You’ve definitely encountered them, but what are #hashtags?

Hashtags are words or phrases preceded by the hashtag symbol (#justlikethis) with no spaces or punctuation. They can be found on every social media site, and are a good way of quickly navigating a particular topic.

In this article, we’ll go over:

1) Why you should be using hashtags

2) How they can help your business grow

3) Types of hashtags – content, branded and trending

woman leads business meeting with whiteboard

Why you should be using hashtags

Using hashtags in your blog posts or social media makes your content accessible to users interested in similar topics, who may be searching for the same or similar things. They don’t even have to be following you to see them!

A recent Instagram update means you can follow hashtags in the same way you would follow a brand’s account, making them even more useful for bringing in an audience. But it doesn’t just end there! You can also use hashtags to show how a sponsored post from influencers links right back to you – which is very handy for beckoning in customers!

How hashtags help your business

Hashtags can boost a post’s reach and user engagement, and they are great for raising awareness or starting a conversation.

Like we said in our earlier blog post, be specific with your hashtags. You’re bound to get more results with #thejiggledance rather than just #dance, as if the hashtag is too popular, you risk being lost in a sea of endless results.

business hands clipboard and laptop

How do they work?

Hashtags work slightly differently depending on the social media platform you use, so make sure you know how many you’re going to use and where you’re going to put them before you post.

Twitter, for example, has a harsher word count restriction than Instagram, so you should limit yourself to about 2 or about 5, respectively. On Facebook, you should add up to three hashtags for your posts to perform the best.

Content hashtags

Content hashtags directly relate to your product, service or market, as well as the content your post would naturally be associated with.

They can broaden your reach to people who otherwise wouldn’t have found you, as they include information leading to your brand name, product or service. Some examples could be: #housecleaning, #freshherbs or #IdentityAgency.

When using content hashtags, it’s best to do so strategically. Overcrowded hashtags can come off as spam, and if they’re too long, they might be spelt wrong and not get linked to you at all.

Choose niche topics to ensure you’re at the top, but not totally unheard of. Try using #freshsandwiches instead of just #food to keep it relevant.

two smiling business women

Trending hashtags

You could also use pre-existing hashtags to join with a crowd on a trending topic. This is a hard thing to master – if it takes off, you can massively improve your brand’s visibility and engagement.

However, if your posts don’t add value to the conversation, they will be ignored completely. If the post is informative or funny and includes trending hashtags, it could get re-shared and become viral!

Brand-specific hashtags

Brand-specific hashtags are a free-to-use marketing tool. You can create your own specific hashtags that relate to your brand, and use them for just about any purpose you need! Make sure it’s not something already in use, as they have to be memorable and unique for them to work.

For general branding, pick something clear and concise. You’ll likely be using this often, so make sure you pepper it on all your social media and blogs. Branded hashtags for promotions or events can be a little more exciting as they’re used less, but they still need to be easily read and not overly long.

Brand-specific hashtags in contests or other marketing campaigns can also entice an audience to stick around and get involved. This way, there’s a compelling incentive for people to use them – when used in a competition for prizes or discounts, this means you’ll benefit from marketing publicity

piecharts and tables being discussed

The end

Hashtags are a great benefit to your business, gaining you new followers and interactions. It’s best not to over-use hashtags, so keep them short and simple! Ensure you know the right type to use, depending on which social media you’re using. That’s it for now!