Businesses often underestimate the importance of hashtags. This can be due to the fact that they don’t understand what they are or how to use them. In the social media world we live in, they are very useful. Let’s take a look at how to build a strong hashtag strategy in 2020.
What Are Hashtags?
Before it became a worldwide term, the hashtag was represented by the pound symbol (#) especially on devices such as phones. However, that changed in 2007 when Twitter started using hashtags as a method to index trending keywords.
Since Twitter started the trend, nearly every social media site has leveraged hashtags as a way to make trending topics and content more easily searchable.
Now, when someone types an update on a social media platform, more often than not, a hashtag is involved as well. This is particularly true with Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. While Facebook uses it too, using hashtags is not quite as popular on that platform.
Remember, there are certain aspects to a good hashtag marketing strategy. Just because you use certain hashtags does not mean they are going to trend. The use of influencer marketing hashtags and the way they trend will be based on why you are using them.
Why Are Hashtag Strategies Important?
When it comes to social media campaign hashtags and a good strategy, there are a few things you want to remember. Some of the main things to keep in mind include:
- Increased Engagement
- Brand Building
- Finding Your Audience
Using hashtags in your social media posts will greatly increase brand awareness and more importantly, engagement. As a matter of fact, Twitter reports that businesses and brands that use hashtags have a 50% higher rate of engagement than those who don’t.
Using a good hashtag strategy is key when it comes to brand engagement. You want to use the right hashtags and use them in a way that is relevant. This will lead to increased engagement with your brand, and in turn, build your audience. Implementing a solid brand hashtag strategy will get you there.
Finding Your Audience
A good hashtag strategy in 2020 is not only good for user engagement, but it can help you find a target audience. Actually, to be more specific, hashtags can help your target audience find you. Using relevant hashtags that your audience can connect with is a perfect way to make your brand searchable to them.
14 Ways on How to Improve Your Hashtag Strategy
Since a hashtag marketing strategy is so important, it is ideal to look at ways to improve. Believe it or not, there are some do’s and don’ts when it comes to influencer marketing hashtags.
Here are 14 excellent ways to improve your hashtag strategy.
1. Find Out What Your Audience Wants
They say the customer is always right. This saying goes for hashtag strategies and how to use them as well. Why would you use hashtags that are not relevant to your target audience?
Find out what your audience cares about, what they are looking at, and use that information to place hashtags appropriately so that you can gain awareness.
2. Hashtag Strategy Based on Social Media Platform
So, not all social media platforms are alike. This is also true when it comes to the use of hashtags on specific platforms.
For instance, the correct usage of your social media campaign hashtags will be much more effective on Twitter and Instagram than they will be on Facebook.
As a matter of fact, overall, the use of hashtags on Facebook has not shown any evidence of their effectiveness. Again, different platforms mean different rules.
3. Use Influencer Marketing Hashtags
You can do this in a couple of ways. You can look at the hashtags the social media influencers are using within your specific niche and use them as well. Or, you can hire an influencer as part of your hashtag strategy and have them make posts relevant to your brand.
Whatever path you choose, remember that influencer marketing hashtags can be the driving force to more brand engagement.
4. Understand Your Hashtag Strategy
Not only do you need to get a proper hashtag strategy in place, but you also need to make sure you understand it.
What do I mean? Basically, there are three types of marketing strategies for hashtags. They are:
- Brand & Campaign Specific
- Content Hashtags
Let’s take a look at the differences real quick. Brand and campaign hashtags are created to be specific tags that you are using for your own business. They market your specific products or services.
A trending hashtag is one that is popular because of the topic it is covering. If that topic is popular, then the hashtag created around it will trend and be easily searchable.
Finally, there are content hashtags. These are hashtags that are used specifically to go along with the content you are posting. If you are posting an article on lifestyle, then you may use lifestyle-related hashtags.
5. Create Simple and Catchy Hashtags
When you are going about the process of creating social media campaign hashtags, you should remember that they do not need to be complicated. What you would rather have is simple and catchy hashtags that are easy for users to search.
This will drive traffic better because longer and more complicated hashtags can be tougher to search for and find.
6. See What is Trending
We have talked about this some already, but trending hashtags are obviously the most valuable ones. Before doing a social media post, take a few minutes to go search what hashtags are trending. Use those specific ones in your content if you are able.
Trending hashtags in your content are only going to drive higher engagement rates. So this is always a good idea.
7. Be as Specific as Possible
This should go without saying, but you would be surprised at how bad hashtag usage can be sometimes. Oftentimes you will see a post that is using hashtags that make no sense and are not specific.
Make sure your hashtags are specific to your niche and target them as much as possible. This is especially true if you already have a target audience you are trying to serve.
8. Use an Optimal Amount of Hashtags
Using the right amount of hashtags can be confusing. You don’t want to underuse or overuse your brand hashtag strategy. With that being said, the correct amount of hashtags to use really boils down to what social media platform you are posting on.
Here is a list of the optimal amount of hashtags to use based on platform:
- Twitter: 1-2
- Instagram: 9-15
- Facebook: 1-2
- LinkedIn: 1-2
See, specific platforms use hashtags differently, so make sure your strategy takes this into account.
9. Correct Hashtag Timing
This kind of goes hand in hand with what is trending. However, you never want to use mistimed hashtags, whether too early or too late. If a trending or hot topic has passed you by, then don’t try to catch up. Simply move on to the next trending topic and see if you can catch a ride.
10. Use Inspiring Hashtags
Your hashtag marketing strategy should definitely include a set of inspiring hashtags. Everyone likes to be inspired or feel good about something. Use this to your advantage.
Try to use inspiring hashtags at the correct time too, when it is most appropriate. These will not only build brand awareness, but also allow people to be more comfortable with who you are and what you represent.
11. Leverage Live Tweets
Live Tweets are a fantastic way to garner audience participation and get consumers excited about a product or service in the moment. Be aware though, people will be expecting something special if you live tweet.
For this reason, make sure you have something very interesting to add to the conversation.
12. Add Click or Tappable Hashtags to Bio
Sure, you can always add hashtags to a post you are doing on social media. You should go a step further, though, and create clickable or tappable, branded hashtags for your business.
Over time, followers and other influencers will associate specific hashtags to your business. This is a great way to gain followers and influence in your niche.
13. Follow Hashtag Post Insights
In order to make sure you are utilizing your hashtag strategy the right way, try and follow hashtag post insights and use that data to build on what you have in place.
There are a number of social trackers out there that can monitor this data for you and give all sorts of analytics and data.
14. Keep it Simple
Keep it simple, don’t go overboard and don’t try to reinvent the wheel. You want to be smart, clear, concise, and to the point. Connect with your target audience without being muddled.
This will keep followers more interested, as they know exactly what to expect from you.
The world of social media is so important for businesses today. Having a solid hashtag strategy in place to market your products and services is key to being successful online.
There are a lot of different things you want to remember when you are putting together a hashtag marketing strategy. Hopefully, the tips above will get you going on the right foot.