Social media has become an influential tool in the digital marketing space. The various platforms available on the market have seen exponential growth over the past decade. Marketers have since realized the utility of these social media platforms in brand-building, spreading awareness, and facilitating engagement. Plus, it’s cost-effective.
One of the social media tools used to reach people and facilitate engagement is hashtags. Hashtags enable engagement by driving traffic on social media. Most social media platforms have algorithms that use hashtags to rank content, making posts or accounts with higher authority more discoverable. That’s why most influencers and marketers incorporate hashtags in their posts. You can also consider incorporating them into your digital marketing plans if you haven’t already.
People can see the power of hashtags through the activities of activism groups or movements, for example, that use hashtags to bring attention to specific causes, events, or topics. The end goal is to increase engagement and instill information into their audiences. Some of which have succeeded to where a single hashtag has trended globally. Therefore, hashtags can be a powerful engagement tool that organizations and businesses can leverage.
So, if you want to use hashtags to leverage your social media presence, here’s how you can accomplish it:
1. Keep It Simple
In social media, readability is essential. It has to be easy to read and understand. This is so that the user gets the motivation to engage with your specific post.
People are known to have short attention spans. Therefore, you certainly don’t want your posts to be cluttered or unnecessarily long. A long hashtag can be hard to read and appear spammy to users. Ideally, you have to keep your hashtags short and precise. However, you don’t want your hashtags to be tasteless, too. So, there has to be a good balance between simplicity and relevance.
Furthermore, your hashtags need to be as unique as possible. Unique hashtags can outperform generic hashtags in driving traffic. To help with generating hashtags, incorporate artificial intelligence (AI) powered tools known as hashtag generators to create unique hashtags for you. Remember, the best hashtags make your content more discoverable, which is what you may want.
2. Take Advantage of Trends
There’ll be topics or news that may become popular now and then. Social media can be a hype machine. If it’s trending, it means that many people care about it. But social media trends don’t last forever. So, if you’re going to leverage your social media with trending hashtags, you need to jump on the bandwagon while they’re still new.
Hashtags can trend for a multitude of reasons. For example, it could be a seasonal trending hashtag such as Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day. Alternatively, it could just be about a new product on the market that seems to catch the attention of many. However, not every hashtag may apply to you. The key is to find hashtags relevant to your business or your niche. To help with this, consider using other AI-powered tools like Flick that can help you find the right hashtags within your specific industry.
Additionally, using trending hashtags enables you to inform your audience about the latest critical societal matters and show your support for worthy causes. Such actions may even prompt your audience to engage by sharing and liking your posts since it shows the human side of your business.
3. Don’t Overuse Them
Depending on the social network used, there’s usually an ideal number of hashtags to incorporate per post. For example, on Instagram, you can use up to 30 hashtags. But that doesn’t mean you have to use all thirty of them in one go. Perhaps you could stick to a maximum of 8, but a lesser number is ideal.
In addition, while it may seem logical to use more hashtags to drive traffic, using too many can make your posts look cluttered and affect readability.
Furthermore, with hashtags, ensure that your post is valuable to your audience (or engaging) because users could easily ignore it if it’s not informative or interesting. And it could get lost in the cloud of plenty of other posts with that hashtag.
4. Conduct Research
Before using a specific hashtag, you should consider researching it first. The reason is that you need to see the type of content that’s associated with that hashtag already. It’s worthwhile checking out how a hashtag is performing. Sometimes, the simple addition or removal of a word can increase the authority of your hashtag. For example, by searching the Mother’s Day theme on Instagram, you could discover that the #HappyMothersDay hashtag has four times more posts and engagement than #MothersDay2022. Armed with this information, it would make sense to go with the former hashtag since the goal is to drive traffic.
Another great idea would be to research how industry leaders use their hashtags. You may or may not entirely imitate their hashtags, but it can give you an idea of how to adapt them to your content.
In addition, you need to confirm whether the hashtag you want to use is banned or not. Instagram has policies that oblige users to refrain from using certain words. For instance, Instagram does not permit the use of violent, pornographic, offensive, or illicit drug-related hashtags.
5. Target Specific Audience Segments
With hashtags, you need to make sure that you tailor them to your target audience. You can’t target your content to everyone. If you’re going to use hashtags to drive traffic towards a specific audience, they have to apply to that audience.
Certain countries have cultural traditions that happen every year. A global brand could use hashtags applicable to specific geographical areas (also called geo-targeting). For example, the Chinese New Year ads with hashtags in China could read #HappyChineseNewYear2022. On the other hand, Easter holiday hashtags in the USA could read #HappyEaster2022. Therefore, to select the right hashtag, you have to define your target market first.
Hashtags are effective in driving traffic. Regardless of your line of business, you can reap the benefits of these tools, too. The key to using hashtags is to keep them precise and always ensure that they’re relevant. Also, remember that quality is always better than quantity.