Determining the right hashtags to use for your business can help you attract your core audience, increase your social media traffic and engagement, and turn these into actual sales and conversions.
In 2007, the first use of a hashtag, or a pound sign (#) followed by a keyword, originated from Chris Messina, a former Google Designer. With the aim to create group messages on Twitter, he proposed that the # symbol be used. However, his proposal got rejected by Twitter and was told that his proposal was a thing for nerds and that it would never pick up.
The First Trending Hashtag
When a series of firestorms came to San Diego in October 2007, Nate Ritter, a Web developer and a friend of Messina, started sharing information about the fire on his Twitter profile and blog. After posting about 20 tweets about the fire, Messina got in touch with Ritter and encouraged him to use the hashtag #sandiegofire. Soon other Twitter users did the same.
From that ill-fated incident of the San Diego fire, hashtags became more frequently used on Twitter. Now, hashtags are used across different social network platfroms.
Finding the Right Hashtags
Nowadays, everyone uses all sorts of hashtags just for the sake of using them. But if you’re a brand or business building your online presence across the different social networks, you need to study and determine the right hashtags to use. Only the right set of hashtags can bring you a wider audience, higher traffic and engagement, sales, and conversions.
To determine the right hashtags to use for a profitable social media strategy, consider below tips.
Research. Get to know everything about the industry your business is in. From there, search for relevant hashtags and keywords that are already existing which you can also utilize. Consider both the popular and local hashtags as they serve different purposes which you can benefit from. Also, take a close look at the hashtags your competitors or the top brands are making use of.
To help you achieve an in-depth research, make use of the following hashtag research tools:
Twitonomy. With this tool, you can find hashtags related to the content you post on Twitter. More than that, it can also show you the most engaging users and influencers who are using a specific hashtag. However, to unlock all this tool’s features, you need to pay.
RiteTag. To help you figure out how a certain hashtag will work, just tweet to @ritetagAPI the hashtag you wish to know more of, and you’ll receive a reply with a link to its analytics in seconds. (ex. @ritetagAPI #yourhashtag stats) You’ll also receive hashtag suggestions.
TagsForLikes. Although this free tool is more popular to Instagram users, you can also utilize it to view the most popular hashtags categorized under different subjects including general, nature, animal, people, celebration, fashion, food, travel, sports, follow, etc. tags.
Tagboard. Without the need for payment, you can view the different posts shared with the hashtag you wish to research on. Not only will you see what others are sharing using this hashtag, but you can also view the different related hashtags you can also make use of.
Analysis. After having your list of promising hashtags. Experiment in using them in your posts. Test the waters first and determine which hashtags and which hashtag strategies work best for your business and your online campaigns. How? One way to analyze the effectiveness of your hashtags is through measuring the growth of your reach after using them or by using certain tools.
Listening. Practice social listening and get to know your audience and what they are saying. Through social listening, you can determine what your audience mostly talks about, what they love about your products or services, who the advocates and influencers in your industry are, what your competitors are doing online, and more. You can also use tools and apps for listening.
In planning your social listening strategy, here are some topic suggestions you should consider:
Mentions of your brand name (including the misspellings)
Mentions of your competitors (including the misspellings)
Buzzwords in your industry or niche
Social media conversations around your brand
Campaign names and keywords
The Proper Use of Hashtags
After figuring out which hashtags to use in your social media posts and campaigns, you can’t let your research efforts go down the drain. The benefits of using the right hashtags can only be achieved when these hashtags are used, posted, and scheduled properly. You need to have your hashtags created and posted on the right platform, right time, and with the right content attached.
Including the right amount of hashtags per post significantly doubles traffic and engagement. On the contrary, too much or too few hashtags in a single post can annoy your fans and followers.
WHERE TO POST
# OF HASHTAGS TO USE
WHEN TO POST
1 – 2 per post
*Attach hashtags only when they are related to the content you are sharing.
1 – 2 per tweet
10 – 30 per post
2 – 3 per pin
2 – 3 per post
Here are other ways and best practices to make sure you’re doing the hashtag game correctly:
Never include hashtags in your posts just because you feel like doing so. Don’t spam. Unrelated content to a certain hashtag can result in losing followers and subscribers.
Only use hashtags that fit to your brand’s image, content, message, and audience.
Take advantage of relevant hashtag trends during special events, holidays, etc. Join them.
Don’t use symbols, spaces, and punctuations in your hashtags. They won’t be recognized.
And, that my friends is how to utilize the right hashtags for your business. With these bunch of tips, tools, and guidelines, you can now start your hashtag game on the right foot. Get your game face on and win the hashtag game across the different social media platforms!
Author Bio: Japs Buidon is a Social Media Specialist and SEO from AOC, a Tampa Magento Development in Florida. He loves hiking as well as electronics.