Can you believe that 13 years ago hashtags didn’t even exist? It’s generally agreed that the first hashtags were used in 2007 and now they’re everywhere. In fact, social media is filled with hashtag conversations.
If you use social media then you’ve probably used a hashtag. They’re the lifeblood of Instagram and Twitter and are even growing in popularity on LinkedIn. Most people use them to simply tag their posts but we invite you to take a step further and explore hashtag conversations.
Why bother with hashtags?
At their simplest hashtags provide a way of categorising your social media content. Telling people what your posts are about.
This helps to get more people’s eyes on your posts because a lot of people will follow a particular hashtag. If you use that hashtag then you suddenly have a new potential audience who wouldn’t have been aware of your posts otherwise.
Simply posting with relevant hashtags is fine and will get you more followers but there isn’t really much point unless you’re also engaging with social media.
Don’t forget to get involved with your hashtags
So, people find you via the hashtags you use – now is your opportunity to interact with them.
To create a community you must engage: ask questions and demonstrate your expertise.
Social media is never about just broadcasting your own views and information, it’s about interacting and being social, and using hashtags is no exception.
“Getting involved” with hashtags doesn’t mean just spamming them in your own posts. You should also be using them to find and get involved with the conversations other people are having. You can use monitoring tools to keep track of the right hashtags and conversations for your business.
Read more on The Best Free Instagram Tools for Marketing.
Get in the habit of searching on a relevant hashtag every time you go into your social media. Then find something where you can add a comment. Your network and authority will grow in no time.
Which hashtag conversations should I get involved with?
Start with the hashtags you are already using. If you’re asking people to find you under a certain hashtag, you should probably be searching for other posts to comment on under that very same hashtag.
For example, if you’re sharing #SocialMediaMarketingTips, why not follow that hashtag and comment on the tips other people are sharing? Hashtags should be conversation starters, not just signposts.
Twitter chats are another way to get involved in hashtag conversations. These are a great opportunity to make new connections and demonstrate your expertise by adding your insights to the conversation.
People in Twitter chats are people interested in engaging. So you can make some really useful contacts who will engage with your content in the future. Just remember it’s a chat, not a sales pitch. Use it as an opportunity to expand your network and keep the sales for further down the line.
Good examples include #EcomChat for all things e-commerce and the regular chats about contact marketing with the hashtag #ContentClubUK. You can find plenty more with a Google search or by searching on Twitter for, you guessed it, #TwitterChat!
How to find good hashtags
Each niche has its own “best hashtags”.
For example, some of the best social media marketing hashtags are:
One of the easiest ways to find good hashtags is to take a look at your competitors. See what hashtags they’re using and then search on those hashtags to see if the content that comes up looks like a good fit for you.
Also, as you start to type a hashtag into Twitter or Instagram the search will autocomplete to provide suggestions so that’s another good way to find related hashtags and some of the more niche ones. Very specific hashtags will have a smaller audience, but you won’t get lost in the crowd. Don’t dismiss them as too niche.
And as always, experiment! Try a hashtag for a while, see what the activity’s like and how well it works for you. If it doesn’t seem very active or it isn’t connecting you with the right kind of people you can move on and try another one.
If you’d like more of a helping hand with how to make hashtags and hashtag conversations part of your social media marketing strategy, book a free digital marketing consultation and we’ll arrange a time to talk.