If your understanding of #hashtag usage doesn't extend beyond what's trending on Twitter on any given day, you could be missing an important marketing opportunity.
Hashtags provide entrepreneurs with the perfect opportunity to build their brands, market their businesses and grow their audiences. Entrepreneurs can use hashtags across most of the social media platforms to drive long-term traffic, encourage backlinks and make their content easier to find.
Not only should entrepreneurs be using hashtags effectively in their social media marketing campaigns, but they should also be following the most popular hashtags to determine what’s trending. Here are some best practices to consider regarding what businesses should and shouldn’t do to maximize their use and follows of hashtags for better-targeted marketing campaigns.
Research Your Hashtags
Research hashtags before you use them, since the more relevant and specific the hashtags, the more chances you’ll find to reach a particular target audience. You can find suitable hashtags by researching your target market, social-media influencers, and businesses that share your ideal user base. Use hashtag tracking tools to keep up with emerging trends among consumers and influencers. The monitoring will help you optimize your hashtag usage for the future marketing program.
Use Relevant and Specific Hashtags
Make sure your hashtags are related to your brand and target audience and that they match your content. Using content-specific hashtags will enable more people to find your posts while searching about those exact topics. Using hashtags that are detailed and specific will give your audience a clear idea about the subject of the conversation.
Use the Most Popular Hashtags Related to Your Industry
By looking at up-to-date online analytics, you can find out the present trending hashtags in your industry and build your content around those topics. Using the trending hashtags can help you get your product, service, brand or content in front of a massive audience. Thus, it boosts your brand awareness.
Experiment with Less Competitive Hashtags in Your Industry
Take the time to experiment with relevant tags that are used less frequently and are less competitive. Learn the competition behind your hashtag before using it. Find out the volume and frequency of posts related to your chosen hashtags.
Use a Unique Branded and Campaign Hashtag
Create a unique branded hashtag that hasn’t been used by another company – otherwise users will get confused and accidentally associate other content with your brand. You can use your company or brand name, name of a specific product, tagline or phrase (slogan) that relates to your brand for the campaign hashtag.
Your brand or campaign hashtags should be used on an ongoing basis to promote brand awareness. Encourage your consumers to use your hashtags too.
Market Your Branded Hashtag
Promote your branded hashtags on your social media accounts and also market it offline. In addition to your bio, make sure to promote your hashtag throughout your marketing campaigns, including your website, emails and newsletter. Try to include your brand hashtags in the first comment of your posts. Also, include your hashtag on all promotional materials – from posters to business cards.
Measure the Performance of Your Competitors’ Hashtags
You can improve your hashtag strategy by identifying the content and campaigns that work best for your competitors.
Analyze and Evaluate the Performance of Your Hashtags
Knowing which hashtags to use and how to implement them is a good start. Next, analyze which hashtags are your top performers (successful on past posts) and are leading followers to your page. With analytics tools, you can also measure the performance of your campaign and brand hashtags in terms of mentions, views or followers.
Use Community- and Industry-Specific Hashtags
These hashtags (social posts) are directly related to your community members. These can help you connect to target customers or people in your niche who can help your business to grow.
Use the Optimal Number of Hashtags Only
The number of hashtags in a post differs depending on the platform, but in most cases, two to five hashtags have more impact. Check out the different platform-specific practices to increase hashtag performance.
Use Hashtags Relevant to the Photo You’re Posting
Even though adding hashtags in your captions can make your posts easier to discover, the image is what will captivate users. Always use high-quality photos or videos for your page.
Try Hashtag Variations
If you’ve been using the same hashtags for months, there’s a chance people already saw your content and ignored it. By varying it a little, you can reach a new audience. You can create tags to promote your offers, giveaways and contests to drive more new customers your way.
Use a Hashtag to Raise Awareness About a Particular Subject
Hashtags that spread awareness about an important topic can result in a lot of user-generated content. In addition, followers will also view your company as socially responsible.
Avoid the following practices:
● Don’t toss dozens of tags on a post and hope for the best — too many hashtags can look spammy.
● Avoid using irrelevant hashtags just because they’re trending — this may end up disappointing and confusing your audience and causing you to miss out on potential followers.
● Don’t damage your brand with careless tagging — this can make your posts more difficult to spot for the audience.