We’ve all seen clever hashtags used across social media every day, but do they really make a difference when it comes to digital marketing? The answer is yes; however, it’s not as simple as just choosing hashtags randomly and dropping them in a post. Hashtags have proven to be a useful tool when it comes to reaching your target audience across a broader market when applied thoughtfully.
What is the Purpose of Hashtags?
Defined simply, a hashtag is a word or saying that follows a hash or pound symbol (#) and is used across social media networks to identify a topic or trend. The goal of using these keywords is to try and generate more interest and help people find your post. By preceding keywords with the hash symbol, the social networks are able to make your hashtag searchable to other users. It offers one more opportunity for your audience to find you.
Ultimately, hashtags are another way to earn more likes, gain more followers, and eventually drive more traffic to your website to increase sales. Using the right hashtags that connect with your target market can start a relationship between your business and potential customers. Because of this, some research and consideration should be put into finding the right hashtags.
How to Choose Your Hashtags
Here’s the basic formula when it comes to hashtags: frequency and volume. Unless you’re a social media titan and are looking to start a new hashtag trend on your own, the best approach is to find keywords that are used frequently and by a high number of users on that particular social media platform. Most social media networks are really helpful in terms of letting you know how many times a hashtag has been used or which hashtags are trending at a particular time.
For example, Twitter will let you know which hashtags are trending, how many times it’s been tweeted, and which ones may be more relevant to you based on your interests and activity. Also, you can type a hashtag in your Instagram search bar and the network will tell you how often that hashtag was used in posts. Hashtag trends can change very quickly, so the more timely your use of trending hashtags can be, the better.
Tips on How to Make the Most of Your Hashtags
There isn’t necessarily a set of rules when it comes to using hashtags. However, there are some guidelines to consider following to be successful with your hashtags. Here are some hashtag basics:
- Don’t saturate content with hashtags. Too many hashtags in one post can come across as spam or overly “salesy” in nature. Even on Instagram, try not to use more than 10 in a single post.
- Only use relevant hashtags. You will connect better with your audience if your hashtags have a clear connection to the content you’re posting. Don’t stuff your post with trending tags just for the sake of using them.
- Don’t make your hashtags too long. Because spaces cannot be included in a hashtag, all the words in a phrase will need to be strung together. This makes it harder to read and search for, ultimately defeating the purpose of what you’re trying to achieve.
- Pay close attention to pop culture topics. Be able to adapt to trends and include relevant pop culture hashtags in your posts. You can strategize content to fit around these trending topics when appropriate. For example, #superbowl, #TBT, and #GameofThrones.
Useful Hashtag Tools for Digital Marketing
There are several tools out there you can use to help generate the right hashtags or to research how much volume a hashtag already has. Some of the most popular tools include Hashtagify to rate the popularity and search power of a particular hashtag, Keyhole for tracking the performance of your hashtags and other digital marketing efforts, and RiteTag for quick and relevant hashtag suggestions.
To summarize, hashtags do matter and can be an excellent boost to your digital marketing and social media campaigns if used the right way. If you’re interested in learning more about how Levy Online can help your business with digital marketing efforts, connect with our team today to hear about our SEO, PPC, website design and development services.