Hashtags are a great way to expose your brand to audiences that care about what you have to say. They can also help you reach out to a niche audience. For instance, adding a #womensfitness hashtag to your fitness-related posts helps women who are into fitness find your content.
Not only do they add context to your content, but they also make it easier for Instagram users to search for content on a specific subject. They can also give context to your posts. Also, you can discover what’s at the top of the news with trending hashtags and join in on the conversation.
However, that doesn’t mean you need to go into overdrive to get more visibility. Using more hashtags isn’t always good. In fact, according to research, using more hashtags decreases engagement.
Image via HubSpot
From the results, it’s evident that it’s not about the number of hashtags. Instead, it’s about relevance. If you want to increase engagement with hashtags, you need to find the right hashtags for your social media strategy.
This post examines the various tricks you can employ as a part of your hashtag marketing strategy to increase social media engagement.
Before we delve into hashtag marketing, let’s take a look at some general tips on using hashtags:
- The number of hashtags you can use depends on the social media platform.
- Use short and memorable hashtags for easy recall.
- Use hashtags depending on what people in your niche are searching for on social media. You may decide to get creative. But if your hashtag marketing strategy involves words or phrases people are not looking for, they won’t help people find your content.
- Use detailed and specific keywords for your hashtags.
- Only use a hashtag if it adds value to your content.
- Do not overstuff hashtags. Just because Instagram allows you to use 30 hashtags does not mean you should use that many.
- Check out the hashtags that influencers and your competitors are using in their posts.
Hashtag Marketing Tricks to Increase Social Media Engagement
Hashtags can take your social media marketing strategy to the next level if you know how to leverage them. Here are a few hashtag marketing tips to help you crush the social media game:
1. Use Branded Hashtags
Branded hashtags are unique to your brand, so they can help you make your brand more recognizable. They can include your company’s tagline, business name, or a product name.
You can use branded hashtags to showcase your services, products, or company culture. Additionally, you can use them to introduce your employees or to highlight an achievement.
Ideally, you should create a branded hashtag that is short, concise, and easy to remember. That way, there is less of a chance of misspelling.
For example, KitKat consistently uses their brand tagline #HaveABreak. They use it on different platforms to engage with their followers.
Image via Instagram
With this branded hashtag, KitKat gets a lot of user-generated content from users who love their products. They also use it to engage their consumers and boost their online presence.
2. Create Campaign-Specific Hashtags
If you’re running a campaign, you could come up with special hashtags for it. If you can come up with a catchy phrase, your campaign-specific hashtags can make your campaign go viral.
For campaign-specific hashtags to really catch on, you’ll have to first make a few posts using those hashtags. Make it clear that your audience should use those hashtags to participate in your campaign.
Also, make sure that your hashtag for each campaign is unique. Even a slight similarity to another trending hashtag can make your audience confused.
If you’re running a contest or want to feature user-generated content, campaign-specific hashtags can help you organize posts easily. They can also help you monitor the performance of a campaign by focusing on the specific hashtags.
One of the best examples of a great campaign-specific hashtag is the #ShareaCoke hashtag by Coca-Cola. They used this hashtag to highlight the value of bonding over a shared Coke, thereby subtly promoting the brand.
Image via Twitter
3. Get in On the Latest Trends
If you want to get noticed, jump in on the latest trends. Keep track of trending hashtags on different social media platforms. Trending hashtags are already popular. And if you can find a way to relate them to your brand, you can shine a spotlight on your content.
On special occasions and during festivals, you can wish your followers well by using trending hashtags. It is a sure-shot way to get more visibility.
For example, Subway conducted a poll asking people which of their limited-edition cookies would they like to get back. #NationalCookieDay was trending, so they just jumped in on the trend to get some traction for their social media posts. It’s a smart way to grow your audience and engagement.
Image via Twitter
4. Create Hashtags Related to Your Content
Content hashtags are not popular or trending. So, how can they help you with hashtag marketing? They are hashtags that relate to your brand. They can help you get your content in front of people who might be interested in your products or brand.
Content hashtags can include hashtags that are specific to a location, product, or a general theme.
If you have a local business, you should use location hashtags. It’s a simple hashtag marketing trick that can help you connect with local consumers.
With location hashtags, anyone who is searching for more information about that particular location can discover your brand. Also, if you have a big business with offices in multiple offices, location hashtags can help you maintain some distinction.
Image via Twitter
Hashtag marketing can come in handy to promote an event, a product launch, a live webinar, or celebration. With event hashtags, you can tell your followers about an event or product. Those interested can also follow what’s happening using the hashtags before, during, and after the event.
For instance, in the screenshot below, you can see Microsoft has used #MSIgnite on a post about the Microsoft Ignite conference.
Image via Instagram
What’s more, others attending the event can also use the event hashtags to post content related to it.
To get the most visibility, you can use the event hashtag during the event to start a conversation on different social media channels. Encourage your followers to ask questions, and join in the conversation.
If you have invited influencers, they can also use your event hashtags to create buzz around your event. But that’s not all. There is more to this hashtag marketing strategy.
After the event, you can use the hashtag to send thank you notes to those who attended. You will notice that if the conversation was good, the hashtag continues on social media even after the event.
Retweet and comment on mentions from those who contribute to the hashtag until the conversation dies. Use your website and social media to share images of the event, including those from user-generated content.
To promote a particular product, you can use a hashtag that’s related to it. For example, if you sell coffee, post incredible images of your coffee with hashtags like #coffeetime, #coffeeshop, #espresso, #latte, #coffeeaddict, and so on.
Image via Twitter
Product hashtags can help you reach out to a community that may be interested in what you have to offer.
You can hashtag tools like HashtagsForLikes to find frequently used hashtags that relate to your brand. You can also use alternative words that are trending or others that your target audience is using.
Your hashtags could also include words that relate to your audience’s hobbies or lifestyles. Think about your audience demographics to see what their common interests are.
For example, if you have a travel company, some of the hashtags you can include are #safari, #naturelover, #adventure, and #travel.
Image via Instagram
5. Experiment With Hashtags
Do not just settle for a few hashtags that you’ve tried and tested for your hashtag marketing strategy. Vary them to keep your audience engaged.
Using the same hashtags for each of your campaigns or post will bore your audience. Furthermore, you can reach out to new audiences with different hashtags.
Use both the trending and non-trending hashtags. Popular hashtags are competitive, so there is a chance that your posts may get lost among a sea of posts. The non-trending hashtags do not get frequently used, thus increasing your chances of visibility.
A good hashtag marketing strategy can help you expand your content reach. With hashtags, you can get more visibility on social media, boost your brand awareness, and get more engagement.
To reap the benefits out of your hashtag marketing strategy, you need to first find the right hashtags for your business. Use the tips mentioned above to create unique and relevant hashtags for your posts. Keep in mind that all successful hashtag marketing strategies require your planning and creativity skills to work together.
Do you use any other hashtag marketing tricks to increase social media engagement? Please share them with us in the comment section below.