Anyone who has ever been on social media knows that hashtags are everywhere. What if I tell you there is something called, “hashtag marketing?” You’re probably wondering, “What is hashtag marketing?”

As the name suggests, the concept is simple:

Using hashtags to market products and services.

If you use hashtags correctly, you can reach your targeted audience and boost your visibility. All of it without spending a dime!

In my experience, hashtags are underrated marketing tools that need more attention. Especially for small business owners with limited budgets, hashtag marketing can be a game-changer.

Want to know how to use hashtags to promote your business? Read this comprehensive guide that will help you grow with the power of hashtags.

What is a Hashtag?

To understand hashtag marketing, let’s start with the basics. What is a hashtag? Hashtags is a special metadata tag that is used on social media platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and others. Prefaced by the “#” sign, hashtags are used to categorize and label content on a specific topic.

They help people find posts that provide information on the same topic. Most social media platforms have this feature so users can find what they are looking for easily.

what is a hashtag
Image via Instagram

What is Hashtag Marketing?

Hashtag marketing is all about using hashtags as a tool to improve your marketing efforts.

Let me explain it with an example. If you have a clothing company that you promote on Instagram, you can use Instagram hashtags like #fashion or #outfitinspiration when you post your products. This will make it easier for people looking for fashion or outfit inspiration to find your posts and products.

What’s more, if there’s a special event like Valentine’s Day or Halloween, you could use event-related hashtags to get in on the trend.

example hashtag marketing
Image via Instagram

Why Do Hashtags Matter?

That’s not all. Using the right hashtags has a lot of other benefits as well. Let’s take a look at why hashtags are a key component of a successful marketing strategy.

1. Hashtags can increase the visibility of your content on social media.

If you don’t have a million followers, it’s still possible for your posts to reach a large audience with the use of the correct hashtags. They provide a shortcut to get your content noticed. And if it’s good, it could even go viral!

2. Hashtags can help you reach your target audience.

When I say that you can make your posts more discoverable, it’s not just for any kind of audience. Hashtags enable you to reach people who are going to be interested in your niche. So, there is a better chance they might make a purchase from you.

3. Hashtags can boost engagement on your posts.

When your content reaches people genuinely interested in your niche, they are more likely to like, comment, and share your content. If increasing your engagement rate is your goal, hashtag marketing should be a top priority.

4. You can use hashtags to build a community around your brand.

Another great benefit of using hashtags is that you can personalize them. Branded hashtags can help you build an engaged community and boost your brand recognition. You can even use branded hashtags to run giveaways or contests or create buzz before a big event.

build community around your brand
Image via Instagram

5. You can use hashtags to stay up-to-date with the latest trends.

We all know TikTok and Instagram are full of trending challenges. And if you want to hop on to the trend, you need to use the right hashtags. You can join in on the fun and get noticed by others who are interested in the trend.

How to Find the Perfect Hashtag For Your Marketing Campaign

There are a few things to consider when finding the perfect hashtag for your brand.

1. Consider Your Goal

First, think about what your goal is for using the hashtag. Are you trying to create a community around your brand? Are you trying to increase brand awareness? Once you know your goal, you can start brainstorming potential hashtags.

2. Make a List of Relevant Keywords

Think about which keywords or phrases would be most relevant to your brand. These could be related to your product or service, company values, or target audience.

Once you have a few ideas, do a quick search on social media to see if the hashtags are already used. If they are, try to come up with something unique that will still be relevant to your brand. You can also use hashtag research tools to come up with fresh ideas.

3. Check Which Hashtags Your Competitors Are Using

What if you're not sure which hashtags to use? A great way to find out is to check which ones your competitors are using. This can be a great way to get ideas for new hashtags to use, as well as see which ones are working well for them.

To do this, simply go to their profiles and take a look at the hashtags they're using. You can also check the profiles of popular influencers in your niche to get hashtag ideas for your posts.

4. Monitor Your Engagement Rate

Once you have a few potential hashtags, test them out! Use them in social media posts and check how well they perform. Check which ones get the most engagement and stick with those. To simplify the monitoring process, I would recommend using hashtag tracking tools.

Hashtags can be a great way to connect with new customers and build loyalty with existing ones, so make sure to use them wisely!

Research Tools for Finding Hashtags

There are a variety of hashtag generator tools available online that can help you find the best hashtags for your content. These tools can provide valuable insights into which hashtags are most popular, and which ones are being used by your competitors.

