Hashtag art

Social Media Marketing 101: Why Are Hashtags Helpful?

July 19, 2023
Versa Creative
Social media marketing is crucial for businesses today, as it allows them to connect and engage with audiences and grow their brand. It offers opportunities to build an online presence, reach target audiences, drive interactions, increase brand awareness, generate leads, foster loyalty, and adapt to market trends. It has become an essential component of comprehensive marketing strategies in the digital age, and hashtags—keywords or phrases preceded by the pound sign that categorize and organize content on social media platforms—are a crucial part of that. But why are hashtags helpful in a social media marketing campaign, and how does one utilize them to their fullest potential?

Why Are Hashtags Helpful?

Increased Discoverability

Hashtags lead to increased discoverability by expanding the power of organic reach and visibility as they categorize content, making it easier for users to find and engage with relevant posts. By using targeted hashtags, businesses can connect with members of their target audience who are actively searching for or following those hashtags, increasing the likelihood of reaching and engaging with potential customers.

Categorization and Organization

Hashtags help with categorization and organization by streamlining content search, allowing social media users to find specific topics or themes more easily. They also enhance content relevance by associating social media posts with relevant hashtags, making it more likely for users interested in those topics to discover and engage with the content.

Trend Tracking and Participation

Hashtags are helpful for trend tracking and participation, as they allow users to capitalize on popular conversations and engage with trending topics. By using trending hashtags, businesses can join the discussion, increase their visibility, and attract engagement from a larger audience interested in those trending conversations.

 

Hashtag map

 

How to Use Hashtags for Different Social Media Platforms

Businesses should use a different hashtag strategy for different social media platforms to align with each platform’s unique user behavior, platform dynamics, and content format, maximizing the effectiveness of hashtags in reaching and engaging with the target audience on specific platforms.

Twitter

Businesses should research popular hashtags within their industry or target audience to use hashtags effectively on Twitter, keeping them concise and relevant to their content. Additionally, they can leverage trending hashtags to join popular conversations and increase their social network, ensuring their tweets align with the trending topic.

Instagram

When using hashtags on Instagram, businesses should incorporate industry-specific hashtags, mix popular and niche hashtags to increase discoverability among specific and broader audiences and create branded hashtags to foster brand recognition and influence the creation of user-generated content.

Facebook

When using hashtags on Facebook, businesses should select descriptive and targeted hashtags relevant to their content, limit hashtag usage for optimal engagement, and promote hashtag campaigns and contests to encourage user participation and increase brand visibility on the platform.

We go into the importance of limiting hashtag usage below in our best practices. In short, it’s crucial not to overuse hashtags so posts don’t seem spammy to the algorithm. Moreover, hashtag campaigns and contests are a great way to keep track of ephemeral content, such as events, promotions, and limited-time products or services

 

Phone with social media icons

 

LinkedIn

To effectively use hashtags on LinkedIn, businesses can leverage hashtags for professional networking by using industry-specific hashtags, following relevant industry hashtags to stay informed and engage with industry discussions, and incorporating hashtags in LinkedIn articles to increase discoverability and reach a wider professional audience. Hashtags are crucial for LinkedIn, as they give young professionals and executives the power to find brands they relate to and align with more easily.

Best Practices for Hashtag Usage

Be Specific and Relevant

Businesses should choose hashtags that directly relate to their content or target audience, ensuring they are specific enough to attract the right audience and relevant to the topic or industry being discussed. Hashtags shouldn’t just be relevant for the audience you’re targeting—they should be relevant to your brand, too. 

Avoid Overusing Hashtags

Overusing hashtags in social media marketing can dilute the message and make the content appear spammy, reducing engagement and credibility. Using hashtags strategically and sparingly to maintain clarity and authenticity in marketing efforts is important. This is true when algorithms look at a piece of content, but it’s true for users, too. 

Research and Monitor Hashtag Performance

Businesses should utilize analytics tools and social media monitoring platforms to track hashtags’ reach, engagement, and overall effectiveness. By analyzing data such as impressions, clicks, and user interactions, businesses can make data-driven decisions and determine their highest-performing hashtags, optimizing their hashtag strategy for better results.

 

Woman looking at Instagram

 

Engage with Hashtag Communities

Businesses can actively participate in conversations, discussions, and user-generated content to engage with hashtag communities in social media marketing. This engagement fosters genuine interactions, builds relationships, and establishes themselves as valuable contributors within the community.

Create Branded Hashtags

Developing a unique, memorable, and relevant hashtag in your social media marketing campaigns encourages followers and customers to use those hashtags when sharing content related to the brand, thereby increasing brand visibility and awareness.

Furthermore, branded hashtags foster the creation of user-generated content (UGC). UGC, generated when customers share experiences using the branded hashtag, builds trust and credibility. In contrast, the hashtag enables easy tracking and aggregation of UGC, encouraging further engagement and creating a sense of community around the brand. Combining a branded hashtag and user-generated content amplifies brand messaging and cultivates a loyal customer base.

Up Your Hashtag Strategy with Versa Creative

Now you know the answer to the question, “Why are hashtags helpful?”—they play a pivotal role in a successful social media marketing strategy. They offer numerous benefits, including increased discoverability, categorization and organization of content, trend tracking, and participation in popular conversations. By incorporating relevant hashtags, businesses can expand their reach, connect with their target audience, and enhance brand visibility. 

However, effectively utilizing hashtags requires strategic planning, research, and monitoring to ensure they are specific, relevant, and aligned with the platform and audience.

To leverage the power of hashtags and maximize your social media marketing efforts, partner with Versa Creative. Our experienced team of social media marketers understands the nuances of different social media platforms and can develop a tailored hashtag strategy that aligns with your brand and goals. Our social media marketing services can help you reach a wider audience, increase engagement, and drive meaningful results. Visit our website to learn how we can empower your social media presence and elevate your brand’s online visibility.

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