagements & followers
- Primary ones – Good to above-average search volume say ( 5k-10k + not more than 30k), be very specific here Example – #travelinfrance
- Secondary ones –Very high search volumes and a bit broad #travelgram, #traveller, #travelblog
- The very broad ones – #travel , #love, #gift, #christmas
When you are generating hashtags, think about how can it be useful for people who want to filter related conversations? You want to help the audience find your content when doing a hashtag search. No one is going to filter based on generic ones.
The proper way to use hashtags on social media:
Posting images of the organic products with its uses in the content section along with the addition of proper hashtag is the idea!
Not to forget an apt and appealing image of the product would garner more audience.
Be clear, add only one to two hashtags in the content. You can add a few more at the end of the post, but be relevant.
A good quality post, Minimum 1-2 & maximum of 30 hashtags
Avoid Wrong Trending Hashtags
There is no hashtag police. You can use the hashtags which are already trending but need to make sure that the hashtag is not trending for any wrong reasons.
Especially when you are a startup, avoid trending for all the bad reasons with wrong trending hashtags such as #McDStories.
Hashtags are no longer restricted to the online world since they are now starting to appear also in the linguistic landscape and in several offline contexts, such commercial shop signs, advertising boards, banners, street manifestation posters, commercials, and television spots, printed magazines and newspaper headlines, speeches as well as political slogans.
Fun Fact: Weird but true! Have spotted people using hashtags while they speak to each other as well!
Make sure you don’t misuse people’s attention by using multiple hashtags in a single message.
Pollution Guys! When you begin to write information or message with more than two hashtags in the content it becomes difficult for the audience to read.
Along with hashtags, there are several other technicalities responsible for giving your website the proper limelight!
Do you need expert advice on your current Social Media or Digital Marketing Strategies? just drop a mail to the team!
Did you find the article helpful? Did you try out anything from the above tips? Let us know in the comments section or share it with your friends!
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