The Importance of Hashtags

Hashtags aren’t a trend, and they sure aren’t optional in your social media strategy.  

When first coming across a hashtag can be a little confusing, but when used correctly, Hashtags help make your content discoverable, while increasing your social impact.

Let’s break down the basics of effectively using hashtags on social media, where to find the hashtags with the most exposure, and how to use them on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and more.

What is a Hashtag?

A hashtag is simply using a pound sign (#) in front of a word, phrase, or even emoji to categorize your social media post.

Hashtags started to be used as a way to find post on common topic on Twitter in 2007  

When used properly, they can make your posts more visible to users searching the hashtag or it can appear in their feed if they follow the hashtag.

For example, in the post about this blog post, I’ll tag it with #SocialMediaTips and #contenttips

Basic Guidelines to Hashtags

  • Make sure your account is public Otherwise It won’t be seen by users outside of your follower
  • Use relevant and specific hashtags If it's too specific, it’ll be hard to find and likely won't be used by other users
  • Don’t overuse Hashtags Don’t go and hashtag every word in your caption, instead hashtag important words that would likely be used by users who frequent that niche.
  • Avoid using the same hashtags on every post Don’t use the same groups of captions in your posts, or it’ll come across as spam to the algorithm.  
  • Mix your hashtags Mix specific, less used hashtags with bigger more popular hashtags. Your post will get noticed by smaller niche communities and then get noticed in bigger hashtag searches.

Why Use Hashtags?

Increased engagement with your followers

Using hashtags means talk part in a larger conversation and makes your post visible in that conversation. This leads to boosting your engagement through likes, shares, saves, comments, and new followers.

An opportunity to build your brand

Using branded hashtags can help promote your business, categorize your posts in a way that can easily be found by new followers who like your other content, and drive conversation.

Adding context to a post

Especially useful on platforms such as twitter where you have limited space (280 characters) to write a caption, using hashtags can bring context to what you’re talking about without using up valuable characters.

Help your target audience find you

On Instagram and LinkedIn, users can follow hashtags as well as followers. Using specific hashtags can put your content in front of a more responsive audience.

Tools for finding the right hashtag

  1. RiteTag – Find trending hashtags or use those trends to generate future content ideas that you know your audience is interested in.
  2. Twitonomy - will monitor Twitter hashtag analytics for you.
  3. Hashtagify – finds the top relevant hashtags for your brand and trending topics on Twitter and Instagram updates daily
  4. KeyHole – A real –time hashtag tracking tool. You can use it to track URLs, usernames, keywords, and, most importantly, hashtags on Twitter and Instagram.
  5. TweetReach – The free Version gives you a peek into the activity of the last 100 tweets that used your chosen hashtags
  6. TrendsMap – Perfect local business; This tool helps you see what hashtags are trending in your area
  7. BuzzSumo - allows you to search popular blog posts, influencers, and trending topics in your niche.

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