As more and more Small Businesses Owners turn to Social Media to market themselves, the more relevant hashtags become in promoting their business, they help to reach a wider audience and increase online engagement. However, many people don’t understand the importance of hashtags or if they do, don’t really know how they work or how to utilise them effectively. That’s why we’ve put together this handy list on how you can master hashtags on Social Media, to not only understand how they work, but how you can use them to effectively market your business online and grow your Social Media platforms.
1. Conduct Hashtag Research
As silly as it may seem to spend time researching hashtags, it’s the first step in understanding and mastering them. Researching will help you identify the most relevant and popular hashtags in your industry. But how do you go about conducting this research? Explore industry-related keywords, relevant trending topics, and your competitors’ profiles to understand which hashtags are being used by your target audience. If you need extra help, tools such as Hashtagify, Ritetag or native platform search can assist you in finding popular hashtags related to your industry and content. Along with researching the hashtags themselves, make sure to look into hashtag usage on specific platforms. Hashtags are used differently on different Social Media platforms, on platforms like Instagram for example you can include hashtags in the caption or add them as the first comment on your post, familiarise yourself with the ways in which people are using hashtags on specific platforms to help boost your content and increase engagement levels.
2. Jump Onto Trending
Using trending hashtags is a great way to keep your content current and to boost its visibility. Make sure to keep an eye on relevant news, events, holidays and current pop culture to find opportunities to get your content in on the current trends. However, always make sure that these trending topics will resonate with your audience and are relevant to your business and content to make it genuinely engaging and interesting.
3. Don’t Be Afraid to Go Niche
While using popular hashtags is great to reach a broader audience, it does have a drawback, which is that a lot of people are using them! And thus, they often have a vast number of posts associated with them, making it difficult for your content to stand out. Along with popular hashtags, make sure to also use more specific and niche hashtags that accurately represent your content and business. These kinds of hashtags help you to reach a more targeted audience that are interested in your industry who are much more likely to engage with your content and stick around for more.
4. Create Brand Specific Hashtags
Creating unique hashtags for your business or products is an excellent way to build a sense of community with your customers and any potential customers. You can use your brand name, slogan or company values to create memorable hashtags. Creating your own hashtags is also a great way to foster user-generated content (UGC), encourage your audience to use these hashtags when sharing their experiences, showing off your products or creating other content around your business. These hashtags also don’t have to be limited to just your Social Media, you can place them on other advertising material or on your website alongside your Social Media handles to help encourage your customers to look them up and use the hashtags themselves when posting about your business.
5. Engage with Others
Hashtags not only help people discover your content and social platforms but also enable you to engage with others in your community. Constantly look up the relevant hashtags in your industry, and, like, comment, and share content from other users in your specific niche. These interactions help to foster relationships in your industry, increase your visibility within the community, encourage reciprocal engagement and could even lead to collaborations that could help get your business out to a wider audience.
6. Analyse Performance to Develop a Consistent Strategy
Getting into a groove with how to use hashtags on your content can take some time, but by regularly analysing the performance of your posts you can gauge which specific hashtags and hashtag placements are best for your engagement and reach. This data can help you to develop and refine a consistent hashtag strategy to incorporate into your content regularly, establishing your brand identity on your social platforms and allowing your target market to associate specific hashtags with your content, making it easier for them to find you.
Hashtags play an important role in increasing the engagement and reach of your Social Media content and platforms. By conducting research, utilising both trending and niche hashtags, creating brand specific hashtags, engaging with others and analysing your posts you can develop a consistent hashtag strategy for your business's Social Media and establish your brand’s identity, create a sense of community, build relationships and reach a far wider audience.