Why and when should I use hashtags?

Hashtags are a great way to naturally increase your reach and engagement on social media if used correctly. There are lots of reasons as to why you should use hashtags, one of which would be to increase your reach.

In this blog I am going to cover what a hashtag is and the best ways that you can use them.

What is a hashtag?

So, what is a #hashtag? A hashtag is a metadata tag which is used on social networks. A hashtag starts with # (Hash symbol{UK}, Pound Sign{USA}) and is followed by a word or unspaced phrase. It is essentially a way to tag your posts with keywords or follow posts with specific keywords.

Hashtags are very useful if you operate within a specific niche as you can make it easier for your audience to find you.

Why use hashtags?

As I briefly mentioned above, hashtags are a great way to reach your audience on social media by tagging relevant keywords. For the marketing team at Blue Whale Media, we use the hashtags #WebDesign and #WebDesignWarrington for all of our Web Design related posts. This allows us to extend our reach within our local area as well as organically targeting people who follow/use the same hashtags.

Hashtags can also be a great way for you to engage with your audience. You can set up a campaign or an internet challenge with your hashtag and ask users to post their submissions with the hashtag. Here is an example:

Remember the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge that went viral in 2014? The campaign was set up to raise awareness for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) also known as motor neuron disease. Millions of people uploaded videos of themselves to social media where they would dump a bucket of ice and water onto their heads and then nominate 3 friends to do the same. The videos went live with the campaign hashtag #IceBucketChallenge. The use of hashtags in this context allowed millions of people to get involved with the charitable campaign.

When to use hashtags

You should use hashtags whenever you can. As we have already discussed, hashtags are great for organic engagement, however, you don’t want to cram your post full of hashtags, but you equally don’t want to use so little hashtags that your posts go unnoticed.

I recommend using 2-4 hashtags for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube and 9-15 hashtags for Instagram.

What hashtags to use

Finding the right hashtags to use can be quite straightforward, or it can be daunting. Keep your hashtags relevant to the post and don’t go sway away from it. If you’re trying to promote the sales of used mobile phones, then using “#WebDesign” Wouldn’t be very beneficial. Whereas using “#Apple #iphone #samsung” etc would be very beneficial.

Websites like https://displaypurposes.com/ make it simple for you to find relevant hashtags to use for your posts.

Conclusion

To conclude, you should use hashtags in all of your social media posts, but remember not to go over the top and to only use hashtags directly related to your post. You don’t want to annoy your audience with too many hashtags.

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