Using hashtags on social media, especially on Instagram and Twitter, can be an effective way to stir up conversations and get your content in front of new eyes. But when used incorrectly, they can distract your audience and disrupt your messaging.
Users click on hashtags to discover more related content. They want the hashtags associated with the posts they’re browsing to be relevant, interesting and worthwhile. That’s why you want to be careful not to overdo it by adding too many hashtags. And, you don’t want to waste people’s time by adding the wrong hashtags.
Use the right number of relevant hashtags in your social media content, and you’ll surely boost your engagement and increase your brand’s reach.
Here are some tips for how to use them on Instagram and Twitter to attract new followers and engage with your loyal fans.
Using hashtags in Instagram
Use relevant ones
It’s a good idea to use hashtags in your Instagram captions that are trending and popular. You should also incorporate the ones that are relevant to your brand, local area and industry. Incorporating those kinds of hashtags into your content will help you get new eyes on your business’s Instagram content and help boost your engagement too.
What’s considered relevant? Anything your followers would find interesting or anything you think might help your post reach more people on the platform.
You can see what hashtags are trending (the ones people are using most) by typing them into Instagram’s search bar. Here, you can see not only related hashtags, but also how many times each hashtag has been used.
Note: You can add up to 30 hashtags per post, but when you go over 10, engagement starts to drop.
You can create a hashtag unique to your brand that your loyal fans can use to talk about your business. It can just be #thenameofyourbusiness or you can get a little creative. For example, if you run a local gym with educational training for the coaches, you could create one like #nameofyourbusinesseducate. Like the example below:
Using industry hashtags is a good way to capitalise on users who are looking for the next place where they can get their next meal, drink or haircut. For example, if you own a burger place, use hashtags like #delishburger or #veganburger. Think about what your community is searching for and add that into your captions to capture their attention. Like the example below:
Another good tip is to incorporate local hashtags that are popular in your community. You can grab the attention of people searching specifically for businesses like yours in your area by harnessing the power of the Instagram community in your city or town.
For example, Dubai visitors and residents might look for dining options using the hashtag #dubaifoodies.
Using hashtags in Twitter
Tweets with hashtags are 33% more likely to get retweeted than tweets without
So, which ones should you use? The same rules that apply on Instagram also
apply on Twitter. Use tweets that are relevant and interesting to your business, local area and industry. If your business account is public, any users who search for a hashtag you’re using may find your tweet in their search results.
Twitter makes it easy for you to see what’s trending. While on your Home page on Twitter, you will see on the left-hand side that Twitter has gathered “Trends for you”. This is based on who you follow and how you interact with other uses on Twitter. If you click the word “change” in that menu, you can further customise the trending hashtags you see to make sure you’re interacting with the people who would be likely to walk in your door.
You can use the same brand hashtags you’ve created on Instagram and Twitter. You can also create a hashtag that gives your followers something to look forward to every week. For example, #MondayEats, #LiveMusicWednesday or #TriviaTuesday.
On Twitter, it’s best to add one or two industry-related hashtags to your tweet to attract users to your page. However, it’s important to note that using keywords you want users to find in your tweet without hash-tagging them is just as effective on Twitter.
Using localized hashtags is very important on Twitter to attract users in your local area. Many users use the Twitter search bar like they use Google’s search bar. For example, they might type in “manicure in Cairo”. You want your beauty salon’s page to show up in those search results, so make sure your tweets include your product and the name of your city i.e. #ManicureCairo or #manicure #Cairo.
Remember, you’re using hashtags to get the attention of social media users who are looking for small businesses just like yours. Before you post on Instagram or tweet anything, take a second and think about how you want your audience to react to your post and what hashtags you can use to get new eyes on your brand. That way, more new users and loyal fans will interact with your posts and boost your engagement.
This article has been adapted from an original piece by Caroline Barker.