Use hashtags effectively to increase reach and engagement
Using hashtags on social media, especially on Instagram and Twitter, can be an effective way to enter new conversations and get your content in front of new eyes. But if you use them incorrectly, they can disrupt your messaging.
Users click on hashtags to find relevant content to what they just looked at or read about. “From a user standpoint, hashtags are used to categorize content, making the discovery of new or related articles and insights easy to do,” says Sprout Social. But, “when hashtags are used incorrectly, people looking for new content have to dig through irrelevant, miscategorized content in order to get to what they’re actually looking for.” This can disrupt the experience that you meant your customers to have with your content.
Here are tips for how to hashtag on Instagram and Twitter to give your followers a good experience and get more eyes on your content:
Many users and businesses use hashtags on Instagram to increase their post reach and get their content in front of new users. You can add up to 30 hashtags per post, but when you go over 10, engagement starts to drop, according to TrackMaven.
Using relevant hashtags in your caption will get new eyes on your business’ Instagram content and help you boost your engagement.
What are relevant hashtags? Anything your followers would find interesting, or anything you think might help your post reach more people on the platform — that can be hashtags specific to your local area, or hashtags that are used widely on the platform.
Instagram also added a new feature as of December 2017: Instagram users can not only follow other users, but they can also follow specific hashtags as well. This means more reach for your business if you are using these hashtags on Instagram.
When you type a potential hashtag into Instagram’s search bar, you can see not only related hashtags, but how many times each hashtag has been used.
You might want to use the hashtag “#happyhour,” but if you own a bar in NYC, #happyhournyc might be more likely to be something people in your local area are searching for. You could also use both to try to capitalize on the popular hashtag and the local hashtag.
It’s also a good tip to integrate these trending hashtags (up to 10 before engagement decreases) at the very end of your caption, or as the first comment on your post. If you want to add several hashtags to your caption, make sure to add a period, then hit enter, then a period, then enter, at least three times so users don’t see those hashtags unless they click, “More.”
More on hashtags and the best Instagram captions in our blog post here!
So, what hashtags should you use? The same rules that apply on Instagram apply on Twitter as well. Use hashtags that are relevant and interesting to your customers, local area, and industry. If your business’ account is public, any users who search for a hashtag you’re using just might find your tweet in their search results.
More tips on our blog for increasing your Twitter following here!
You can also start conversations on Twitter by searching popular hashtags or keywords that relate to your business. Once you find tweets from people using those hashtags, then, you can start chatting!
For example , if you’re a restaurant and it’s around lunch or dinner time, use the search box in the upper right corner for the hashtag #hungry to find people who are tweeting about wanting a meal and let them know they can come by your business.
You can also search for localized hashtags to talk to people in your area. For example, if you’re a restaurant in Austin, you can try #ATXeats and see if you can start a conversation with anyone using that hashtag to invite them in to try your delicious food.
You can even search for those hashtags in specific locations or from particular people with the advanced search feature. Learn more about advanced search here.
Other Hashtag Tips:
- Punctuation will break a hashtag (exclamation points, spaces, commas, apostrophes, etc.)
- Make sure you research what hashtags are trending before you integrate them into your post. You’ll want to avoid using the wrong version of a popular hashtag or a hashtag that’s defunct and no longer in use.
- When creating a custom hashtag — mind the character count, lengthy hashtags are hard to read and aren’t as effective as to-the-point hashtags.
- Try using a hashtag within a sentence rather than at the end of a sentence for a more natural, conversational post.
Use these tips to up your hashtag game on social media, or sign up with Main Street Hub and we can do it for you: Click here to get started!
Source: Main Street Hub