How To Use Hashtags To Boost Your Social Media ReachUpdated on November 14, 2022 in Marketing by Alifiya Mustafa
Social media entered our lives as a medium to connect with our friends and family. However, if we look at it now, it’s highly used as an effective marketing platform.
Social media channels like Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and others have become an incredible way to reach a wide variety of audiences.
All eCommerce business owners need to know is the correct way to leverage this brilliant key to unlock the incredible possibilities of reaching your target market.
One such precious strategy to boost your social media reach is to make use of HASHTAGS. Yes, this mini ‘pound’ sign holds exceptional power to control the complicated metric of creating a strong presence on social media.
I know how hard and heartbreaking it is to find your eCommerce business not growing despite the constant efforts of running ads and campaigns on Facebook and Instagram.
But now, it’s time to give your eCommerce business the success it deserves. In this article, I’ll be telling you exactly what you need to do with hashtags to anchor social media and slash your way towards success. So first, let’s start with the basics.
What Is A Hashtag?
In my words, a hashtag is an easily ignored, underestimated symbol popularly known as the pound (#) sign.
It is a powerful small symbol that can be used as a prefix to any relevant keyword, enhancing the keyword’s power to catch the users’ attention and ultimately spreading awareness about a brand, business, or trend.
If one uses the hashtags in their social media posts, they can be found easily by the people who are looking for that same keyword.
It happens whether or not the searcher is your fan, follower, or even if he knows about your existence or not.
Why Hashtags Are Important?
Hashtags have been through changes a lot, especially the Instagram hashtags. But one thing has remained constant, the importance of them.
Be it the hashtags for Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Without the use of these, it’s nearly impossible to reach the social media public.
Before we dive deep, let me give you an example. Let’s say you’re an ambitious baker. You bake daily and post the images of your baked goods daily on Instagram. You’ve just begun your career and got not enough followers.
If you don’t use the hashtags with your keywords like #baking or #cakesforsale, how do you expect your target audience to find you when they search for such words.
On searching, they’ll only be presented with the results that include their searched word.
Instagram can’t analyze what’s in your image and show it to the people interested in cakes. You need to let Instagram know what you’ve posted using words, i.e. #keywords.
Hence, communicate with social media so that it can further communicate the same with users. And the language to communicate with social media is Hashtags.
Use hashtags to describe what your posts or images are about.
I hope you now have a little more understanding, importance, and respect for them.
Hashtags for platforms like Instagram hashtags work by categorizing the posts based on the hashtags used.
Instagram hashtags then present those posts when looking for those similar keywords.
Hashtags don’t only help when the users look for them. As Instagram hashtags are organized, such social channels promote those posts to the people who might be interested in them.
For example again, if a user is interested and following the pages related to food, then the other posts that have used hashtags like #foodlovers, #desserts, or #foodtrends are shown to those users as a suggestion to like or follow.
Let us look at this post. It has more than 13K likes and can easily be found on Instagram if someone searches ‘Chocolate’ – (I did it as it was what I was thinking about writing this blog post!)
This post has beautifully used the relevant hashtags to make sure that the people interested in cakes, chocolates, or desserts find it easily.
Wonder if you’re a chocolatier using all these hashtags. This definitely puts you in the game. The image surely needs to look amazing, but what’s the point if none can find it?
So far, we can say that:
- Hashtags are the words to let social media know what your post is about
- These improve your reach to the audience who are interested in the keywords you use
- Using them helps you get promoted and recognized by the people who have never known you
- When relevant hashtags are used, you have a chance to beat your competition and grab the audience’s attention.
How Do You Use Hashtags Effectively?
Knowing all this brings us to our next question – How Do You Use Hashtags Effectively? And that’s a tricky one!
Being an online business owner, you must be aware of your competitors. Though not many are enlightened about the power of this symbol, a lot of eCommerce business owners are still anchoring them smartly.
Thus, it’s important to understand how you use hashtags in a way that reaps great results.
Remember a few things:
- You can’t use special characters, spaces, or symbols in hashtags. However, numbers can be used.
- You can use as many as 30 in a post and 10 hashtags on Instagram Stories
- When private profiles tag posts, they won’t appear on hashtag pages publicly
- You can’t tag other user’s photos or videos. You can only add hashtags to your own posts.
Once you fix your basics, here are 5 tips that can help you use Hashtags effectively to up your social media reach game.
