Remember when hashtags were just used as a function key on your phone? Nope, neither can I! In 2007, the hashtag was reborn as a way to organise conversations on Twitter. Since this time, it has evolved across most social media platforms and is a great tool for exploring what’s ‘trending’ and it provides an invaluable search tool for your small business. Think of it like a Google search engine, what words would your potential new follower type in the search bar in order to find your business or your content? That’s your hashtag, right there!
Every business who uses social media need a hashtag strategy which should include a combination of post volumes and hashtag usage e.g. hundreds, thousands and millions. Targeting a variety of hashtags that differ in popularity, increases your chances of being seen by relevant followers and prospective customers. It’s also useful to think outside of the box with hashtags to ensure that you’re covering all bases.
Here are 7 different ways to organise and categorise your hashtags;
Take a look at your industry, are there any industry movements that you could get involved with? What do the governing bodies of your industry use as their hashtags?
Define your target market to find your niche (or niches), to allow you to interact with people that would be specifically interested in your business type. Whilst you won’t reach as many people, they tend to be ‘warmer’ prospects meaning more chance of customer conversion.
Look up community campaigns and identify any areas that your business could utilise.
Localised hashtags can be really beneficial, especially for businesses that work in a specific area of the country, brick and mortar business, for example. Do some research to find those that are used by other local companies and join in!
With Instagram being a very visual social media platform, use descriptive words for your hashtags to pinpoint what the image in your post is about. E.g. #girlsindresses #bodyconfidence
Branded hashtags are usually relating to specific business campaigns, an example of this is Dove’s hashtag #NoDigitalDistortion relating to the #ReverseSelfie campaign they launched recently. Some branded hashtags may be a lot more subtle, such as Mrs Hinch’s #hinched and Stacey Solomons #taptotidy. Create your own, and make it known! Sometimes adding these to your bio is a good way to share it with your followers and it will encourage them to use it too.
7. Special Days/Events/Trends
Special events and trends tend to have their own hashtag, make sure you double check spelling and dates to ensure you’re using the correct tags to talk about the corresponding event.
Review your hashtags regularly and ensure that you’re not just copying+pasting the same ones for every post. The key is to stay relevant and on topic to promote engagement and generate traction - avoid ‘empty’ hashtags, unless you’re creating your own hashtag and attempting to create a trend.
Keep it fresh, keep it focused.