by Anna Lynn Houk
The word “hashtag” is a word or phrase preceded by the symbol # that classifies or categorizes the accompanying text. Hashtags are used on social media websites and applications to identify digital content on various topics.
Every day Instagram, Twitter and Facebook are overflowing with posts about any topic, product, and service you can dream of. You need a way to make your content stand out, and to amplify the reach and visibility in order to be noticed.
Hashtags can also be tools for users to find the specific content they are looking for. So if you have used the right hashtags, they will bring your intended audience directly to your content! As an example, if a person searches #goldenretriever on Instagram, the search will return all of the posts that have been tagged with that hashtag and the user will be presented with an innumerable number of cute doggie posts, including the content you posted, to scroll through.
So, now that you have learned how to maximize the reach of your content by the use of a hashtag, you want to take into consideration that the most popular hashtags are used by millions of people each day and it can still be difficult to get your content noticed. So, you probably want to narrow down your audience to those who are interested, more specifically, in what you are marketing.
So in addition to #goldenretriever you might add a few more hashtags to your post, like #mobilegrooming and #dogwash, to get your content in front of folks looking for a good dog grooming service. These more specific hashtags are called “niche” hashtags. Niche hashtags are basically the hashtags that are popular within a small community or niche but don’t have as many followers as the trending hashtags. These hashtags are followed by people who are interested in that niche. Therefore, they can help you reach a much more relevant audience.
The number of hashtags you use on a post depends on the platform that you are using. Some experts say that Instagram posts with 11 hashtags perform best. On Twitter, it is recommended that only one hashtag be used. It has been reported that on Facebook, posts that have one hashtag that is six characters long perform the best. These trends also seem to change over time so it is important to do some research about what is trending before you post your content.
Let’s say for example you have a blog post on your website about the importance of regular grooming for pet health. You can add that blog post to your social media page and tag it with all the appropriate hashtags. You would also include a link to your post. The hashtags will help your target audience find your post, and once viewing the post, they will be more likely to visit your website via the link. Visitors may have never even considered or had the opportunity to visit your website if they had not been directed to your social media post by the hashtag.
The use of hashtags can be a tool to build your brand. You can get creative and give your brand a unique hashtag and then use it as a theme for all of your social media posts. An example of this might be #cleandoghealthydog for your dog grooming business. The idea is that the hashtag would become as identifiable on social media as your brand itself. Then, any time the hashtag is used your brand is tagged!
As we have outlined above, if you are able to appropriately utilize hashtags within your social media marketing, you will likely have positive results. You will ensure that you are engaging with the right audience, networking with like minded people and businesses, increasing traffic to your website and increasing your brand recognition. #usehashtagstotargetaudience
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Anna Lynn is Marketpath's Marketing Project Manager. She received her BA in Communications and Public Relations from Purdue University. With a diverse background in education, business management, marketing and adminstrative support, she brings multiple and varied talents to the Marketpath team. She enjoys spending time with her family, she loves animlas and is an huge supporter of both her daughter's equestiran competitions and her son's auto racing.
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