Business owners and social media managers still manage to incorrectly use hashtags in their campaigns and posts, which is not the best use of your marketing budget. Hashtags exist to provide an easy way for social media users to discover your posts and to start a dialog between brand and audience. They aren’t just random strings of words that you put on your page because that’s the “hip” thing to do, they are a way of connecting your business or brand to your target audience.
So how should you choose the perfect hashtag? Here are three tips:
1: Know your audience & research their hashtags
Use the Discover and Search function on Twitter and Instagram to look up trending hashtags that are relevant to your brand or business. You are looking for organic niches that you fit into. A key item to remember is that while quantity should always be considered, you want to look for something specific that holds relevance for your audience. For example, while #travel might have a huge amount of posts going into it, if your service is a travel agency focused on Asian excursions, looking for something like #travelasia might be better, even if the amount of posts in it are smaller.
2: Use daily themes to your advantage
Daily themed hashtags are creative hashtags used on certain days, and they have to fall within the specific theme referenced. For example, #ThrowbackThursday, #FollowFriday, or #MotivationMonday are all excellent ways to tap into a large audience that you can interact with. Almost every company or brand can find an angle to fit their own content into at least one of these themes, so finding a way to do so would allow you to bridge the gap between your brand and your audience. Matching these with your ideal hashtags from the idea above will likely gain you a more engaged audience that is willing to start a coversation with you!
3: Avoid generic spam hashtags
There are generic spam hashtags like #followforfollow, #like4like, or any of these types of hashtags. As well as cheapening perception of your brand, they will do nothing to provide you an engaged audience. As a brand or company, you want to use social media to find potential customers and to gain their trust. By using those hashtags, you are tapping into a network of random spam accounts or irrelevant accounts that provide you no value. They won’t see what you’re posting, they won’t care what you’re posting about, and they won’t reciprocate and actively converse with you. All they are is a vanity number, and if you’re looking for real engagement and a worthy marketing strategy, these aren’t what you’re looking for.
Finding the perfect hashtag doesn’t have to be difficult, but it does take time. It takes knowledge of your audience and niche, and it takes some digging around before you find the ones you’re looking for, but once you have those hashtags the results will speak for themselves. Some companies just want huge social media numbers, but all you really need is a highly engaged audience to get results.