How to Use Hashtags Strategically

Using hashtags is one of the best ways to get your social media post in front of more people. The more sets of eyes land on your post, the more chances you have to convert leads, gain followers, and retain lifelong fans.

Yet, I often see brands and individuals posting to social media using random hashtags or single-word hashtags. Not strategically choosing hashtags based on audience size and relevance is like using a megaphone to speak to a crowd without anyone hearing you. While Facebook doesn’t truly recognize hashtags as a strategic tool, you should be using them in your Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn posts every time you publish content. But how do you do it strategically?

Targeting Your Audience

If someone is interested in a particular topic and wants to search for it via social media, they’ll often search using the hashtag + topic. For example, if they’re searching for a Keto dinner recipe, they might type #ketodinnerrecipe. Instagram will generate every post that anyone has ever published that included the hashtag #ketodinnerrecipe. Now, your post has a better chance of being seen by anyone searching those keywords or that hashtag. Win!

Using Your Brand Hashtag

From the moment you begin posting to social media for your business, you should use a brand hashtag consistently. True fans of your brand will follow this hashtag so they can see new posts. Better yet, you can encourage them to follow your hashtag if they are not yet! This action is also a great way to differentiate yourself from a business of a similar name. For example, my client uses #SugarSalonWichita to identify themselves apart from any other business by the same name in a different location. Don’t forget to add your brand’s hashtag to your Instagram bio! The more you use it, the more your fans will remember to use it when tagging you in their posts. Are you consistently using your business’s hashtag?

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Using a Campaign-Specific Hashtag

Do you want to create buzz for an upcoming event? Create a hashtag to appear on integrating marketing materials and digital communications leading up to the event. Add it to every social media post prior to the event’s launch and ask attendees to tag you in a post using it during the event. By tracking the campaign-specific hashtag, you can track engagement. You can learn about what your audience and what they thought of your event. Hosting a location-specific luncheon for non-profits? Perhaps your hashtag is #NPMeetUpChicago. What will be the hashtag for your next marketing campaign?

Adding the Optimal Number of Hashtags

A few simple rules of the industry when using hashtags…use them, but don’t abuse them. Your choice of hashtags should revolve around what is seen in the photo (#streetart), what the post is about (#supportartists), and perhaps where the photo was taken (#streetartnyc).

Facebook: Don’t even bother. When was the last time you search for a hashtag using Facebook? Exactly.

Twitter: Hashtag 1-2 keywords. It’s common for people to click on hashtags via a tweet to find like-minded Twitter users.

Instagram: Use the maximum amount allowed 30 hashtags! Using multiple hashtags is the norm.

LinkedIn: Hashtag 2-3 keywords. People are just beginning to explore using hashtags as a search tool on LinkedIn.

Pinterest: According to Tailwind, hashtags don’t help a pin become found by a larger audience.

Next Steps

If you don’t have time to research strategic hashtags or craft social media content, ask me to take it on for you. My experience selecting key hashtags has generated better reach for clients’ posts. Learn what you can expect from outsourcing social media services to me. Get started here!

Photo by Katie Harp from Pexels

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