It’s no secret that in order to be found on social media, your hashtag game has to be spot on! One of the BIGGEST questions I get about social media is how to select the best hashtags. Good news! I have some foolproof tips for crushing your hashtag strategy.
First things first, let’s understand the role of hashtags (#). Hashtags are like keywords for social media. Simply put, people use hashtags to search for businesses, brands, ideas, concepts, interests, etc. in the search bar of virtually any social media outlet to get more information.
By using hashtags (#) you can:
- Make you, your business or brand searchable on social media
- Define your brand even further
- Connect with people
When you place a # in front of a word or phrase, it makes the word or phrase “clickable” linking it to a plethora of information and posts. Here’s how it works…if I were to use the hashtag #SocialMedia on a post, anyone reading my post could tap on #SocialMedia see all the other posts that used the same hashtag. Or, even more exciting, if someone typed #SocialMedia in the search bar of Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or Twitter, and I used it in my post, my content will populate in what’s called a “hashtag hub.” Users can sift through the hashtag hub to read and interact with the content that is being held there.
Using hashtags correctly and strategically is really important when trying to connect with your audience, prospective audience members, and potential customers.
One of my favorite tips and strategies for creating a hashtag plan that works is to categorize your hashtags into 4 buckets:
1. Branded hashtags – are those that distinctly describe your brand. Do you have a tagline or words you use to distinctly describe you and/or your brand? If so, turn them into a hashtag. Other branded hashtags you may want to include in your branded hashtag bucket are:
- Product hashtags
- Service hashtags
- Event hashtags
- Words or phrases centered around an upcoming event you are hosting. For example, if I was putting on a workshop called Hashtag Mastery, I would come up with a hashtag for my attendees to keep an eye out for on social in order to:
- Identify upcoming details about the event on social media
- See pictures of the event they attended
- Stay connected after the event
Event Hashtag Example: If I were to do a workshop on hashtag mastery, I may consider one of the following hashtags to represent my event: #HashtagMastery #HashtagMasteryLive #LiveLoveHashtags
Pro-tip: Make sure you tell your event attendees which hashtag you are using before the event and encourage them to use the hashtag in event-related posts leading up to the event, during the event, and after the event is over.
2. Industry hashtags – these hashtags are words or phrases that are commonly used in your line of work. For example, if you owned a coffee shop, some industry hashtags you might consider using would be: #Java #CuppaJoe #CoffeeLove
3. Trending hashtags – use trending hashtags in your social posts as long as they relate to the content you are sharing on social media
4. Content related hashtags – use hashtags that directly relate to your social media content.
Researching The Best Hashtags to Use In Your Social Strategy
Selecting the right hashtag can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be if you have some hashtag tools in your back pocket to fall on. Check out my list of go-to hashtag research tools:
Instagram: I love using Instagram to determine which hashtags to use. Search for hashtags in the search box of the Instagram and then select the “Tags” tab to see a list of hashtags and the number of posts associated with that hashtag.
“Riotly Social Media’s 2019 Hashtags for Instagram. This article is the ultimate cheat sheet for all of the top hashtags to use in 2019. It’s broken down by market, covering everything from top fitness hashtags, to fashion, food, travel, and more.”
Follow these best practices when selecting hashtags on Instagram:
- Select a mix of popular hashtags, moderately popular hashtags, and not so popular hashtags
- Avoid using the same hashtags over and over again. Using the same hashtags over and over again will give you a poor score in the Instagram algorithm
- Crashtagging is never a good idea – A “crashtag” is when you use a popular hashtag just because of its popularity and you have no content to support it
- Use no more than 30 hashtags in your post
- Put your hashtags at the bottom of your post or in a separate comment on your post
RiteTag: This site will suggest hashtags for you to use related to your topic. The site will break down the hashtags into categories of:
- Good for Instagram
- Get seen now
- Get seen over time
- Do not use list due to low visibility
Hashtagify: This site will provide you a list of hashtags that relate to your topic and it will show you how popular they are.
When used properly, hashtags can help you to accomplish the goals of reaching your target audience and expanding your reach to meet new audiences that have interest in your business, products, or services.
Do you have questions about hashtags? Comment below, we can help!