Here are some of the best hashtag research tools you should check out:

1. Inflact

Inflact is a marketing tool for Instagram that helps users increase their followers and engagement. It has a special AI hashtag generator that you can use to generate hashtags related to your content within seconds. Using its Hashtag Trends feature, you can check which hashtags are trending.

inflict
Image via Inflact

2. HashtagsForLikes

HashtagsForLikes is a website that helps you find the most popular hashtags to use on your IG and TikTok posts. This tool can be useful if you're trying to get your post seen by more people, or if you're trying to find out what's trending.

hashtagsforlikes
Image via HashtagsForLikes

3. Tailwind

Tailwind is a social media marketing and management platform that helps businesses grow their social media presence. It has tools to help you schedule and publish content, track your progress, and measure your success. Its special hashtag finder can help you find the best hashtags for your IG and Pinterest posts.

tailwind
Image via Tailwind

How to Use Hashtags Effectively in Social Media Marketing

How do you use hashtags effectively to improve the results of your social media marketing strategy? In this section, I will share some things you should keep in mind while working on hashtag marketing.

1. Consider the Platform You’re Posting On

When it comes to using hashtags on social media, not all platforms are created equal. Each platform has a set number of maximum hashtags. Plus, the kind of hashtags that do well on each platform differs too.

For instance, hashtags on Pinterest are more generic. It’s like a search engine, so brands typically add hashtags related to their niche or product. On the other hand, TikTok hashtags are more about popular challenges.

If you want to understand how to use hashtags for each social media platform, scroll down to the next section. I will share the details there.

2. Use a Mix of Hashtags

When it comes to using hashtags on social media, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. The best way to use hashtags depends on your goals and objectives.

However, one thing is certain: using a mix of hashtags is the best way to get the most out of your hashtag marketing strategy.

Here are some types of hashtags you can use in your social media posts:

General Hashtags: General hashtags are just that – general. They don't have anything specific to do with your brand or product. However, they can be a great way to get your content seen by more people.

general hashtags
Image via Instagram

Branded Hashtags: Branded hashtags are those that are specific to your brand or product. For example, if your brand is Too Faced, you might use the hashtag #toofaced. These hashtags can help you connect with current and potential customers.

branded hashtags
Image via Instagram

Location-Based Hashtags: Location-based hashtags are another great way to connect with potential customers. If you have a brick-and-mortar store, you can use hashtags that include your city or state.

This is a great way to reach people who might be interested in what you have to offer but don't know about your brand yet.

Image via Twitter

Targeted Hashtags: Targeted hashtags will help you reach your target audience and get your message in front of the right people. When choosing hashtags, think about which keywords or phrases your target audience would be searching for if they were looking for your product or service.

Image via LinkedIn

3. Promote Your Hashtags Across Channels

When it comes to promoting your brand or business on social media, using hashtags is a must. But did you know that you can get even more mileage out of your hashtags by cross-promoting them across different social media channels?

Using the same hashtag across multiple social media channels helps to create a consistent message and branding for your business. This, in turn, can help increase brand awareness and recognition.

Dos and Don’ts of Hashtag Campaigns

When planning a hashtag campaign, it’s important to consider both the dos and don’ts. Here are some tips to help ensure your campaign is successful:

Dos of Hashtag Campaigns

1. Do Your Research: Be sure to check out similar hashtags that have been used in the past to get an idea of what has worked well.

2. Keep it Simple: Try to use a hashtag that is easy to remember and spell. If you are creating a campaign with branded hashtags, you should especially keep this in mind.

3. Make it Relevant: Choose a hashtag that is relevant to your brand and campaign message.

4. Encourage Participation: Come up with a creative way to encourage your followers to use your hashtag.

5. Monitor the Conversation: Be sure to keep an eye on what people are saying about your hashtag and respond accordingly.

Don’ts of Hashtag Campaigns

1. Don’t Overdo It: Using too many hashtags can be off-putting and make your brand look desperate. Stick to five to six hashtags maximum. No one wants to see a string of fifteen hashtags.

2. Don’t Use Lengthy Hashtags: Lengthy hashtags are difficult for people to remember and use properly. Keep it short and sweet for the best results.

Hashtag Marketing Tips For Each Social Media Platform

As we discussed earlier, how you use hashtags across different social networks will vary a bit. You can use the same hashtags to maintain consistency for some hashtag campaigns.

But you shouldn’t just copy-paste a bunch of hashtags when you are publishing content. To know what to tweak, check out the details given below:

Tips for Instagram Hashtags

Instagram allows you to add hashtags in three different places: Captions, Bio, and Stories.

Hashtags in IG captions are mostly for engagement, so you want to use niche hashtags, location hashtags, or campaign-specific hashtags. If you feel adding hashtags to captions disrupts the reading flow, you can also add them as a comment on your posts.

