Social media platforms are flooded with content. There are over 500 million tweets sent each day and more than 100 million videos and photos uploaded on Instagram daily.
In such a scenario, it is extremely difficult for brands and marketers to get their content noticed, let alone stand out. That’s why you need to use hashtags to amplify your content’s reach and visibility. In this post, we will discuss ways in which you can use hashtags to boost your social media marketing.
Hashtag Marketing Tactics to Boost Your Social Media Marketing:
Let’s take a closer looks at the different types of hashtags that you can use and ways in which you can use them to your advantage:
1. Location-Based Hashtags
This is a lesser-known hashtag marketing tactic that can give you an edge and help you win a more relevant audience. This is especially useful for local businesses or anyone who wants to attract the attention of people from a specific area.
Using location hashtags helps you reach your local audience as only the people from an area will follow that area’s hashtags.
For example, if you use #newyorkrestaurant then you can rest assured that the people who are interested in restaurants in New York will follow it. This will help you reach people who might not follow you but might be interested in your brand.
2. Branded Hashtags
While there are numerous marketing tactics that involve existing hashtags, none are as impactful as using your own branded hashtags. Create your own hashtags and use them consistently across platforms and types of social media content.
Branded hashtags help you distinguish your content and let people know that it is your brand’s content. It makes it easier for your followers to stay updated on the latest updates from you. And, they help you keep track of all your content using that hashtag from a single page.
Branded hashtags could include your brand name, tagline, product/service names, campaign name, etc. You can use one or more of these to promote your brand, products, services, events, offers, etc.
One of the most effective types of branded hashtags is a campaign-specific hashtag. This is used to promote a marketing campaign and is very useful in promoting the campaign and keeping track of its progress.
The #DoUsAFlavor campaign by Lay’s is a classic example of the use of a campaign-specific hashtag. The brand uses this hashtag to ask people to suggest ideas for new Lay’s flavors. They then select three best ideas and launch the new flavor and again use the hashtag to promote these new flavors.
3. Hashtags That Get You Featured on Explore Tab Topics
Some social media platforms like Instagram have an explore tab where people can discover new content on their topics of interest. On Instagram’s explore tab, for example, you can find content by topics or categories. These include food, travel, style, beauty, decor, DIY, etc.
The top categories shown differ from user to user and are based on their online behavior and preferences.
If you want to get featured on these, then you should use hashtags related to these categories. Social media platforms use hashtags as a way to categorize the content. So, if you want to be categorized in a particular category, then you need to use hashtags popular in that category.
To find out what hashtags to use, simply browse through the top content of your desired category and see which hashtags come up most frequently. Start using these hashtags consistently to increase your chances of getting your content featured there.
4. Hashtags to Get User-Generated Content
This is a type of branded hashtag that deserved a special mention in our list of hashtag marketing tactics. Some brands create hashtags that they encourage their audience to use when creating content related to their brand.
This helps these brands get tons of free user-generated content that they can repost or utilize in different ways. The content could be something as simple as a user wearing the brand’s product. Or, it could be them promoting the brand as a brand advocate.
Let us understand this better with an example:
Airbnb almost exclusively leverages user-generated content for their Instagram page. They created a branded hashtag, #airbnb, that people can use when they post a picture of an Airbnb property. The brand can track all posts tagged with that hashtag and reposts some pictures on its official page.
5. Start a Challenge with a Hashtag
This is another brilliant hashtag marketing tactic that you can use to help your social media content go viral. All you have to do is start a social media challenge and use a hashtag to promote it.
Challenges are very popular on social media and have a tendency to go viral. Hashtags aid that process and help you promote your challenge and make it reach a wider audience.
Take a look at this art challenge started by influencer Danielle Krysa of the @thejealouscurator fame. She, like millions of others, was under the 2020 coronavirus quarantine and decided to utilize the time to start a challenge.
She used the hashtags #30dayartquarantine and #30daychallenge for this challenge. The challenge went viral among the art enthusiasts and within a few days, there were thousands of posts using these hashtags.
There are two things to learn from this. One, of course, is how the use of a hashtag helps promote a challenge and makes it easy to track its progress. Second, is how designing a challenge based on the current situation further helps make it popular.
6. Trending Hashtags
This is the traditional, yet relevant, hashtag marketing tactic that every marketer should use regularly. This entails using trending hashtags from your industry or niche for all your social media content.
The idea behind this is to maximize the reach of your social media content and ensure that it reaches the right audience.
A classic example of this strategy would be the use of hashtags like #Instafood and #foodpics by a food blogger or restaurant or anyone from the food industry. These hashtags have millions of followers and anyone using these can increase their content’s reach instantly.
However, it is very difficult to get your posts noticed using these hashtags as millions of people post content with these. That is why you also need to throw some niche hashtags in the mix, but more on that in the next section.
7. Niche Hashtags
Niche hashtags are basically the hashtags that are popular within a small community or niche but don’t have as many followers as the trending hashtags. These hashtags are followed by people who are interested in that niche. Therefore, they can help you reach a much more relevant audience.
Let us explain this with the help of an example:
We have already discussed the trending hashtags for the food industry (#Instafood and #foodpics). Now, let’s look at some niche hashtags form the same industry to give you an idea about what we are talking about.
Let’s say that you are a food blogger who shares food recipes for people who cook at home. Using trending hashtags might get you more exposure, but not everyone who follows those hashtags might be a home cook. To reach a more relevant audience of people who cook at home and look for home recipes you can use #homerecipes.
This hashtag might have fewer followers than the trending ones but people who follow this are looking exactly for what you are offering. These people have a higher chance of following you and engaging with your content in the long term.
Best Practices for Using Hashtags
Here are some of the best practices "to follow" to ensure that your hashtag marketing tactics work even better.
- Use hashtag analytics and insights to select the right hashtags to use.
- Use a good mix of trending and niche hashtags for all your social media content.
- If you don’t want to hide the number of hashtags you are using add blank space in your captions and then add the hashtags.
- You can also hide your hashtags by commenting on your post, instead of adding them in your captions.
- Don’t feel the need to to add the maximum number of hashtags allowed for each platform and just limit it to the most relevant ones.
- Add the most relevant hashtags first, as these will be the ones that will be outright visible to your audience. Keep the trending or promotional hashtags at the end as most people don’t open and read the entire caption.
- Don’t forget to use hashtags in Stories and other content formats as well.
- Add your branded hashtags to your profile bio to encourage people to use them.
This is a comprehensive guide on hashtag marketing tactics that you can use to grow your social media presence. Give a boost to your social media marketing by using different types of hashtags.
If you don’t use hashtags regularly, start using these right now.