Posted On 16 Feb 2022
Venetia Hillary

Do you want to reach a wider audience? Engage with more potential customers? Or grow your brand’s exposure and reputation? If your answer to any of those questions is “Yes,” then you should probably be using hashtags in your digital marketing strategy!

In this week’s blog, we’ll dive into what hashtags are, why you should be using them, and some of the best practices to keep in mind.

What are hashtags?

The beginning is a good place to start, right? A hashtag is a word or phrase that’s preceded by the pound symbol (#). You can find hashtags on just about every social media platform today, and they serve a useful purpose: they let users and algorithms know what a piece of content is all about. Simply put, they add some important context for your social media posts.

Why should you use them?

You should be incorporating hashtags into your socials strategy because they help boost your content to a wider audience. For example, if someone is searching for Instagram pics of cute kittens, then they’ll almost certainly come across posts that contain #kittens. The same principle applies to the products you’re selling, the services you’re offering, and your brand itself.

Hashtags can help you enter into trending conversations, and reach new users who are passionate about certain topics. They can help you build awareness around your brand. And in practical terms, they can serve as contextual “shorthand” for a post, so that you don’t have to take up a lot of space explaining why you’re uploading a certain picture or video.

Some 125 million hashtags are used on Twitter every day, not to mention the millions more found on Instagram, Facebook, and other social media networks. The point is, you should definitely get into the hashtag game as soon as possible!

What are the different types of hashtags?

There are 3 basic types:

  1. Content hashtags. These are words or phrases specifically related to your content or industry. They usually have a broad scope, and can help increase your audience reach. For example, #futurecar may not be unique to Tesla, but they can certainly use it in their posts.
  2. Trending hashtags. These are hashtags that relate to a current topic of interest that’s popular among social media users. If you’re thinking about jumping on the wagon of a trending hashtag, make sure you know why it’s trending before committing to it.
  3. Branded hashtags. These are unique to your company, and may relate to your brand in general, or be related to specific events and promotions.

What are some best practices?

  • Don’t use too few or too many. The number of hashtags you use for a post should depend on a number of factors, including the platform you’re on. For example, it’s recommended that you use between 3-5 for Instagram posts, 2-3 for YouTube videos, and 1-2 for Facebook and LinkedIn posts.
  • Understand the platform you’re posting on. For example, Instagram and Twitter are often suitable platforms for posting humorous, or even sarcastic content. However, LinkedIn is a professional network, and the hashtags you use on it should reflect professionalism, too.
  • Mix them up. You don’t want to constantly reuse the same old hashtags. For one thing, your followers will get bored after a while. Moreover, you may end up violating a platform’s community guidelines if you recycle the same hashtags on every single post. At the very least, consider dividing them into a handful of groups, and then rotating through them throughout the month.

If you’d like to learn more about how hashtags can help grow your business, reach out to our team of marketing experts at Oracle Tree today to book your free strategy call!

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