Hashtags are everywhere these days, but are they really useful? If so, how can you make the most of that pivotal pound sign?
As 2021 gets underway, many marketers are adjusting their strategies to reach their audiences in the places where they’re most likely to pay attention. With social media usage rising significantly throughout the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn will be an integral part of every marketing plan.
However, simply posting on social is no longer going to get your brand the attention it deserves. You need to incorporate strategic hashtags in ways that get you noticed by the right users – and get people talking about the information you’re sharing. With this in mind, let’s dive deeper into the world of hashtags:
What Is a Hashtag?
A hashtag is a word or phrase that’s introduced by the pound sign. It creates a metadata tag used on social media networks so that people can easily find posts that fall within a specific theme. When you incorporate hashtags into your posts:
- People can find your content more easily.
- You have more opportunities to gain new followers (and potential customers).
- You place yourself right in front of your target audience.
- Your brand can join in on larger conversations.
Hashtags can be used on various platforms, including Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and TikTok.
How Many Hashtags Should You Use Per Post?
It’s important to understand that all platforms operate differently. Thus, the best practices for Instagram, for instance, will differ from those of LinkedIn.
Here’s a general guide for each social media network:
- Instagram: 5 to 10
- Twitter: 0 to 3
- LinkedIn: 2 to 3
- YouTube: 3 to 4
Keep in mind that these numbers are just suggestions. It’s best to test out different strategies to see which options work best for your particular audience.
Hashtag Best Practices on Instagram
Instagram is one of the best places to utilize hashtags. But how do you make sure you’re maximizing the power of this tool? First, you must use your hashtags wisely; it’s about quality over quantity. Some people suggest including as many as 30 hashtags to get the most exposure possible, but many marketers disagree with this, as it could overload your potential customers.
Hashtags are timestamped based on when your content is posted. Therefore, it’s crucial to add yours to your posts within the first one to 24 hours after uploading. This is a critical window if you want the algorithms to pick up on what you’re sharing with the world.
As you delve into Instagram hashtags, here are some other tips to keep in mind:
1. Be Intentional
Don’t use hashtags just because it’s the popular thing to do; each phrase you include should be relevant to your post and business.
2. Switch Up Your Hashtags
To avoid being too spammy, change your hashtags from time to time. This will also help you reach new audiences.
3. Avoid Hashtags That Have Been Used Over 1 Million Times
Hashtags with high usage aren’t the best way to get your content noticed. With so many other accounts including these phrases on their posts, your business could get lost in the commotion. Instead, find ways to incorporate more niche hashtags into your posts. Look for those that have a mix of 10k to 500k uses. This will increase your chances of being discovered by new followers because you won’t be entering spaces that are already oversaturated.
4. Use Branded Hashtags
Branded hashtags encourage people to learn more about your business and get to know your unique social media presence. Plus, brand loyalists can use these hashtags to show their support for your products and services!
Hashtag Use on Other Platforms
While Instagram is one of the most popular places to use hashtags, there are plenty of ways to utilize these tools on other social media networks. For example, when it comes to Twitter, you shouldn’t use a hashtag in an ad unless your goal is to drive people to it. Instead, include branded hashtags consistently in your posts to categorize content over time.
In the world of LinkedIn, hashtags create an easy way for those searching for specific interests to find your posts. Hashtags on this platform are only clickable on mobile, not desktop, so keep that in mind when you’re creating posts. Using hashtags on this platform offers you the opportunity to reach a larger audience and expand your network.
Create a Winning Hashtag Strategy with Help from Zero Gravity Marketing
If you need help getting your social media strategy in order, reach out to Zero Gravity Marketing! Our social media team can create a hashtag plan that follows best practices across platforms and aligns with your unique business goals.