Ahhh the hashtag... we’ve all seen them, omnipresent and plastered across every social media platform. Hashtag experts and novices alike can rejoice – we’re here to illustrate this social media tool integrates into every digital marketing strategy.
The gist? On platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and beyond, hashtags serve as an indication that your posts or content relate to a specific topic or category. Essentially, they serve as a way to “search” for or discover specific topic-related content. If you read between the lines of the previous statement, you can deduce that adding hashtags to your own content will help it get discovered by people who don’t already follow you or your brand. Consider it free advertising — one of the many benefits of social media for business!
and who doesn't love free advertising?
Today, it’s nearly impossible to maintain an effective marketing strategy without social media considering 72% of the public uses some type of social media. The proper use of strategically placed hashtags can make or break your online presence within a social media platform. The question, however, isn’t about if you use them, but how you use them. Ready to improve your business's online presence and engagement? Let’s get into it.
2 Tips to Increase Social Media Engagement with Hashtags
Join The Conversation
Say your goal is to reach a specific, maybe intimately niche, audience or group of people. Let’s start by researching hashtags for the group you are trying to target because chances are, they’re all talking about or are interested in the same things. If your ideal client is a part of that group (which they should be if you’re targeting them), your new top priority is to insert yourself into the conversation. Keyhole, Hashtagify and RiteTag are just a couple of platforms to choose from when researching hashtags.
Regardless of how you choose to research hashtags, the fact remains — hashtags have proven successful in garnering brand traction and visibility. Studies show that posts utilizing hashtags on Twitter can increase engagement up to 100% (2x) for individuals and 50% (1.5x) for brands. Likewise, posts on Instagram with at least one hashtag get 29% more interactions than posts that have none.
Use the Hashtag Funnel
Research? Done. Now, let’s shift the focus to implementation. Optimized social media outreach, engagement and visibility amplification requires the use of different “types” of hashtags. Here at Little Bird Marketing, we refer to the “Hashtag Funnel” daily. This tool provides a structure of the best hashtag types for fostering social media engagement and growth. Seriously, use it EVERY DAY.
Using the Hashtag Funnel is simple. Start at the top, beginning with industry-related hashtags, and work your way down accordingly.
- Industry-Centric: Based around your area of expertise and industry niche
This should be your largest category - collect the most of these
- Customer-Centric: Based around your buyer persona and the hashtags/profiles they would be following
- Content-Centric: Based on what the content is centered on
- Brand-Centric: Build brand awareness with branded hashtags. (#LittleBirdMarketing)
For our visual learners—
A good mix of hashtags is your secret weapon in engaging with diversified groups of people and creating good leads, at the same time.
Want to make it even easier? Try a cloud! Now, we aren’t talking Cumulonimbus or the iCloud.
No, we’re talking #hashtag clouds. If you frequently target the same area of interest or expertise, create a “cloud” of hashtags by utilizing the Hashtag Funnel! Then, make sure to keep your clouds in a designated Word Document, notes app or scheduling platform to easily copy and paste when posting on that topic.
We get it, social media marketing can be tricky, but with the right tools and strategy, you can create a community, foster engagement and uncover a new pipeline of lead generation. What conversations will you join?
Want a more in-depth look at developing a successful hashtag strategy?