How to Include Hashtags in Your Social Media Strategy
Your small business social media strategy and hashtags go hand in hand. Hashtags can dramatically increase post impressions, make your content visible to those outside your network, and generate quality leads.
In other words, hashtags are essential for small business marketing.
But that doesn’t mean any type of hashtag is going to work.
What you need in order to get the right kind of followers is ... the right hashtags for the right content and the right social media. So how will you know which hashtags are right for your content? And how can you predict if your small business hashtag strategy is going to work?
We can help you with that! In this article, we’ll walk you through the steps to build a killer social media hashtag strategy for your small business – and profit from it.
Why Hashtags Are Essential for Your Small Business
If your business is new in the social media game, be ready for a roller-coaster ride. We probably don’t need to tell you that because you've undoubtedly faced the hurdles yourself.
In a March 2021 survey, Visual Objects found that 93% of small businesses in the United States face social media roadblocks. Among those, generating quality leads, gaining followers, and increasing engagement are the top challenges.
Other findings: On Instagram, 19% of small businesses struggle with gaining new engaged followers, whereas on LinkedIn, 32% of small businesses struggle with generating high-quality leads.
Business hashtags are unquestionably helpful when it comes to making your content searchable to others. We hear from Hashtag Expert community members all the time about how hashtags have helped them get followers, and how this has helped their small businesses. See for yourself!
Every time you add a hashtag to your content, you make it easy for the social media users who follow those hashtags to find your posts. BUT, your hashtag strategy can go horribly wrong if you don’t use the right business hashtags.
Remember, if the hashtags aren't right for your business, they won’t help you bring in the right followers – and the followers they do attract will not engage with your content or convert into leads.
Your hashtags should ideally make your content visible to your target prospects: the people who are interested in your product or service. The more relevant your hashtags are, the more chances to land on their content feed.
5 Key Points to Remember When Hashtagging on Social Media
For those of you wondering how to use hashtags for business, we’ve prepared a list of tips and tricks you can follow. This will help you get the maximum benefit out of business hashtags.
1. Make sure your hashtags are current. Would you pick a hashtag that was last used probably years ago or no one searches for it anymore? If you use hashtags that are no longer in use, you’ll have trouble gaining viewership. Keep this factor in mind if you're manually searching hashtags. However, If you're using Hashtag Expert app, rest assure the hashtags are fresh. Best part is you can always check Performance data to ascertain average likes and posts per hour which indicate your hashtags are current.
2. Use a mix of competitive, popular, trending, and niche hashtags. If you aren't sure how to go about this or which hashtags you should use, try Hashtag Expert.
3. Be mindful of hashtag etiquette. Each social platform has its own hashtag etiquette. Users on LinkedIn or Twitter, for instance, aren’t going to appreciate your posts if they contain too many hashtags. We’ll discuss the best practices for each platform in the next section.
4. Keep your hashtags relevant for the social platform. What you use on Instagram might not be relevant or useful for TikTok. We highly recommend that you curate separate hashtag lists for each platform where you’re active.
5. Abide by the rules. Be sure not to use banned hashtags or any hashtags that go against the community guidelines. If you do, you’ll risk losing organic visibility because your content will be hidden.
Hashtag Strategy and Best Practices for Each Social Networking Platform
You can use business hashtags for almost all the major social networking sites, including Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and LinkedIn, among others. Let’s take a look at each platform and review their differences.
We love hashtagging on Instagram. It gives small businesses the ultimate opportunity and freedom to research and experiment with hashtags, and track the progress.
Instagram hashtags are clickable, so you (and your visitors) can click them to visit the respective pages.
Here’s what you need to know about using hashtags on Instagram for your business:
1. You can use up to 30 hashtags per post and 10 on Instagram Stories.
2. Make your profile public because private posts aren’t visible to those who don’t follow you even if you use hashtags.
3. Apart from regular posts and Stories, you can hashtag on Instagram reels too.
4. If you’re searching hashtags manually (i.e. without using Hashtag Expert), don’t leave it for the last minute; keep your hashtag list ready at least prior to posting and if possible, double-check metrics or hashtag performance.
Going viral on TikTok is easier than you may think. Whether you’re in fashion, lifestyle, beauty, or any other type of business, TikTok is a great place to market your brand – and some brands have become well known in a short amount of time.