Hashtags in Instagram bios allow you to highlight your brand values and tell your audience about yourself. You could use hashtags related to your niche or important social causes.

Hashtags in IG Stories are all about providing context to your audience. You can create fun hashtags to make your witty brand personality stand out. Or you can use branded or campaign-specific hashtags to maintain consistency.

Another set of hashtags that you definitely want to use on Instagram are “sponsored” or “ad” for any sponsored posts. If you are collaborating with influencers, it is recommended that you insist they use them.

tips for instagram hashtags
Image via Instagram

For more information, check out my detailed guide on Instagram hashtags.

Optimal Number of Hashtags for Instagram: 3-5

Tips for Twitter Hashtags

Tweets can only be 280-characters long. That means your hashtags should be short. You can include a hashtag anywhere in your tweet: Beginning, middle, or end.

Often, the most popular Twitter hashtags are the ones that are related to trending topics. Alternatively, you can use branded hashtags that are specifically related to your brand or products.

audi USA
Image via Twitter

Optimal Number of Hashtags for Twitter: 2 [Hashtag Recommendation by Twitter]

Tips for YouTube Hashtags

On YouTube, you can add hashtags in your descriptions or titles. If you choose to not add hashtags in your title, YouTube will pick the first three hashtags that you use in your description and display them above your YouTube video.

tips for youtube hashtags
Image via YouTube

What’s more, YouTube hyperlinks hashtags. So, your audience can click on your hashtag and find similar content. Another important thing you should remember is that you should never use more than 15 hashtags on YouTube. If you do so, there is a chance that the platform will flag your content.

Optimal Number of YouTube Hashtags: 3-5

Tips for Facebook Hashtags

You can use hashtags anywhere in your photo/video captions or your Facebook status. Just like Instagram, you can also use them in your Stories to provide context.

If you are a part of Facebook private groups, hashtags work as a great way to group similar content.

example of optimal number of youtube hashtags
Image via Facebook

Optimal Number of YouTube Hashtags: 2-3

Tips for LinkedIn Hashtags

When it comes to hashtag marketing, LinkedIn is different from other social networking sites. They provide suggestions for you. What’s more, you can see the trending hashtags in the section for “news and views.”

While writing LinkedIn hashtags, keep in mind that the platform is mainly used by professionals. So, it is recommended that you use professional hashtags. Of course, fun branded hashtags are a big yes!

Optimal Number of LinkedIn Hashtags: 1-5

Tips for Pinterest Hashtags

For hashtag marketing, think of Pinterest as a search engine. If you use the right keywords, your content gets bumped up. Just like LinkedIn, Pinterest also provides hashtags suggestions, (on the mobile app).

example for pintrest hashtags
Image via Pinterest

Optimal Number of Pinterest Hashtags: 2-5

Tips for TikTok Hashtags

TikTok hashtags appear in two places: the Discover page and the descriptions. On the platform, branded hashtag challenges are the in-thing. If you want to win at TikTok marketing, you need to use them to your advantage.

tips for tiktok hashtags
Image via AdTargeting

In addition to this, you can also use niche hashtags and trending hashtags. For more information, check out my detailed guide to TikTok hashtags.

Optimal Number of TikTok Hashtags: 2-5

FAQs

1. What is hashtag marketing?

Hashtag marketing is the use of hashtags to promote and market your business on social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and others.

2. Why are hashtags useful in marketing?

Hashtags are useful in marketing because they help you reach a wider audience by making your content discoverable to people searching for specific topics. 

Using hashtags can be a great way to boost your visibility and reach on social media. With hashtags, you can also track and measure engagement on your posts easily.

3. How do companies use hashtags?

Well, there are a few ways companies can use hashtags. Some companies use hashtags to create brand awareness, while others use them to connect with their target audience and boost engagement. Hashtags can also be used to promote specific products or services.

When it comes to hashtag marketing, you can get as creative as you want to promote your brand. The best part is that you can track engagement to see which hashtags are working. Based on that, you can plan your content strategy.

Ready to Win at Hashtag Marketing?

Now you know the answer to, “What is hashtag marketing.” And you know that a successful hashtag marketing campaign requires more than just adding a few popular hashtags and calling it a day. To really get results, you need to take a strategic approach.

By following the tips mentioned in this post, you'll be well on your way to mastering the art of hashtag marketing!

So what are you waiting for? Get out there and start using those hashtags! If you have any questions related to hashtag marketing, don’t be afraid to ask them in the comments section. I’ll be happy to answer them for you.

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