It feels like hashtags have been around as long as the internet, but they’ve really only been on the scene for just over a decade. First used in a 2007 tweet about the wildfires in San Diego, hashtags were mainly used as an organization tool and were quickly adopted by other platforms. Shortly thereafter, the hashtag would turn into a powerful marketing tool, but where do we stand with them in 2021? We’ll give you a refresher on the hashtag, how to best use them in your digital marketing efforts, and even throw in a few tips and tricks!
What’s a hashtag?
Simply put, hashtags are really just topics. In the same way we tag and categorize our blog posts, hashtags help us organize our social media content. They’re searchable and allow people to follow them so their feeds are constantly filled with fresh content on topics and industries they’re most interested in.
How to best use hashtags in 2021
Incorporating hashtags in your digital content is arguably more relevant today than it was even a few years ago. Since Facebook and Instagram’s most recent algorithm changes, organic social media content just isn’t enough anymore. It’s estimated that 70% of organic content goes unseen. If used well, a good hashtag can change an entire marketing campaign. After all, a post with even one hashtag averages 12.6% more engagement than a post without any. Think of using hashtags in these three common ways:
- Targeting your audience – Using a hashtag that highlights your niche, industry, or specific group, like #digitalmarketing, #newmom, or #chicagophotography
- Branding your business – Try creating a unique hashtag for your company to establish a recognizable identity. For example, our team often uses #AmplifiedDigital and #AmplifyYourKnowl
- Highlighting a campaign – Using hashtags to draw people into a new campaign you’re promoting, such as a product launch or event is a great short-term way to earn a lot of engagement. Try creating a campaign-specific hashtag to use on all relevant content so people can use it and share when they purchase the product or attend the event
Tips and tricks for using hashtags
While the most popular hashtags have been used millions of times, that doesn’t mean you’re going to get a ton of engagement by simply adding the most generic tags to your posts. It’s best to find and use hashtags that are smaller, more niche, and already have an engaged audience that’s relevant to your industry.
Now that you’re thinking smaller-scale when it comes to hashtag creation, don’t forget to keep in mind these simple hashtag refreshers, too!
- Stick to a handful of hashtags per post – Aim to only use about two to five hashtags per post. Anything more than that can start to look a bit spammy, although, Instagram does allow a maximum of 30 hashtags.
- Incorporate hashtags into your sentences – If you can, work hashtags into the sentences of your captions so that they’re not all clustered at the end. Something like: “Don’t forget to RSVP to our #SummerMarketingSummit and reserve your spot at our hottest event of the year!”
- Don’t use spaces – When hashtagging a short phrase or something with multiple words, remember not to leave spaces! Try capitalizing the beginning of each word to make it easier to read.
- Make sure you’re public – If you’re looking to increase your engagement on Instagram, your profile must be public in order for your hashtags to work their magic. Better yet, make sure you have a business account so that you can track the success of your hashtag efforts!
Though some have grown weary of the hashtag, it’s still an essential asset in any social marketer’s toolbox and not to be written off anytime soon. When you approach your hashtag strategy with greater specificity and intentionality, you can turn hashtags into a powerful tool in your social marketing arsenal. If you’d like some help in the social media department, Amplified Digital is here and ready to help! Reach out to us today!