Creating Your Hashtag Strategy

In the past we've dug into some tips on outwitting social media algorithms to get your posts noticed. Engagement is a science, and it requires attention for it to work to your benefit.

Hashtags are funny little things. You've probably seen what seems like every single word in the English language used in a post on Instagram or smushed at the bottom of a tweet.

Sometimes, they hardly make any sense at all. Why would someone #tea on a post about a cup of coffee? What about #cat on a post about a puppy? Hashtags are confusing, but at the same time, they can provide your social posts with the opportunity to reach new audiences and searches.

Let's break this down.

First of all, what is a hashtag? Hashtags have origins on Twitter, but now they are used more universally across social media platforms of all kinds like Instagram and even Facebook.

The idea behind the hashtag is that it hyperlinks the phrase you're hashtag-ing (even though that's not even a word) as a searchable link that takes users to other related content.

For example, if you are making a post about your business and you use #smallbusiness on a tweet, an individual viewing that particular post could click on the hashtag and see other posts with that same hashtag, opening the door to further engagement. Reversely, someone could click on #smallbusiness on a post from another Twitter account and find your post through that hashtag.

Sure, maybe it sounds a bit jumbled on paper, but it can actually be a handy technique for brand outreach.

So now that we've established the basics of hashtag usage, there is still one looming question: how do you know which hashtags to use?

As much as it pains us to say this, there is no easy answer here. Essentially, it depends on what kind of content you are posting and also what is relevant to your brand.

Think about your brand as a whole. What city are you located in? Is your slogan or mission statement a short enough phrase to throw in a hashtag? When you talk about your brand with others, what are some words you use to describe it? These can all qualify as worthy hashtags to include, as long as you are as specific as possible.

Don't forget to think about your audience, too. Think about hashtags as a sort of "search engine" for your brand. What kinds of keywords would make your brand pop up on a web browser? Or, maybe a better question is, which keywords would you like to have associated with your brand? Now translate these keywords into hashtags and use them as an opportunity for people to find you when they need a solution to a problem or even just have in interest in one of your areas of specialty.

And try to avoid vague phrases like #awesome or #happy. You want the hashtags to be concise, but not too broad that you get lost in the crowd.

There is also the question of how many hashtags to include per post.

Again, there aren't really any regulations here. However, you don't want to overcrowd your post with a bunch of hashtags – it may take away from the content you are trying to get across.

Sometimes, the decision is already made for you. On Instagram, you can only use 30 hashtags per post. On Twitter, as long as you stay within the character limit, you can posts as many hashtags as you'd like.

It is safe to assume that over 30 hashtags for any platform are probably too many. Some sources claim that you only need 5-10 hashtags to get your point across.

Ultimately, it's up to you. That may seem like a cop-out answer, but a lot of it is trial and error. Try putting in as many hashtags as possible and then see if it increases engagement. Next time, do fewer. Don't be afraid to reuse hashtags as well. If you think of hashtags that seem to be performing well or that you just believe genuinely represent your brand, then go ahead and throw them in whatever posts you see fit! There is no need to think of an entirely new set of hashtags every single time you post on social media.

In conclusion, the world of hashtags is undoubtedly a murky one. It's no wonder that so many people question their necessity – they are overwhelming!

An excellent place to start is having confidence in your brand's story. Not sure what that is? We can offer some guidance! Call or visit our website the rest of our website to set up a conversation with us today.