With over four billion social media users in the world, it isn’t surprising that social media platforms have become one of the most reliable ways to reach a broader target audience. However, identifying ways to stand out against millions of other businesses is key to building your online brand identity. Social media tools, like the hashtag, were created to help categorize content to provide a better user experience. Now, hashtags help businesses build brand awareness and promote more engagements by making it easier for users to find their content.
In 2007, the hashtag was introduced on Twitter by Chris Messina, a product designer, as a way to help users categorize their content. Social media platforms were cluttered with content, and users found themselves among information that did not interest them. Messina sought to provide people with a way to group their posts into topics, eventually instituting a system that allows people to search and follow specific hashtags relating to relevant content. To add a hashtag to their post, social media users simply included the # sign in front of a word or string of words. Posts related to cooking, for example, might include #cooking or #food to label their content.
By allowing user-specific hashtags to be searched and followed, social media platforms created a new system for businesses and individuals to push their content. The hashtag system is a win-win for both users and businesses because it allows people to engage with posts they may have otherwise not seen. Using a hashtag, or multiple hashtags, pushes post relevancy to those with the most interest.
HOW TO BUILD ENGAGEMENT USING HASHTAGS
Now that you know the importance of categorizing your posts with hashtags, it’s time to explore building post engagements. A social media engagement includes any action users take to show interest in your posts, including shares, likes, and saves. The bigger audience your post reaches, the more likely it is to receive engagements. To get the most out of the hashtags you use in your content, it is helpful to consider the following:
- Create Relevant Content– Hashtags are used so people can easily find content that appeals to their interests and hobbies. Incorporating hashtags that have nothing to do with your post will not only add clutter to the search page, but will also not offer any benefit to your audience. Hashtags allow your post to reach a wider target audience, but will offer very little for engagements if the content doesn’t align with the topic.
- Research Trending Hashtags– Trending social media hashtags are constantly changing. Stay up to date with relevant hashtags trends that you can contribute to. For example, at the time this blog post was written, #yogaflow was trending on TikTok. Yoga studios would benefit from utilizing that hashtag with one of their videos because the content is relevant and the hashtag is trending, meaning a lot of people are also using the hashtag or searching for it.
- Research Hashtags used by Others in Your Industry– One of the quickest ways to determine which hashtags to use is to look at the accounts of other businesses in your industry. Since you will likely be targeting the same audience, you can evaluate their commonly used hashtags and begin incorporating them into your own posts.
- Check Out Related Hashtags– Once you have an idea of a hashtag you would like to use, you can check out how popular that hashtag actually is. Tools, such as hashtagifyme.com, provide a full analysis on certain hashtags. It will offer relevant hashtags as well as determine the popularity of it.
- Don’t Use Too Many Words– Try to keep your hashtags short and simple. Think of words and phrases that your customers would actually use, but avoid being too wordy. You want your post to show up on pages that are being searched, and a hashtag with a lot of words is less likely to result in post engagements. Avoid using hashtags with more than three to four words.
- Avoid Repetition– It can be tempting to use the same hashtags for every post, especially after you’ve done your research. Just like your content, though, you’ll want to keep your hashtags unique and refreshing. It’s okay to use some of the same hashtags for relevant content, but don’t just copy and paste the same ones to every post.
Hashtags are an excellent way to display your content to a broader audience on multiple platforms. With a little bit of research and content creativity, you will be on your way to building post engagements!
If you would like assistance with creating unique social media content or an effective hashtag campaign, reach out to us! Our social media management team will provide you with services to build brand awareness and promote engagements.