How to Use Hashtags

How to Use Hashtags to Ramp Up Your Campaigns

#Love them or #hate them hashtags are still an obsession. Moreover, these repurposed pound signs are running the modern marketing game by improving SEO, honing in on a targeted audience, and expanding content reach and searchability.

Hashtags categorize content into a searchable, centralized link so users can find what they’re looking for more efficiently. Influencers can take advantage of this by using them to attract new followers and increase content optimization, all while expanding the brand.

In fact, research from Twitter indicates that 49% of consumers seek assistance from social media influencers before making a purchase. With nearly half of the consumer market double checking with Internet celebs before clicking “check out,” there’s clearly something to be said for all of those pound signs.

Hashtags Trending on Twitter

While the symbol has existed for years and for a wide range of purposes, Twitter pioneered the pound sign with trending topics, and thus, the hashtag was born. Google developer Chris Messina, trailblazer of the Twitter hashtag, says the grouping system is “flexible and entirely folksonomic, and works with people’s current behaviors rather than forcing anyone to learn anything radically new.”

A 2012 study by Twitter suggests that tweets with hashtags can increase engagement for brands by 50%. Because of Twitter’s 140 character limit, it’s best to draw the line at two hashtags per tweet for optimal impressions: anything more and you’ll see a significant drop in interaction.

Joining in on the fun with a trending hashtag is a great way to attract a broader audience and create brand awareness; customers don’t just want to buy—they want to be entertained. Research what’s popular to contribute to the conversation with these helpful sites:

  • Websta allows you to view the top hashtags on Instagram so you can pull in traffic from trending topics. You can also search for usernames and places to see what kind of tags are being posted for that content.
  • Hashtagify.me provides webs for the visual learner to track and compare trends over the last few days, hours, and weeks. The website also displays the popularity of the hashtag with a percentage, allows Instagram tracking, and even lists top influencers across platforms.
  • Statweestics uses live updates to display the hottest hashtags, users, words, and locations on the Twittersphere. You can search keywords and analyze if the topic is increasing, decreasing, or steady in buzz.

How to Use Hashtags on Instagram

Instagram allows up to 30 hashtags per post, and influencers are utilizing every single one. In fact, social media mogul Louise Myers reports 442% more engagement by using 11 or more hashtags on Instagram compared to using none at all. If you’re worried about seeming spammy or getting mistaken for a bot account, you can hide hashtags in the comment section. This way, you can maintain a clean looking caption while still attracting viewers to your post.

Research cited by AdWeek indicates that Instagram is the place for brands to reach out to their followers. In fact, users are interacting with companies 400% more on Instagram than on Facebook and Twitter, delivering 58 times and 120 times more engagement per follower than both platforms respectively.

Should I Use Hashtags on Facebook?

Facebook boarded the hashtag train in 2013 and hasn’t seen much success since. According to a study by EdgeRank, posts on the social network that employed the use of hashtags had less viral reach than posts that did not incorporate the pound sign, proving no significant impact for marketers. This is because of the more exclusive and intimate nature of Facebook—keeping up with close friends as opposed to reaching out and connecting with strangers.

Unlike on Twitter, Facebook’s trending topics are tailored to each individual’s personal interests, making it difficult to take advantage of universal hashtags and get people to jump on your bandwagon across the board. Chris Teso, CEO of Chirpify, comments on this disproportion, saying, “Hashtags are not as effective on Facebook because they have not been integrated in a decentralized way like Instagram and Twitter.” We log onto Facebook to talk to “real people” whereas on Instagram and Twitter we are more likely to engage with impersonal brands and create a relationship with them.

Can I Use Hashtags on YouTube?

YouTube recently incorporated hashtags into their video search, making it possible to add tags in both the title and description. Users can head to the comment section to search for certain keywords and click through to a page with videos containing the hashtag.

Influencers can tag other vloggers to join in on the fun, with video trends like “the boyfriend tag,” “the throwback tag,” or “the get to know me tag” in which YouTubers answer questions about their relationship, their past, or general icebreakers about themselves. YouTube is a breeding ground for influencers, and tags allow them to build their own unique brand and captivate an audience at the same time.

#Censored: What Not to Tag

With over 700 million monthly active users and 95 million photos and videos shared daily, Instagram monitors its content with censors, blocking the search results of hundreds of hashtags that do not line up with the platform’s community guidelines. Some tags are obviously inappropriate and not safe for work while others seem completely absurd to prohibit (i.e. #adulting, #elevator, #workflow), but probably contained inappropriate content.

Content control can range from completely censored hashtags to topics that have been un-banned over time. Temporary censorship sends NSFW content straight back to the tag, rendering Instagram’s efforts largely ineffective.

Get Hashtagging

The perfect hashtag (or combination of hashtags) can draw new followers and engagements for your brand and ultimately increase your company’s web presence. According to research by LinchpinSEO, posts with at least one hashtag receive almost 2x more interaction than those without.

Choosing the right tags means utilizing the right influencers: those that are relevant to the brand, industry, and target audience. Make sure you’re giving the right impression with the best content.

ApexDrop has helped thousands of authentic micro-influencers connect with quality brands through contextual product gifting (also known as trade collaborations). Imagine having an affordable and easy way to get your products featured by hundreds of influencers immediately on Instagram, but without all the extra work. ApexDrop offers an unparalleled service in campaign management from start to finish and can assure that their clients receive quality posts and authenticity. For more information, schedule a call with an ApexDrop Influencer Specialist today  www.apexdrop.com/contact