Hashtag Basics for Businesses

A lit-up hashtag symbol against a wood background

Marketing on social media sites is one of the trickiest types of advertising for businesses to master. More and more potential customers find companies through social networks, so having a presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other sites is essential. A social media marketing strategy can build your brand and help you succeed.

However, simply having a page on these social media sites is not enough. Each site catalogs search results similar to Google and other search engines. While having followers on your social media platforms helps get your content seen, you also need to appear in these search results. This is where hashtags come in.

What is a Hashtag?

A hashtag is the pound sign (“#”) followed by words or phrases without spaces. For example, #hashtagbasics. An Instagram hashtag or a Twitter hashtag groups your post with others that have similar topics. Basically, it is a word or phrase that should help you appear on Instagram and Twitter searches.

Experts in social media marketing recommend using multiple hashtags in Instagram posts. Usually, it is best to separate these out by putting them at the bottom of posts. This helps keep users from getting annoyed at seeing multiple hashtags in your photo’s caption. For Twitter, you should stick to one or two basic hashtags, whereas Instagram supports many more in one post.

Social media marketing experts recommend that you tag your posts with a combination of different types of relevant hashtags. Relevance is important because your followers will be annoyed with your posts if they do not actually relate to your hashtags. Also, users who find you in the search results want to find what they are looking for, not random photos unrelated to the text.

Types of Tags

The first type of hashtag you should use is a general one. This describes what your company sells or what is in the photo in general terms to make it easier to find in the search results. For example, a marketing agency might use #marketing, #marketingagency, or #advertising as general tags. You should use a mix of popular hashtags with large numbers of posts and less popular hashtags where you can get more visibility.

Next, you want to incorporate specific hashtags. These are more specific to your area or industry, and help target a smaller demographic. One tip is to add the city where you are located or to add surrounding cities that you work with. You can also add details about the service you offer while keeping it short and simple. An example of this would be #tucsonmarketingagency.

Another step is to create your own hashtag. These are also known as branded hashtags. These won’t get your post into search results, but they can help set you apart and build your brand. You can also use them in campaigns, such as offering a discount if people use your branded hashtag and post about your service.

You can also use trending topics to join in larger discussions and get more visibility. For example, there are many national “days” such as National Sibling Day, National Pet Day, and more. If you create a relevant post for these topics, you can use a trending hashtag and show up in more search results.

Are you in need of Social Media Marketing help?

Social media marketing is still a relatively new field, and it can be difficult to get a handle on all the intricacies of building your brand online. Luckily, Amped can help! We are a digital and traditional advertising agency. From social media to website SEO, we handle all your marketing needs. Call us today at 520.777.8309 for a free marketing analysis!

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