Around the globe, social media experts have been actively using hashtags to promote various companies. With the help of hashtags, users can make their posts more popular since these tags serve as links. By clicking on a hashtag in one post, you get a list of all publications containing it. They work as a filter and a quick search tool and combine posts into thematic series. On Twitter or Instagram, you could have seen hashtags in use.
This tool allows you to increase the reach of the target audience, quickly and effectively disseminate information about the brand, use several social networks simultaneously, promote events, and more. The existing benefits from using hashtags will be supplemented with more and more in the future.
Whether you are an experienced social media specialist or a newbie in this area, it is essential to track your hashtags. Understanding which hashtags are working and which are not will help get the most of a hashtag strategy. But first, let’s start from the basics.
A hashtag is a text tag used in social networks to promote content and create a series of posts related thematically. Facebook, Instagram, and, of course, Twitter, which opened them to the world, use them. But, how did it all start?
Chris Messina was a Silicon Valley product designer who ran an online consulting company in 2007. He and his colleagues from San Francisco were using Twitter to communicate and brainstorm when they suddenly came up with an idea.
The idea was that Twitter needed a group organization structure, so Chris suggested that the pound sign (which would later become known as a hashtag) would work effectively to consolidate the group’s focus.
Twitter management did not initially accept the hashtag since they did not believe that this new navigator could become popular. It may have taken two years before Twitter decided to officially add the ability for users to search and use hashtags to organize groups. Today, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, and other social media platforms also implement the hashtag feature.
A hashtag is a word or phrase to which a symbol # is added at the beginning. At the same time, there are several basic rules for compiling hashtags:
Among the essential reasons to use the hashtag in your content marketing strategy are the following:
1. Your target audience can see and find you.
People search for the information they need by hashtags. If the hashtags in the posts are chosen correctly, they will bring more people interested in your topic to you. As a result, the reach of publications is growing, and you promote your brand and drive conversions. If your content is excellent, then so is the number of followers.
2. You understand the interests of the audience.
People who use hashtags and subscribe to them on your topic are your live audience. Study their pages, interests, behavior in social networks and use this knowledge to create content.
3. You structure the content.
Use hashtags as a rubricator. This way, you will structure the information and simplify the search for readers. As a result, it will be easier for you to observe the ratio of different types of content.
4. You show support for social issues.
Such hashtags as #EachforEqual or #BlackLivesMatter allow mobilizing behind an important cause or issue. Alternatively, companies can create their branded hashtag to connect to the social problem.
Undoubtedly, hashtags are very useful in promoting company profiles on social networks, and finding the best hashtags is the priority.
1. Think like your target audience.
Put yourself in your target audience’s shoes and think about what queries you could use in the Instagram search. Then, enter these words into the search and get a whole list of similar hashtags and their frequency.
2. Study the influencers’ experience and competitors.
Explore the hashtags that your direct and indirect competitors use. See how they mix tags with different frequencies. Also, study the experience of opinion leaders in your topic. See what hashtags they and their active followers use.
3. Use automated services and tools.
Today, the market offers numerous automated services to find hashtags specific to your brand, industry, and audience.
Hashtagify.me is perhaps the most popular and frequently mentioned service. Indeed, it has a user-friendly interface and a powerful engine. The tool allows you to find the best hashtags to reach your audience, gives you custom suggestions, and helps you to analyze your competitors’ strategies.
Pricing: 7-days free trial is available. The premium plan starts from $29 per month.
RiteTag is another social media toolkit that helps get the maximum views, engagement, and link click-throughs on everything you share socially. After registering via a Twitter account, the system will analyze how well you use hashtags. Then you will get recommendations — which hashtags are better to use to be seen right now, which ones are for the long term, and which ones are good only for Instagram.
Pricing: 7-days free trial is available. RiteTag package costs $65 per month. You can also buy each product separately.
Take the assistance of hashtag analyzer Socialert to measure metrics including hashtag reach, impressions, users, viral posts, and more. In addition, you can track all hashtag tweets for a brand campaign, event, Twitter chat, and Twitter contests. With the help of this tool, you will also learn how your audience is using your branded keywords and brand mentions.
Pricing: The premium plan starts from $24.95 per month.
4. Get a social media listening tool.
A social media platform like Vista Social offers the ability to track any keyword or hashtag across various social media platforms and understand which hashtags are the best. The Social Listening tool will help track and analyze conversations around relevant topics to get an idea of consumer sentiment and brand health. Discover how customers feel about your brand and competitor’s one, and identify industry gaps.
Different social networks have their own rules for using hashtags.
Instagram – Up to 30 hashtags
The service allows you to add up to 30 hashtags to a single post. With their help, the description of the photo and its promotion takes place. Hashtags are used to promote Instagram and launch mass activities — for example, the so-called challenges – users post photos on a predefined topic with appropriate captions.
Twitter – Up to 2 hashtags
It is not recommended to use more than two hashtags in one tweet, but the number of hashtags on Twitter is unlimited. In addition, you can add hashtags in a comment when you retweet, in replies, and your Twitter bio.
Facebook – Up to 2 hashtags
Officially, there are no restrictions on the number of hashtags added to a Facebook post. But it is still recommended not to use more than two relevant tags. This is because the user perceives a post with many hashtags as spam. Such publications are difficult to perceive, and visually tags distract attention from the main content.
LinkedIn – Up 3 hashtags
Hashtags on LinkedIn help users discover the most relevant topics and interests and allow them to interact with them. Ensure including 2-3 hashtags to help the LinkedIn user find your content easier. Hashtags can be used anywhere in your message to share a video, article, or document. Hashtags in comments or articles will not be displayed in the hashtag feeds.
Pinterest – Up to 5 hashtags
You have 500 characters to write the correct pin description. Therefore, pay more attention to writing the text for your pin description, and then go to the hashtags. Use no more than five hashtags for a pin and ensure they are searchable and specific.
It is essential to differentiate several hashtag types that marketers work with today to understand which hashtags to track by popularity, reach, interactions, or users.
Content hashtags are formed directly from the context of what is displayed in the photo. Therefore, it is worth tracking this type of hashtag to know which content hashtags are the most popular when sharing content.
Branded hashtags are usually the slogan, brand name, people, and events. This is a unique combination, not used before or used in minimal quantities. You may want to track branded hashtags to understand how many users talk about your specific business.
The use of trending hashtags will increase the popularity of the post. Specific hashtags related to calendar holidays, bright events, and topics help promote posts. In addition, the Twitter platform shows which hashtags are the most trending now and how many people talk about each one.
Since Twitter and Instagram at events have become almost mandatory, marketers strongly advise using event hashtags to attract public attention to the brand. Later, you will track how much engagement your event generated around your business.
Vista Social will help you build and grow stronger relationships with your audience, from determining the most relevant hashtags to your business to tracking post-performance. Try a free trial to evaluate such powerful features as publishing, engagement, reviews, reports, and listening.
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