TikTok is an ideal place for small businesses and influencers to quickly gain attention and reach their target markets. You can reach your marketing goals faster if you use TikTok hashtags and follow these tips:
1. Use a combo of viral, trending, and niche hashtags suggested by our app and collected during your research.
2. Don’t forget that you can add only up to 100 characters in captions, so try adding as many hashtags you can fit.
3. Promote TikTok hashtag challenges, as they’re an easy way to become popular and generate audience engagement.
An article on Twitter’s blog about creating and using hashtags says
When you use a hashtag in a Tweet, it becomes linked to all of the other Tweets that include it. Including a hashtag gives a Tweet context and can give a conversation longevity.
It’s interesting to note that Twitter actually invented hashtags in August 2007. Since that time, all of social media has adopted hashtags.
Here's how to make hashtags work for you on Twitter:
1. Use hashtags you want to promote or popularize in your profile. Let’s take a look at Semrush’s Twitter profile description and their campaign hashtag #SemrushChat:
2. Promote campaign and branded hashtags in tweets. Once again, here's an example from Semrush:
3. As mentioned, don’t use too many hashtags on Twitter. Your goal isn't to ruin conversations, it's to encourage your followers to engage with you. For that, you need a topic and a few relevant hashtags to make it visible. We recommend not exceeding five hashtags in a single tweet.
4. Be ready to experiment and explore hashtag variations. Instead of sticking with the same hashtags all the time, try searching for synonyms and other hashtags that are relevant to your post.
Hashtags are a great addition to LinkedIn posts, articles, and company pages. What makes it different from all other platforms is that LinkedIn is a professional networking site. Therefore, your hashtag strategy for LinkedIn needs to be different from that of Instagram or TikTok.
We’re hopeful these tips will come in handy when you’re creating your LinkedIn hashtags:
1. Don’t use the same hashtags on Instagram and LinkedIn. Rather, do separate research for LinkedIn hashtags to make sure your tags are relevant.
2. There are no limits to the number of hashtags you can use on LinkedIn. But make sure your posts or profile doesn’t look spammy from too many hashtags
3. You can use hashtags to follow topics on LinkedIn.
4. We’ve come across this question multiple times: “Do hashtags work on LinkedIn articles?” And the answer is, yes they do. LinkedIn itself asks users to add hashtags to articles, but also cautions that once the article is published, you can’t edit or delete hashtags from it. Take a look at this LinkedIn Help article for more details.
Let’s look at UNDP’s video that was published with a detailed post and relevant hashtags:
If you've visited this YouTube Help page, you may already know that YouTube and Google recommend using hashtags. You can add hashtags to your video’s title or description to improve its discoverability. Hashtags can also boost YouTube SEO. If you’re new to using hashtags on YouTube, follow these tips:
1. Use hashtags in video titles so your videos appear when someone searches for them.
2. Follow hashtags to stay up-to-date with trending news and videos. Type a hashtag in the search box and tap the appropriate suggestion from the box. YouTube will show you the specific hashtag page followed by relevant videos:
3. YouTube allows up to 15 hashtags in video descriptions. Take a look at this description from Crusoe the Dachshund’s video. Not only is it in-depth, but it also includes hashtags.
Hashtags on Facebook work just like on other platforms. You can use hashtags on your Facebook profile, posts, and videos. Facebook users interested in a topic can search using hashtags and land your page or content. Here's an article with more insights about hashtags on Facebook.
Tips to make Facebook hashtags work for you:
1. Unlike other social media, Facebook users are relatively unused to seeing hashtags on Facebook. So be careful with hashtags and avoid adding too many at once. You want to know how your followers are reacting to this first and then make gradual improvements
2. Don’t make your hashtags too specific or you may risk losing out on potential views.
Put Your Hashtag Strategy to Work!
Now that you know how to use hashtags on social media, it’s time to build your small business hashtag strategy and put it to use. Remember, you should never stop experimenting with business hashtags because that’s the only way to find what works for you.
Also, be sure your hashtags are current and trending so your chances of gaining followers and viewers become easier; and remember, don't use repetitive hashtags.
If you're not sure where to start or which hashtags are best, you will love Hashtag Expert. It's is a unique, one-of-its-kind business hashtag generator app that gives you the best hashtags for likes and engagement on your posts.
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