Social media has completely changed the business world. People are using the internet for news, product purchasing, and everything else you can think of. This is a gamechanger for business owners, and anyone who isn’t taking advantage of these tools is missing a huge demographic for their business. One of the components that make up digital marketing is the use of hashtags. Hashtags are words or phrases that come directly after the pound sign (#) and create a direct link to that phrase.
Social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter use hashtags to connect people to content. Any social media user can place a hashtag within the text, and it will connect to any other message that uses the same hashtag. Instagram even has an option for a user to type in a hashtag and “Follow” it, so their feed will start displaying any post that uses the hashtag they selected.
Why use Hashtags?
Hashtags can be a powerful tool to help you grow your brand. However, there are good hashtags out there, and there are bad ones. If you are trying to find trending hashtags to help your brand gain recognition, there are a few steps you can take.
Best Ways to Find Best Hashtags
- Determine your niche words. What is your business model? Are you focused in marketing, catering, or retail? Use words that are closely related to your brand, such as #realestate or #petcare.
- Keep it simple. #Yourhashtagshouldntbetoolong. See how hard that is to read? Long hashtags go overlooked because they are harder to read and take longer to understand. Keep your hashtags limited to a few words; one or two is preferable but three is acceptable. Less is more!
- Research trending hashtags. Using websites like RiteTag or Hashtagify.me can help you determine what the top trending hashtags are. By adding these top hashtags to your posts, you can help increase the views to your content. You can also search for top social media influencers and see what hashtags they are using. However, this doesn’t mean you should use unrelated hashtags in your content. #NewProfilePic is one of the top trending hashtags on Twitter, but that doesn’t mean it would make sense for your post about your products. Keep the tag related to your content.
- Use multiple hashtags. The more hashtags you use, the more opportunities you are making for someone to find your product. If someone searches #bakery on Instagram, they may find thousands of related posts. However, if someone searches #Chicago, #Cannoli and #Bakery, it will focus the results to posts with those phrases, thus narrowing down the results. You can use this to your advantage with every post you make to help people single out your product or service.
- Research your competition. Depending on your business, it is likely there are others out there like you. Follow your competitors on their social media and blog accounts and pay attention to what hashtags they are using. If they are a successful business, using the same or similar hashtags can help bring their viewers who are interested in your product to your content.
Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
While Instagram is the best media for hashtag use, you can use it on any social media platform or blog to help boost your recognition. If you do use Instagram, which you should, your hashtags will help your content show up in the “latest posts” and “recent” sections so people will be more likely to see your content. The right hashtags can help you grow your following on social media as well. The more people who find and connect with your posts, the better.
Don’t be afraid to do some simple brainstorming for hashtags. Get out of your comfort zone by trying different hashtags on different posts and test different combinations. By conducting your own research, you can directly see which ones work for your brand. This will also help you get a better idea of what people are searching that leads them to your product. Tracking tools such as SproutSocial and TweetReach can help determine the exact hashtags that you are using that bring people to your content. Twitter and Facebook also have internal tracking that can give you real-time analytics of your hashtags and their effectiveness.
The use of hashtags is one of the easiest ways to build your brand. With the right research and some trial and error, you can perfect your hashtags to get you the best results for your business.