Using Hashtags In Social Media Marketing. How & Why?
From raising brand awareness, to coining your own unique hashtag and getting it to trend. Here’s an in-depth look at the use of hashtags in social media marketing and how businesses can effectively take advantage of their power.
When it comes to raising brand awareness for a business across the various social media platforms, hashtags are a key part in generating the optimal results. Using hashtags in well structured and targeted ways makes your page’s content more discoverable and gets you in front of the people you’re wanting to market to.
In this week’s blog our expert team are going to share their insight into why using hashtags is an absolute must for social media marketing and how best businesses can take advantage of their power when it comes to increasing reach and making a brand stronger on these platforms.
What Is A Hashtag?
A hashtag is a popular phrase or keyword that is relevant to either a certain social media post or the person/business that is posting it. Similar to the keywords that are relevant to your business and needed to be included on your website when it comes to Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), they are a vital way to get the business in front of the people who have an interest in what you do.
When using a hashtag the phrase or keyword needs to be spelled out without spaces and can include different letters and numbers (although not symbols or punctuation). For example, a common hashtag that many small local businesses use on social media is #supportlocal. A popular phrase that has trended as a way to highlight the need for consumers to pay attention to the smaller businesses rather than the large corporate giants. They can be placed within the text of the main caption on a social media post or as a collective of different hashtags at the
bottom of the caption, depending on how well they fit with the message that the post is trying to convey.
The key reason to use these different phrases is that many of the 3.96 billion people that are using social media are following relevant hashtags to get updates on the different topics that interest them most. Quite simply, these small phrases and keywords have a large impact on the kind of people who are seeing the content and who are most likely to engage with it.
Why If You’re Not Already, You Need To Start Using Hashtags As Part Of Your Social Media Marketing!
As aforementioned, similar to the SEO technique of ensuring relevant keywords are included on a website to attract more visitors through search engines. Hashtags do exactly the same thing for social media. The power that they have of expanding a page’s reach past its organic following is massive.
There are people who use social media in the same way that many use Google. Searching specific hashtags in their search bar to find the content that they most want to digest whilst on the platforms. Twitter alone has conducted a recent in depth study into the effectiveness of hashtags when trying to build the reach of a brand on their platform and it has been found that the use of hashtags has the impact of increasing awareness by up to 50%. Keeping it specific to Twitter, they have also found that tweets with 1 or more hashtags are around 55% more likely to be retweeted by other users, thus again increasing reach beyond organic following.
They give a chance for you to really get your business/brand trending across social media. A hash-tagging technique that can be difficult to pull off is to get your own unique phrase relevant and even trending. Yes this is something that requires a large organic following to begin with but it really can create a huge effect for the brand awareness on social media.
Looking at this example and applying it to a businesses unique selling point or tagline that is used in promotion can have great effect. Having your business be a trending hashtag on social media and being used by not only yourself but followers/customers of the brand is huge. It creates the effect of people wanting to be involved and wanting to be ‘part of the club’ which simply snowballs in terms of how much it can increase your brand’s awareness.
How To Correctly Use Hashtags In Social Media Marketing
Like any marketing technique on social media, there’s only ever going to be the desired effect if the way in which you approach and demonstrate it is effective.
Here we’re going to take a better look at how to get the basics of using hashtags in social media marketing right for your business, and hopefully set you on the way to expanding your reach and increasing awareness for the amazing work that you do!
Start With A Public Profile. The fist, and most basic piece of advice we can offer is to ensure that your social media profiles are public. The simple reason being is that no matter how good you are at finding & using the best hashtags, if your profiles are not public, then only your organic followers can see what you’re posting. If you aren’t sure on how exactly to check/change this, here is a helpful guide.
Identify The Best Relevant Hashtags. Your hashtags need to be relevant to what your business does. There are many popular hashtags that you may think will increase your reach, but using irrelevant phrases will simply result in the people following that hashtag completely ignoring your content as it’s not what they want to see. For example if you offer a local service don’t just use the hashtag of the local area as this is too broad and not relevant, add in a keyword relevant to your business as well as the area to keep it specific. If you’re struggling to think of the best hashtags checkout websites like hashtagify.me.
Don’t Write War and Peace In A Hashtag! Whilst there may be a great USP or tagline that your business has, if it’s too long then it’s never going to take off as people simply won’t remember it. Take for example our previous example of the Toronto Raptors, using #OnlyNBATeamInCanada would never have been as memorable and able to trend as the #WeTheNorth.
Limit The Number Of Hashtags You Use On A Post. Less is more. When using hashtags as part of social media marketing, it may seem that using 193738 hashtags will increase reach the most. However, too many hashtags dilutes the message that you’re trying to convey on a post as well as looking like spam to many users on the different social media platforms. At Assured Marketing we always suggest to our clients that using between 8-10 hashtags per post is the optimal level to increase reach but also maintain professionalism.
So with all of this information in mind, if as a business owner you find yourself not using hashtags or using them incorrectly. Then take this advice to start improving the social media presence of your business today!