Social media marketing can be a breeze, but sometimes it can be a headache to figure out the perfect formula for best results. More often than not, plans are created without one of the essential elements to make it successful – a hashtag strategy. That’s right; it’s 2020, and hashtags are still important.
What is the purpose of a hashtag?
Believe it or not, hashtags are one of the best ways to get noticed by your audience, which in turn can help increase engagement on any account. Even some of the world’s largest brands use hashtags to bring awareness to new products or campaigns.
Check out Target using a hashtag on a recent post!
So, how do I use hashtags correctly?
As previously stated, there is a science behind using hashtags to get maximum results. Still, before breaking down how to use them for each platform, it’s beneficial to review the foundation of how to create it.
There are four main points to remember:
- Each word in a hashtag should be capitalized
- The hashtag symbol (#) must go in front of the first word
- Do not use spaces between words
- Do not use punctuations
Here’s an example of a hashtag that includes all of the key points above: #HealthBrands
How does the strategy differ for each platform?
Each platform has different requirements and standards when creating a hashtag, but they overlap when considering how to make the perfect strategy. It’s essential to know how hashtags work for each platform for the best results.
Facebook: This social media platform has a limit of 63,206 characters. Yes, you read that correctly. But a large character limit does not mean you should use as many hashtags as you possibly can. Quite contrary to popular belief, you should stick to only one or two hashtags for Facebook – it helps people find posts closely aligned with their interests.
Instagram: Instagram allows you to have a max of 30 hashtags to use per post and up to 10 hashtags on an Instagram story! Hashtags on this platform can instantly make an account discoverable, so make sure to use as many relevant hashtags as to target the right audience. It uses hashtags to categorize the content.
*Pro-tip: Do not use the same hashtags every time you post. Instagram will think you are a bot and block you from posting.
Twitter: Twitter is the original platform where hashtags were introduced back in 07’ by Chris Messina. What was once a fun element for tweeters has now become a business strategy for the world. Use up to two hashtags per tweet for the best results. Much like Facebook, less is more but similar to Instagram; it uses them to group content.
*Pro-tip: Find personalized trending hashtags to use by looking at the left-hand sidebar!
LinkedIn: Much like Twitter and Instagram, LinkedIn uses hashtags for categorization purposes; it helps people find similar topics. For best results, stick to using two to three hashtags per update closely associated with the content you are sharing. But there is a small variation in LinkedIn; when using them for LinkedIn Profiles and Company Pages, they do not populate as a clickable link like others.
- Example: If you search “artist” under people instead of content, you may find people who use the word(s) at some point in their profile without the hashtag symbol.
Tiktok: Tiktok only has a 100-character limit since the platform gears to show more than telling. Much like Instagram, it uses its hashtags for categorizing, too, but with a limited amount of text available, it’s crucial to research which hashtag is most appropriate for your content.
Snapchat: The oddball of the group allows users to use hashtags to filter news stories in the search bar. Other than that, it’s pointless to use for connections.
How will I know if the hashtags are working?
There are various tools available for tracking hashtag analytics and ways to help you narrow down the best hashtags to use for each social media site. Consider using a combination of larger trending hashtags and smaller niche topics for ultimate results. You can play around with the words and figure out what works, which is more of an old school way of tracking or, look into investing in software like Sprout Social, Keyhole, or Hashtagify that does all of the grunt work for you!
Either way, having hashtags as a part of your marketing plan is a guaranteed way to grow your following and increase your brand engagement. Do your research, see what works and what doesn’t work, and have fun hashtagging!