Hashtags are a permanent staple for social media users. What originally started as a hash or pound on Twitter on August 23, 2007, by Chris Messina, became a global phenomenon that has not only helped social media users connect but allowed business as well to profit from its use.
Fast forward to now, and hashtags aren’t just for show but help to boost a brand’s online presence.
Hashtags amplify your brand, hones in on your target audience, gets your content found, improve your SEO, and more. All of which allows any brand to be easily found by their potential customers and fans. Marketers know that tapping into the power of hashtags is what adds to viral and impacting content.
What they don’t tell you is that using a set of hashtags isn’t enough to allow you to tap into that social space. What you need is a hashtag strategy for social media.
Today, I’m going to show you how to create a hashtag for social media, whether your publishing for Instagram, Facebook or YouTube.
Take out your notepad and start taking notes.
1. Know Your Hashtag Limits
There are little to no social media platforms that don’t allow the use of hashtags. However, not all social media platforms will enable you to add the same number of hashtags to your post. Not to mention followers and users have their own hashtag limits for brands as well.
Here are the Hashtag limits for each social media platform and how you can use them effectively:
When it comes to Instagram, you’re only allowed to use 30 hashtags, any more than that, and your post won’t go through or will be considered spam. Your 30 hashtags are counted in both, caption and comments. Feel free to use all 30 in your post or comments to get maximum exposure.
When it comes to your Instagram Stories, the hashtag limit is 10 per story, but it’s not official, a few marketers I know have been able to sneak in 20 or so but no more than that, so test it to see which works best for you.
Facebook currently has no limit on hashtags, mainly because Facebook doesn’t have a big hashtag culture. In fact, Social Media Today found that “Facebook posts without a hashtag fare better than those with a hashtag. If you should use a hashtag, be sure to use a branded hashtag so that customers can easily find you.
As of 2019, Twitter recommends using no more than two hashtags per Tweet within the character limit. But you’re free to use as many as you wish. Twitter may be the birthplace, but it’s not a place to use them excessively.
Keep your hashtags light and use them in a sentence to highlight an important topic or keyword rather than ending your statement with them sprinkled as an afterthought.
— Missguided (@Missguided) May 22, 2020
YouTube allows you to use up to 30 hashtags for your business. Youtube allows you to add hashtags to your video title and descriptions to improve a video’s discoverability on YouTube. The tip that no one tells you is that there’s a lot more that goes into using hashtags on Youtube than people let on.
Pinterest has a 20 hashtag limit for each pin. Hashtags on Pinterest work just like they do anywhere else. Unlike other social media platforms, Pinterest relies heavily on search, as such, using as many hashtags are a must for any successful pin.
2. Find Popular Hashtags Based on Your Industry
With hashtags, if you want to use them effectively, you have to use them as your followers or customers. Try to avoid using hashtags like #shopifystore, even if you are a Shopify store, your customers aren’t looking for Shopify stores.
They’re looking for the products and lifestyle you provide. If you’re a Shopify store that sells vegan products, then you should be using #vegan or #veganlife. Look for hashtags your customers are using and searching for daily.
You can start by looking for the most popular hashtags used based on your niche, but you’ll still need to find out which specific hashtags work best for you.
If you’re looking for more hashtags, you can use these five best tools to find hashtags:
3. Create a Branded Hashtags
Branded hashtags aren’t just for big brands. You can create a branded hashtag with your business name, slogan, or after a contest or marketing campaign. The point of a branded hashtag is to create your own SEO snippet on social media that allows social media users to find you easily.
A branded hashtag is just as relevant to use as your popular hashtags. Brands like #vsco and #barkbox have built their online presence by using hashtags to connect and attract new customers and users.
Before you start using a branded hashtag, do your research to see who else might be using it or if this hashtag has a negative attachment. This can save you from a lot of trouble in the long run.
4. Ask Customers to Tag & Use Your Branded Hashtags
Asking customers to tag and use your branded hashtag should be an integral of your hashtag strategy. Asking customers to use your hashtag plays a significant role in boosting and effortlessly finding UGC on your social media platforms.
User-generated content (UGC) is content created by individuals outside of the organization or business.
It’s authentic and created by your fans. The more people use your hashtags, the more exposure your product and services can get. User-generated content can take a multitude of forms — images, videos, sound clips, social media posts, and more.
Around 86% of millennials believe that user-generated content (also known as UGC) is a good indicator of a brand or product’s quality.
When customers also use your branded hashtags, it also gives you the ability to practice social listening. Social listening is putting your ear to the ground on social media and listening/reading about what people and customers have to say about your brand outside your online platforms.
5. Learn from & Partner Popular Influencers
Finding hashtags that easily connect with your customers can be a hit and miss sometimes, so it’s always best to continue researching until you’ve found the perfect group of hashtags.
Influencers are known to connect with their followers and easily find popular hashtags and content. Take a look at the type of hashtags that influencers within your niche are using and add them to your list.
When working with an influencer, ensure that they’ve added your branded hashtag to their content. This makes it easier for potential customers to find all your content.
Demystifying hashtags for your brand is something you’ll need to test, measure, and try again, like all things in marketing.
Without them, your social media post are lost in a sea of content, but with them, you’ve increased your chances of discovery, no matter the social media platform.
Remember that using hashtags isn’t enough; you need to know what kind of hashtags and how to implement them in your social media strategy can give you the best results.
Here’s a quick recap on the five effortless tips you can use to create a hashtag strategy for any social media brand:
- Know Your Hashtag Limits
- Find Popular Hashtags Based on the Social Media Platform
- Create a Branded Hashtags
- Ask Customers to Tag & Use Your Branded Hashtags
- Learn from & Partner with Influencers