Do you ever wish you could get your best pieces of star content in front of an interested, highly-targeted audience, for free?? Then hashtags are about to become your best friend and ultimate secret marketing weapon!

But wait, what’s a hashtag?

Hashtags 101: The # symbol, followed by a relevant keyword or phrase, makes the social media world a searchable, sortable place for all who visit. 

Social media platforms use hashtags to categorize your amazing content and group it with other similar content. By adding a hashtag like #ThrowbackThursday or #Staycation, your post is instantly searchable (and “likable”!) by the thousands of users who follow that hashtag. And when you use the hashtags your target audience is interested in, your content lands front-and-center in their feed.

Bonus tip: Twitter and Instagram are the best, most effective places to deploy your brilliant hashtag strategy.

In fact, using hashtags on Twitter can increase your engagement by a whopping 100%! On Instagram, using even just one hashtag can boost your interactions by 29%. And while hashtags rule Twitter and Instagram, you can use these same strategies wherever you post content, including Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, and TikTok.

These little symbols pack a massive punch— when yielded with precision.

To start putting hashtags to work for your small business, try one of these 3 strategies we love:

Strategy #1: Focus on quality, not quantity

Let’s dispel a quick myth right up front: More hashtags does not equal better results. In fact, using too many of these keywords can actually hurt the reach of your posts!

The ideal number of hashtags varies by platform and changes whenever the Social Media Overseers feel like shaking things up (that’s why marketing is a full time job!). As a general rule of thumb, aim for around 3-5 hashtags per post. Every hashtag you add should be relevant to your content and to your audience.

Strategy #2: Create an event hashtag

If you have a local event, new product launch, webinar, grand opening, or other exciting event coming up, make a catchy hashtag to go along with it! Your new hashtag should be short, memorable, and uniquely your own. Throughout your event, encourage attendees to post their photos on social media and use your custom hashtag in the caption.

Want extra marketing-boosting power? Create an eye-catching photo opportunity your attendees can’t help but pose with. A photobooth, a red-carpet-style walk, a 3-D cutout of your product or logo— any show-stopping, photo-worthy display will generate the kind of enthusiasm that keeps your attendees snapping and tagging all day.

We love this event-centric hashtag strategy for three reasons:

  1. Your event is instantly buzz-worthy. All over social media, it’s what everyone’s talking about!
  2. You get a ton of user-generated content you can use again in future marketing campaigns.
  3. Every attendee that posts a photo at your event is like a brand ambassador sharing your awesome company with their online world. That’s the kind of organic, authentic word-of-mouth marketing you just can’t buy!

Strategy #3: Track your hashtag data to do more of what WORKS

If you’ve been around MediaSpark for more than five minutes, you know there’s nothing we crave more than rich, truth-telling data! And when it comes to your hashtag strategy, data rules!

Keep track of every hashtag you’ve used on your posts. Note the posts that performed spectacularly well— and which ones flopped. Do you notice any trends or commonalities? Do your posts with #summertime get greater engagement than those with #summerdays? If you discover a handful of hashtags that always seem to attract the right eyes, turn that dial up and double-down on those keywords.

Feeling #overwhelmed by social media marketing? We can help. Grow your business and build your base of raving brand fans with expert marketing support from MediaSpark. Let’s Chat!