Since first used by Chris Messina (an UNUM user!) on Twitter in August 2007, hashtags have become a means of grouping related posts together. They can be used to collect and categorize social media content into groups based on topics, events, themes, tag lines, or keywords - thus increasing post discoverability. Although hashtags began on Twitter, they have since grown and have been adopted by nearly every social media platform out there.
They help increase engagement & discoverability. Adding hashtags to posts means categorizing your post into a group with other related posts. That means that if users see a post they like with a featured hashtag, they can tap on it and view similar posts, one of which may be yours!
They help you build your brand. Creating your own hashtag provides a link directly back to you and your brand. Use it to incentivize your followers to share UGC by tagging your branded hashtag and help increase exposure.
They add context. As mentioned previously, hashtags help categorize. Adding relevant hashtags to your post helps your audience understand your goals/intentions for the post, thus providing your them with context.
Hashtags only really “work” (increase discoverability) when accounts are public and searchable. So if you’re using a hashtag to help grow your audience and increase growth, make sure your account is accessible to the masses.
Limit the number of hashtags you include in a post. More hashtags doesn't necessarily mean more views/impressions. You want to watch out for over use because hashtag overloads can look spammy and unprofessional. We recommend using 1-3 hashtags per post.
Keep them short and sweet. The best hashtags tend to be on the shorter end, that way they’re easy to read and understand to the untrained eye. So make it easy on your audience and avoid stringing a bunch of words together. We’ve outlined some top performing hashtags below!
Be specific but unique. You want people to be able to find your content through your hashtag. Using a tag like #love puts you in a pool of over 1.8 billion posts, making your chances of discoverability slimmer than using a tag like #truelove which has 21 million. So be selective and specific, and maybe even get a little creative by creating your own hashtag!
Research similar, successful accounts and competitors. What hashtags are your competitors and other successful accounts using? Knowing which keywords they tend to use will help you better target your audience and your brand’s niche.
Research trending hashtags. Trending hashtags can be a great way to increase discoverability given the fact that they are what’s popular!
Use RiteTag’s Hashtag Generator or Hashtag Suggestions. RiteTag helps you find trending hashtags based on your content and captions.
Practice social listening. Social listening helps you better understand your audience, their likes, dislikes, and preferences. Check out our post HERE to learn all about social listening!
Find related hashtags. Related hashtags tend to be a bit more specific, yet still remain in the same realm as the original one you searched.