Hashtags are one of the best ways to discover posts about specific topics on social media. This means that users who are interested in finding information about a certain subject, such as #BrandStrategy, will easily be able to find it at the tap of a search button.
Your ideal hashtag can be something that’s currently trending or popular, yet still relatable to your post. They could even be special inventions made specifically for your brand — like our own #SkeemaMediaUpdate hashtag on Twitter.
Regardless of the hashtag you choose to use, you need to make sure that it is relevant, boosts followers, improves brand awareness and reaches your intended target.
So, are you ready to begin? Let’s go!
What do you need from a good hashtag?
Any good hashtag, whether it is used for a post or a campaign, needs to meet the minimal criteria. So, when you start your hunt for the perfect hashtag, here are the basics you need to consider:
- Hashtags should get straight to the point: The #tags you decide on should be recognisable and easy to use. For example, #AwarenessCampaign tells you exactly what the post is about.
- Use trending #tags: Using trending hashtags can help you get noticed and effortlessly gain awareness.
- The #tag should make sense: It’s important that your hashtags are relevant to your brand or campaign and that your audience can quickly identify it as such. For example, if your initiative is about saving lions, you would use the #SaveLions hashtag instead of #SaveTheAnimals, which is a lot less specific to the cause.
- Hashtags should be clear: When you choose a phrase as a hashtag, it is important that it communicates clearly what you mean by it. The shorter and more concise, the better. For example, using the previous example, it is far more difficult to understand what you mean by #DontLetPredatorsBecomePrey instead of #SaveLions.
Finding tags on social platforms
Not all words and phrases exist as hashtags. You can’t just take a random word and use it as a #tag. However, at the same time, what’s a hashtag on one platform might not be on another, so be sure to check before you post.
So when starting your hunt, search for the keywords that directly relate to your brand or small business. For example, if you are a bakery, words such as #Bakery, #BakedGoods or #Bread can all be potential ones to use. You can also look at your competitors and the hashtags they use. Maybe they use #FreshBread and you can research if it will work in your social media strategy too!
To take the guesswork out of it, here are a few tips on how to find hashtags on some of the most popular social media platforms:Twitter
The top hashtags can be found alongside trending accounts under the ‘Explore’ tab on the left-side. The trending #tags are region-specific and personalised, so it’s possible that the hashtags you choose to include in your social media strategy might not be there. Other trending #tags can also be identified by typing the hash (#) symbol into the search bar.
However, to find hashtags that fit your campaign, search your keywords on Twitter and see which posts pop up. You might see posts that are relevant to your initiative, indicating that this is definitely the #tag to use.
This might be tricky to inform your social media strategy because you don’t get to see the exact number of posts or followers, but the Twitter algorithm does help to show what hashtags are trending or more popular at that moment.
There are two ways to find hashtags on LinkedIn. The first is to type the #tags into the search bar on your dashboard. A list of results will start to pop up, ranking them from the most popular to the least.
You can check out how favoured each hashtag is on the platform by clicking on it and seeing how many followers it has. Look at #PRpro (17) versus #PublicRelations (3,749,795), for instance.
The second way to identify relevant hashtags is to start a post. When you type your post, the “# Add hashtag” option is visible at the bottom.
As you type, LinkedIn starts suggesting any #tag that might fit your post by using the words you have already written. You can choose which ones fit your social media strategy best and add them either in the copy, or at the bottom of the post.
Similar to LinkedIn’s hashtag add-in option, creating a new post will allow you to search for popular #tags when you start to type them. The most recent #tags you have posted will pop up first, almost like an autocomplete option on a keyboard.
Just below them, relevant hashtags appear and also show the number of posts that use that hashtag. In this way, you can determine the #tags’ popularity and assess how many people your post might reach.
You can also see what the most popular hashtags are by pressing the search icon, typing in your keyword and looking at the “Tags” tab. It will be listed to show the highest in popularity at the top.
Making your own special #tag
Perhaps you have realised that you need a special, branded hashtag. This is a good choice when you are looking for a campaign-specific #tag, or something participants and attendees of an event can use to promote it.
Choose either a catchy phrase or word that is to the point and which encapsulates your campaign goals.
The ideal phrase can be a call to action or the name of the campaign. Whatever you choose to use needs to, at the end of the day, be something that can’t be confused to mean something else and should encourage users to repost or share content. A company that did this excellently is Coca-Cola with its #shareacoke campaign, which can be seen below:
Not only did this campaign initially encourage consumers to share the product, but it also had the double-meaning of motivating audiences to share pictures of them using it with the accompanying hashtag on social media.Do you have any tricks to find hashtags for your social media campaign? Let us know in the comments below.
*Image courtesy of Vecteezy