Hashtags can help boost the impact of your marketing message when they’re used correctly in your social media marketing.
Hashtags are a great way to boost the organic reach of your social media posts. This is because hashtags are searchable - and on most social media networks, they're clickable too.
People use hashtags to find relevant content and conversations, and as such, using hashtags can help place your content in front of your ideal audience. Recently Instagram announced a new functionality which enables you to follow specific hashtags, which can help bring even more visibility to your posts and your Instagram Stories.
You should look to keep regularly updated hashtag lists for your industry tags, content related tags, and the tags your audience is using. Some social media networks (like Twitter, Pinterest and now Instagram) also allow for hashtags within your profile biography, which can help your profile pop up in relevant searches, further expanding your visibility.
Searching hashtags can also help you find conversations around timely, trending topics which you can also take part in - though you should always make sure to research the trend before taking part to avoid any social mishaps.
Being part of a trending topic can offer your brand or business great exposure, since there are many people creating content and conversations around the topic. Trending topics are also a good way to show personality. Think holidays, national events, themed hashtag days, and/or local happenings.
While we’re still on the subject of finding conversations, you can use hashtags to find your audience’s pain points and expand your offerings, or create focused content which adds more value to your target audience.
First, it reinforces your branding, while it can also help you keep track of the success of your campaigns. It can also help you keep track of user-generated content.
So why is all this important? Tracking the hashtag performance of your campaign or your branded hashtag will let you know how well your campaign is doing, and whether or not you’re gaining more reach and brand awareness. Keeping track of user-generated content is helpful because you can repost this content, which helps with your social media posting schedule.
Hashtags are great for driving engagement and conversation during events. Attendees can post about what's happening (expanding the reach of your event), they can interact with each other, and the speakers and attendees can also take advantage the event hashtags by keeping everyone updated on session info, and getting interactive with questions or polls based on the event happenings.
Be sure to visually represent your hashtag, along with any calls to action, on event materials, on screens at the event, and by verbally asking attendees to share using your event hashtag.
Last but not least, taking every opportunity we just went over, hashtags are a great way to build a community online.
People using hashtags have the opportunity to find each other and build relationships - one great example of this is communities built around Twitter chats. Each week people show up to learn, and discuss ideas based on the chat they take part in - and they find each other by using the event hashtag. What’s more social than that? (Besides meeting in person of course).
As you can see, hashtags are a simple tool which can help you greatly improve your social media marketing. They do require time and research, but the value they can bring to your social media strategy will be worth it.