Hashtags are how you categorize your various updates and pieces of content across your various social media streams. We are going to show you how to maximize engagement by using hashtags within Instagram.
It’s important to remember that hashtags alone don’t mean a thing. You can add as many as you like, but if you don’t do it correctly they’re nothing more than an annoyance. See 90% of Twitter statuses for further details.
The Glue that Holds Your Campaign Together
Hashtags are such an important tool primarily because of their simplicity. A custom hashtag can bring together campaigns across all social media networks. If you use print advertising, you can advertise the hashtag and further link your campaigns together. Practically every TV advert today uses hashtags on the screen to do this.
A Staple of Modern Marketing
The originator was Twitter. It quickly took off and today every social media network uses them to allow their customers to increase engagement. In some cases, the hashtag has reached the realms of ‘overused’.
Regardless of this, it’s a staple of modern marketing and you can’t afford to miss out on it.
Beginning with Twitter
Current statistics say that engagement goes up by 50-100% when hashtags are used. One or more hashtags will double the chances of engagement on Twitter. Nevertheless, at the same time if you use more than two or three your engagement rate will drop.
What is Engagement?
Take note that engagement could be anything. A reply is the most coveted form of engagement, but it also includes favorites and retweets. Remember that you have to target your campaign based on the type of engagement you want.
Dealing with Facebook
It would be unwise to attempt to use Facebook hashtags in the same way as Twitter. Facebook allows hashtags, but the reality is hashtags promote less engagement when compared with posts that don’t use any at all.
What the Reality Is
The reality is Facebook doesn’t respond as well to hashtags as you might think. On Twitter, hashtags do have their place, but on Facebook, they are even less relevant. Use them, but you shouldn’t go above two or three.
You should test hashtags out on your audience to see if they work. One industry may not respond as well as another.
Google+ and Hashtag Usage
Google+ is a strange beast as not everyone is sure whether they want to use it or not. While Google+ has faded away somewhat, it’s still worth using. There is still a considerable audience you can reach through using it.
Google+ Works Differently
The primary difference between Google+ and other social media networks is that all posts are assigned a hashtag by default. This makes it searchable through Google’s search engine. Even if you don’t want to use a hashtag you’re getting one anyway.
Of course, you can still use your own hashtags. Like Twitter and Facebook, use them sparingly and don’t use too many.
Use More on Instagram
Instagram is quickly becoming a major player in the social media market. Other sites will offer diminishing returns if you start using too many hashtags, but Instagram is different. Use as many as you like. There’s no limit. You can literally add hundreds of hashtags if that’s what you feel is beneficial.
Generally, eleven is the magic number when it comes to getting the most interactions.
How to Choose the Right Hashtags
Hashtags are not a magic bullet. You will have to put some thought into which ones are the right ones. Let’s start with a basic rundown of what’s likely to work for choosing the right hashtags.
- Begin by looking at what hashtags are already in usage. Remember to check the context so it doesn’t twist your findings.
- See how long it’s been trending for. If you have been spending a lot of time researching, this is a matter of seeing what is trending each day.
- Compare the trending hashtags of all the social media networks you are using. The audiences are different on them all.
Tools to Use
There are a number of tools you can take advantage of for finding hashtags. We recommend the following ones:
- RiteTag and Hashtagify.me are good places to start.
- Twubs is a large hashtag directory.
- Trendsmap is for businesses that rely a lot on local traffic.
Sometimes adopting specialist social media marketing tools can go a long way to helping you find the right hashtags.
Tracking and Refining
Tracking your hashtag results is essential because the chances are you won’t get it right the first time. Maintain a file of hashtag results and you will soon begin to pick out patterns that will serve you well in the future.
Do bear in mind that previously successful hashtags will lose their impact in time. Using and tracking hashtags is a full-time endeavor and you can never let up.