Feel like you got to the #party a little late? Here’s our hashtag primer.
Hashtags have become a necessary tool for marketing. They serve an important role in finding clients. Hashtags act as links on social media that you can use to add yourself/your brand to the global conversation.
So what exactly is a hashtag? Hashtags are just pound signs, but when put before a word — virtually any word — they become clickable links that take users from the initial post to thousands of posts using that same hashtag. Think of it as weeding out the loudness of social media and zeroing in on the exact through-line you want.
For example, if a client is searching for shoes to buy, they may search #womensshoes on Twitter, bringing all of the tweets including that hashtag into one central place. They can then find major shoe brands, local shoe stores, and shoe recommendations from users all over the world.
But might that be good for your business? Future clients who might have otherwise not come across your business will be able to find you at the search of a hashtag. It’s the simplest of marketing strategies. All you need to do is include the right number and right kind of hashtags to make yourself visible without becoming a spam account. This brings us to our next point…
How Many Is Too Many Hashtags?
Ah yes, spam accounts. You know, those accounts that post an extensive list of irrelevant hashtags, just to maximize their hits? For example, a sportswear Instagram account may post a picture of an athlete in running shorts, and then proceed to use the following hashtags: #exercise #running #swimming #water #ocean #fish #jellyfish #whales #endangeredspecies.
That is what not to do. As long as you stay on track and avoid lengthy hashtag tangents, then you’re set. Otherwise, it makes for an unnecessarily long list of things users don’t want to read! Instagram allows you to use 30 hashtags per post, while Twitter allows however many will fit within the boundaries of their character limit. That said, the perfect hashtag number on Instagram is well under 30. Forbes recommends using around 11 hashtags, max, underneath every Instagram post to get the most foot traffic. They also recommend using 2 hashtags for every Twitter post. Any more will actually decrease the popularity of a tweet. So, with Twitter, less is more. As for LinkedIn and Facebook, hashtags are still gaining use on the platforms. Check other accounts in your industry to see their hashtag style and quantity.
What Kinds of Hashtags Should You Use for Your Business?
Researching other businesses on social media that are similar to yours will show you the kinds of hashtags typically used. According to Social Media Examiner, there are three different kinds of hashtags you want within each post:
- Popular hashtags: This will get you out into mainstream media and help browsing users find you more easily.
- Niche-specific hashtags: This will attract the core clientele who are looking for the specific things your business does.
- Branded hashtags: Creating a hashtag for your brand will help on the campaign-front, adding to your unique brand.