Effectiveness of Hashtags in Social Media Marketing

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The following is a guest post by David Koller. David is a passionate blogger and copywriter for Media Gurus, mainly interested in SEO and Digital Marketing.

Hashtags are unavoidable and necessary for social media marketing. It's one of the ways to create a discoverable content, as well to find what others share. That way you can connect with other users and engage with them based on shared interests.

As an essential part of social media marketing, it can use it to increase brand awareness, attracting more followers and building your audience reach. Therefore, using hashtags effectively is the key for the successful social media campaign and here are the ways to do it.

1.      Simple and relevant

There are many hashtags on social media, but not all of them are viable for marketing purposes. Long hashtags can have the opposite result of what you want since mostly they’re difficult to spell and pronounce. However, if short ones can also be useless if they were never used before or are unclear.

The trick is to use simple and short hashtags. This means they’re easy to spell and precise, thus providing a clear message to your audience. Once you find out the main features of your audience, you should incorporate them into your hashtags. That way you will create something your audience can relate to. 

2.      Trending hashtags

Trending hashtag refers to a very popular topic. These hashtags are what’s currently trendy and that’s why you have to keep up with them. Of course, not all trending hashtags relate to your business and you should be selective, too. Hashtags that don’t add value to your content will be ignored and useless.

Nevertheless, the moment you notice a trend which is connected to your business, you should employ it for your social media marketing. The moment you update your content with the trending hashtag, your message will reach a larger audience. Also, it will increase your brand’s visibility.

You can find trending hashtags through Twitter and Google+, monitoring and analytics websites like hashtags.org and Hashtagify.

3.      Employ multiple social media platforms

For more exposure, you have to use hashtags on all social media platforms. Except for LinkedIn, all other social media support hashtags. This means you will have an opportunity to present your product to a large number of users.

However, there are certain rules to follow for each platform which will help you reach your audience more efficiently. You should use 2 hashtags per post on Facebook and Twitter, while on Instagram you should use 11 at the most. When it comes to Google+, you can use the hashtags to join the conversation on specific topics.

4.      Search the hashtags

There are several reasons why you should check the hashtags before you use them. You have to make sure they are not already in use for the wrong reasons or won't be understood in a different way. Additionally, you will ensure that some other business is not using them for their social media campaign.

Hashtags will start conversations about your brand, put your brand on the spot and are intended to increase the sales. Therefore, you have to be sure they’re right for your business and consequently products or services. By researching potential hashtags, you will see what are they used for and what people are saying about them.  

5.      Don’t go overboard with your hashtags

In order to avoid the impression of spamming your audience, use 2 hashtags per post. When it comes to businesses on social media, users are suspicious and cautious. They believe that those who use a lot of hashtags are trying really hard to promote themselves.

On the other hand, you don’t want any kind of followers, but rather the ones which you can convert. Using too many hashtags, especially popular ones, will get you spammers and people who want to be followed back. The same applies if you use them for every post, video or image.

6.      Specific and unique hashtags

Generic hashtags will not help but will get your post lost and unnoticed. Choosing the right hashtags is not an easy task. In order to be useful, they have to be specific and unique to your business. This is the point when you can hire an SEO company since researching hashtags is like looking for right keywords. Alternatively, you can check hashtags with smaller and more direct focus which correspond to your business.

As pointed out before, hashtags will help you reach your target audience. Also, they will help you with engaging your followers in conversations. In order to get the best results, you must know all the current trends regarding the social media platforms, as well. Their features change regularly and you have to keep up so you would know the newest user preferences.

7.      Brand engagement

To put it simply – hashtags connect brands with topics. Today's marketing trends are all about communication between the businesses with their customers. That conversation starts from early on when a customer was just an audience member. Using popular hashtags will make your brand visible and give you an opportunity to engage with your audience.

The more your audience feels comfortable with your brand, the bigger are the chances they will become your customers. In addition, they will bring more followers and increase your network. So, it’s safe to say that hashtags will help you improve customer relations, a very important aspect of business today.

Final thoughts

If you want to run a successful business, you have to use all the marketing tactics at your disposal. Since it's impossible to have a business and not run a social media campaign, hashtags became an essential part of the digital marketing. Making sure they're appropriately incorporated into your marketing strategies, you will be able to enhance and improve your online presence.