Back in 2007, Chris Messina was the first Twitter user to use the “pound” or “hash” symbol as a social media tag; he would go on to lay the groundwork for using tags on the platform. But it was Instagram that would ultimately become “King of the Hashtag,” making them standard for categorizing content and allowing it to be discoverable on the photo and video-sharing network.
Today, hashtags can be found on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and other platforms, and as we previously said, when used properly, hashtags are vital tools for growing audiences, increasing engagement and extending reach on social media.
In this first of a two-part series, we take a look at the basics of leveraging hashtags for your
It’s vital to research hashtags before using them on any social media channel, because the more thought you put into your hashtag strategy, the better your chances of successfully reaching your
Ultimately, there are many ways to dig up the most effective hashtags, and it all depends on your business objectives.
No matter your goals, use these tactics to drill down on the best hashtags:
Research Relevant Topics
The ideal place to begin is by taking a look at news and larger trends relevant to your brand. Couple these with the keywords you already use in your SEO and content marketing strategy, and you have the perfect place to find good hashtags to engage with your target audience.
Expert tip: Search for hashtags on both Twitter and Facebook to look for any potential hashtag trends in your industry that could be used in future tweets and posts.
Research Your Audience
Instead of just using general hashtags at random, delve a bit deeper to find out exactly which hashtags your target audience uses and include them into your content.
Expert tip: To get better engagement, dive into longer tail hashtags your target audience usually searches for. To reach a more targeted audience with less search result competition, use very specific hashtags that are relevant to your business. For example, instead of #NYCrestaurants, think #NYCchinesetakeout.
Research Industry Leaders
One of the best ways to locate useful hashtags is to follow influencers and leading brands in your space and “steal” the hashtags that they tend to use. In the process, you’ll probably uncover some new hashtags you hadn’t thought of to add to your repertoire.
Expert tip: Search out top business in your industry and hitch a ride on their success by using the same social media hashtags they use.
Additional Ways to Research Hashtags
Although there is a large body of available research on how many hashtags you should use to increase engagement, the best answer is it depends on your brand, audience and goals.
Most seasoned marketers say it’s a good idea to limit hashtags on Twitter and Facebook to a maximum of two and those on Instagram anywhere between 8 and 12 in each post. Others take a more is better approach, especially on Instagram, where you’re allowed a maximum of 30 per post.
No matter how many tags you decide to use, the most important thing is to research and choose them well, making sure they are relevant to your content and the interests of your audience.
Expert tip: Being as specific as possible with hashtags helps narrows the pool of potential targets, which makes it easier to build a highly engaged audience.
Daily hashtags are a great way to engage your target audience every day.
So, consider using these popular tags on designated days:
Monday: #MondayBlues, #MondayVibes, #MondayMorning, #MondayMotivation
Tuesday: #TuesdayVibes, #TuesdayTip, #TipTuesday, #TuesdayTreat
Wednesday: #HumpDay, #WednesdayWisdom, #WednesdayMotivation, #WednesdayNight
Thursday: #ThrowbackThursday, #TBT, #ThursdayMorning, #ThursdayNight
Friday: #FridayNight, #FridayFeeling, #FridayNightLights, #FlashBackFriday
Saturday: #SaturdayMorning, #SaturdayNight, #SaturdayLove, #SaturdayLunch
Sunday: #SundayFunday, #SundayMorning, #SundaySpecial, #SundayMood
Tag Best Practices
Hashtags are a highly effective way to increase your following, boost engagement and expand brand awareness. By doing your homework with research, properly using hashtags in your posts and being consistent your tag strategy will repay your business in a big way. Stay tuned for part two of the series which will offer a deep dive into using hashtags to skyrocket engagement.
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