The Effective Use of Hashtags in Social Media & Marketing

Hashtags can help make or break your social media posts when marketing your brand. Learn about how to use them effectively in this blog with Radiant!

How To Use Hashtags Effectively in Your Social Media Posts

In the age of online media, we often wonder how brands can further spread their marketing reach. While paid options and promotional ads are always an option, an organic way to grow your online presence is through hashtags. Hashtags are content-oriented words or phrases that classify a post when used in the caption, in the post, or tagged. Then, that classification can be used by media platform users to seek out a category of content. For example, someone may type in "#MUA" for "makeup artist" to see new looks, or "#football" to catch sport-related images and news. This means that your brand, whether it be through items or through lifestyle, fits into a category of content followed by people who haven't met you yet! Before you go crazy adding hundreds of relevant hashtags to every post, let's go over some of the ways to effectively use them to best capture new audiences.

Choose Trending Hashtags

One of the best methods for utilising hashtags is by seeing what's new on the Internet each day. Catching trends as they begin can be a great way to spread your online reach, especially to potential customers that wouldn't normally fall in your target demographic. Using hashtags can give the appearance that you're a fun and trendy brand that is on top of hot media. When using hashtags like these, keep a colloquial tone – it will bide well with younger generations, who are on social media most!

Tailor Hashtags to Individual Platforms

Whether you realise it or not, your audiences vary from platform to platform. This is often because certain demographics use one platform over another, due to functionality and age differences. For instance, the current app of choice among the youngest generation is TikTok, which you'd be hard pressed to find an abundance of adults that understand the app let alone use it. Not only do tags that are trending vary on different platforms, but you also need to tailor any hashtags you choose beyond trends to whatever audience is most likely to see them.

Try to Keep Hashtags Simple

When it comes to hashtags, the simpler they are, the better. Many people don't read hashtags, and when there are too many, they're almost definitely skipped over by readers entirely. Even when hashtags fulfill their purpose of landing you on the explore page of someone who wasn't already following you, having too many of these tags can make you seem like a "spammy" account, which will drive away potential followers and therefore potential customers. Try to limit hashtags to 2-3 on most platforms, with up to around 10 on Instagram. Of course, exceptions arise, and these numbers are only generalisations, but the goal should be to focus on normal copy if there will be words at all! Hashtags are a tool, not a post in themselves, and that should be kept in mind.

Customise a Hashtag to Your Brand

Many businesses opt for one hashtag that is brand-specific, which can help make your company seem individual and relevant. Having an individualised hashtag is a great way to categorise all posts not only by your brand, but about your brand. These can be especially great if you're launching a marketing campaign that encourages customers to post their experiences or brand-relevant pictures with the intent of being seen by the company. To do this, you'll have to find a hashtag that hasn't already been purposed for another use. This can be difficult depending on how niche your brand is, which leads us to our next point...

Do Your Research on Hashtags

When using a hashtag, do your research! For trending tags, make sure you look into why a tag is trending, as well as why the tag was made in the first place. When you’re creating a brand-specific tag, look into how that tag has been used in the past (if at all) to ensure you’re not choosing something too popular or with inappropriate media posted under it. Always, always check to see what other content is being posted with the same tag no matter the situation, and when scouring the tag, be sure to peruse through both "top" and "recent" posts under the hashtag. This will make sure you're on top of any PR mishaps waiting to happen. Sometimes, hashtags can be overtaken by new movements or trends, and names can be misleading. Using the wrong hashtag can miscategorise your content, and also give off the impression that your brand is not as Internet savvy or social media cognisant.

Update Your Homepage, Landing Pages, and More

Getting the hang of using hashtags takes some practice, but you'll be using them like a pro in no time! While it can be difficult perfecting social media tagging, making your Shopify store doesn't have to be. When your marketing and hashtags are effective, your storefront is where customers end up, and you want to make sure that your user experience is seamless, beautiful, and unique. Radiant can help by customising your entire Shopify site, as well as providing ongoing priority support for day-to-day updates and fixes. With Radiant, you'll have the peace of mind that your Shopify store is in good hands. If you're ready to get started with a new website or design facelift today, or already have a store that just needs some maintenance or upgrades, contact us today! Let us handle the hassles, so you can focus on handling the hashtags.