How can Businesses Use Hashtags Effectively on Social Media
By now, most people are familiar with hashtags, but many marketers don’t know how to realize the full potential of hashtags in their social media strategy.
Hashtags originated and became popular on Twitter but have now been included on most social platforms as an easy way to tag your content with proper topics of interests, usually by using a word or phrase preceded by the “#” symbol. Most platforms enabled users to follow hashtags, and anyone who follows or searches for that hashtag can see and interact with the posts that have been tagged.
As such, hashtags are a great tool for increasing your reach, for B2C and B2B companies alike. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you develop and implement a hashtag strategy for your company.
Find the Niche
Content creation and sharing on social channels is important, but it is irrelevant if no one sees it. Hashtags increase visibility of your content by categorizing it and displaying it with similar content. When a user searches that specific hashtag, they may stumble upon your post.
At the same time, this doesn’t mean you should add as many hashtags as possible to every post. Just as your company has a particular target audience, your hashtags should be targeted as well. They need to be relevant and purposeful, since generic words and phrases are over-crowded with posts.
Understand your Audience
Finding the right hashtags to use means that you need to understand how your prospects or target audience are using social media, to know how to tag content. Start off from their interests, needs, pain points and what related topics they might be searching for.
Social platforms like Instagram and LinkedIn give users the option to follow a hashtag, which means that content containing that hashtag will regularly populate their personal feed, instead of having to manually search for it to view tagged posts. For instance, a financial advisor may follow the hashtag #retirementplanning to keep up with the latest articles on the topic.
Research Industry Hashtags
Aside from understanding how your target audience interacts with social media, it’s useful to research your competition. Look at what they are posting, hashtags they use and see what type of posts get the most engagement. While you should avoid copying the competition strategy, it can be a good starting point for your own hashtag creation. Take into consideration topics that are important to your company, and find existing hashtags that convey those ideas.
Another effective method for researching is social listening. Social listening is the process of monitoring what others are saying on social media particular topics and keywords. You can monitor your audience’s opinions, responses, and leverage this to model your hashtag strategy. Listen to relevant conversations to identify new hashtags to add to your library and identify spaces where your company can meaningfully contribute.