Hashtags are one of the most powerful, but frequently misunderstood social media tools available. I bet you use some hashtags on social media sometimes, but are you using them properly?
Hashtags are a great way to increase the reach of your content, and help you to build social media profiles. They can help you to stand out from other marketers trying to grab attention for their content, but it’s really important that your hashtags are engaging and add value to the conversation. Here are The Chimp's top five tips to help you make the most out of hashtags on social media.
1. Understand what hashtags are used for
As much as hashtags are (over)used now by every Tom, Dick, and Harry with an Instagram account, understanding how they work is the first step in using them effectively.
Hashtags are simply search terms attached to your image or post that enable people to find that content. For example, if I am at the Australian Open and hashtag #AustralianOpen on my Instagram post, anyone searching for that hashtag will see my post alongside everyone else who has used that tag.
2. Research hashtags before you use them
Researching hashtags is an important part of making the most of social media.
It might seem like a small detail, but using the right hashtags can help shift the conversation in a positive direction or help people see your content in a new light. There is a lot of content out there, so it's important to look through it carefully and choose the most relevant pieces to base your hashtags around.
It's important to realise that only a tiny fraction of people will see your posts. Instead of hoping someone will share your content, try searching for related hashtags on Twitter or Facebook to see what content will be showing up alongside yours and what audience it might appeal to.
3. Make sure your hashtags are relevant
After researching your hashtags in point 2, the next step is to actually ask the question "Are these relevant to my audience?"
When choosing related hashtags, consider why you're sharing the content in the first place. Are you trying to build relationships with companies or people in the industry? Or may be it’s just a fun way to get involved and engage with others? There are many ways you can contribute to conversations happening in your niche. It all comes down to selecting relevant hashtags that will help engage your audience while helping you grow your brand.
Again, think about that your audience are likely to be searching for, and not add tags that aren't relevant just because you think they will extend the reach of your post.
4. Refrain from overusing tags
There's no need to fill up your screen with hashtags when you can use them in a thoughtful way. Overusing hashtags can feel like a way to get more attention, but it's less likely to generate new followers and more likely to frustrate those who are already following you. Instead, find a way to engage with people who might matter most - your actual followers - and let them know about something interesting that's happening on your page or website. You never know - they might tweet about it or share it with their friends, which could lead to increased traffic and new followers anyway!
5. Find trending hashtags to join in on conversations
One of the best ways to stay connected with the latest memes, trends and happenings is by using trending hashtags. Hashtags provide an easy way to find conversation starters on the fly and may even lead to new opportunities because people will be more likely to follow/share something you've posted if they've seen it before. If you don't spend a lot of time on social to do the manual research, try a tool like http://best-hashtags.com/ to find popular tags related to what you are posting about.
And remember, if this is all too overwhelming or you just don't have time, we offer a Social Media Content service that will have your feed looking like a million bucks in no time!