We all know hashtags are important when it comes to putting our content out there on social media. It improves your visibility and can lead to greater engagement. But are you using them effectively? What’s in a hashtag anyway?

Well quite a lot actually. If you use them in the right way. As hashtags are searchable your content can be found by others. You can also join conversations centred around a hashtag. But think carefully about which ones you use. 

Create one for your brand 

This is an easy way of branding something you have. It might be a temporary campaign or offer you’re running or something that you’ll always associate with your business. Check out how many people are using it. You need to strike the balance between guessing how many will use the search term and how unique it is. A quick google search shows you plenty of hashtag websites where you can check hashtag uniqueness. 

It’s all about brevity

The shorter, the better. Not only does it make them easier and catchier to remember, but many platforms have limited word counts. You want to keep as much space free for your all-important content as possible.

Don’t jump on the trend bandwagon

Trending hashtags can be useful for demonstrating you’re up to date but make sure they’re relevant to your brand. I’ve seen plenty of small businesses making this mistake, it just looks daft and very obvious what you’re doing. If it’s relevant then go for it!

Bear in mind the platform

How to use hashtags varies on different platforms.

Instagram is the hashtag lovers hangout. You can use up to 30 but generally 10 or less is recommended. You don’t want to look spammy. Remember you can check the Insights of each post to see how many people found it through your hashtags. This is a great guide for future posting.

Twitter is limited on word count so sticking to two or three short ones is best. You’ll see a list of tending hashtags and some will pop up when you type # in your post.

Facebook also prefers only one or two hashtags. Research shows that slightly longer ones have greater engagement on here though. 

LinkedIn also uses hashtags with the recommendation of a maximum of five. It actually suggests some for you according to what you’ve written but don’t just opt for these, make sure they’re on brand!

Overall it’s best to adopt the less is more approach. Think specific and relevant but also variety so you’re not using the same hashtags all the time. If someone is following a hashtag you use, your most recent content will pop up in their feed so it can be a good way to gain new followers. Remember to follow relevant hashtags too so you can see what others are posting and increase your engagement with them. 

If you’d like some extra help with your social media, I offer one-to-one training sessions so get in touch to find out more.