Hashtags are a key part of using any social media platform, whether that’s Instagram, Facebook or LinkedIn. They essentially allow you to take part in a conversation that’s happening on social media, make your profile more visible and can generate more engagement, increasing your brand’s follows and likes. Using hashtags in your social media strategy is so much more than the occasional #followfriday post – read on to find out how they could help you to do more with what you post.

The hashtag

A hashtag is basically a word or phrase that is preceded by the pound symbol (#). When it appears on social media it’s an indication that the post belongs to a certain topic or category – some people follow or search specific hashtags to find the content and profiles that they’re looking for. When you’re starting out using hashtags it’s worth remembering the following:

  • Keep your hashtags short and recognisable. Lengthy or very random hashtags aren’t likely to get much traction.
  • Remember that your account needs to be public or your hashtagged posts won’t be seen by anyone other than your followers.
  • A lot of hashtags can make a post look a little spammy so it’s better so pick a few choice options – quality over quantity.
  • You’ll need to string all the words you want in the hashtag together – as soon as you add a symbol, punctuation or a space that’s where the hashtag ends.

The benefits of using hashtags in your social media strategy

  • Greater engagement with followers as your posts will show up more in relevant conversations.
  • The opportunity to generate more awareness for your business by creating a branded hashtag.
  • Connecting your posts to a social issue that you care about and which is relevant to your brand.
  • Providing context to the post that you’re creating so that you can avoid the need for a lengthy caption that might be less effective than a short and punchy message.
  • Making your brand more accessible for your target audience – for example, using the hashtag #digitalmarketingagency will help all those seeking a digital marketing agency to find you, as your posts will appear in their feed.

How to find the best hashtags for your brand

Using relevant and connected hashtags can give your brand a real boost – these are some of the simplest ways to find the right ones:

  • Look at the hashtags that are being used by influencers in your field and by competitors.
  • Find out which hashtags are trending – there are plenty of tools that you can use for this.
  • Invest in a social media listening tool. Working with a platform like Hootsuite, for example, will enable you to search all social media streams and identify which are the most relevant hashtags for your brand.
  • Use related hashtags. Once you know which hashtags are working for your brand you can also expand into using related hashtags – on Instagram, for example, you’ll find these in the Explore section above Top and Recent.
  • Make a note of the hashtags that have worked for your brand in the past and use them again.

Getting to grips with hashtags can be transformative in terms of the success of your brand on social media. They are a simple but effective way to build profile and ensure that you’re part of the relevant conversations. To find out how Iconic Digital can help you with your social media channels, get in touch today, call us on 020 7100 0726. Find out more about our Social Media Marketing Agency in London.