#1. Trust the suggestions
If you’ve ever tried using Instagram hashtags or for any other social network, you must’ve seen a series of hashtag suggestions as soon as you type in #something.
Focus on the number that you see against each hashtag. These numbers indicate how many people have been using it and looking for it – that’s the reach of that particular hashtag.
This means that the higher the number, the better the reach of that hashtag.
It would be smarter to choose the hashtag from the suggestions rather than creating your own (something that no one is looking for).
Though, it might be possible that the hashtag you’re using is in trend too. But always go for the one that has the highest reach – because anyways, anything that brings you the engagement is welcome.
#2. Know your target audience
Before you take over any marketing strategy, it’s important that you know your target audience.
The easiest way to know your target audience is to create your buyer personas and perform customer segmentation.
(‘No what are these?’ I hear you shout. I would’ve explained it here but this article is going too long anyway and I got no mood to move off the topic (Sorry). But thankfully, I’ve written about it already in detail😀. So, once you’re done with this one, do click on the links attached to understand the concepts better👍)
Also read: How to Determine eCommerce Target Market & Target Audience
Beating any words against hashtags isn’t going to find your audience. Your target audience will determine what keywords you must be using.
Use the keywords that your buyers are searching for most. These must be relevant to your business and what your buyers are looking for.
#3. See what your competitors are using
Your ultimate goal is to beat the eCommerce competition. It’s important to find out what your competitors are doing to stay ahead of the game.
Remember, no one owns any hashtags, so don’t be shy if you’re required to use what others are using.
Just make sure that they bring you the engagement. It should be a mix of both that exclusively relates to your business and something that your buyers are interested in too.
Keep a close eye on their top-performing posts and contents. See if you can use any relevant strategy in your future posts.
#4. Don’t make it long and complicated
Well, this one’s a no-brainer. You don’t need to unnecessarily elongate your hashtags.
Don’t include too many words or complicated words. Keep it simple and easy to read and understand.
Hashtags simply need to be something that your shoppers will search for in their daily life. No one’s going to search for ‘wearable items’ when they can simply write ‘clothes’…Right?
So, it’s highly important that you keep it simple and not complicated. Use the words that the users would use normally.
#5. Use some good hashtag tools
You don’t always need to hassle to dig deep and find those chosen keywords.
I did some research already, and what I found is that luckily, there are some great tools that can help you find the most trendy and effective hashtags.
Tools like RiteTag and Hashtagify.me help you find the correct hashtags relevant to your niche.
Later is another hashtag suggestion tool that suggests the best and most trendy hashtags for what you’re typing.
These tools work wonderfully in making sure that you’re using the most effective and searched hashtags for your niche.
Top 60 Hashtags You Must Know
Hashtags have been with us for a very long time now. Many have become outdated, many have recently joined the list, and some have become evergreen.
When I was researching for this hashtag article, I came across a few that you must know.
No matter what your niche is, you can always find something from this list to include in your marketing campaign and use hashtags for likes.
Here is the list of currently trending (UPDATED) as well as widely used hashtags of all time:
60 Trending and Most Effective Hashtags
What Are The Different Types Of Hashtags?
Knowing and understanding the different types of hashtags is the mantra to developing an effective hashtag strategy. Let me break it down:
1. Campaign Hashtags
Campaign hashtags are the shortest living. You use these just for a few days, months, or a year at max.
You can come up with campaign hashtags according to the trend. Trends come and go easily, and to keep up with trends, it’s crucial that you keep pace with them.
Once the trend is gone, the hashtag loses its credibility and you should start replacing it with what’s then trendy.
The reason Campaign Hashtags are short-lived is that they’re usually created to promote a new launch, special event, offer, or something popular.
For example, if you’re running any offer on holidays then you might use #holidayoffer or #christmasoffer but may not continue it once the time is gone.
2. Community Hashtags
Community hashtags are targeted towards a community of people that shares similar interests.
Using these improves the searchability of your posts, boosts your social media reach, increases followers, and builds community.
For example, PixelPhant being a product image editing service provider use #photoeditors #graphicdesigners #artlovers.
There are 9 different types of community hashtags that might concern you:
1. Product or service
2. Industry based
3. Social media communities in your niche
4. Indicating special events or occasions
5. Hashtag with emojis
This one might be rare but it’s mostly used like #🐶 #☕ #💖
6. Locations based
7. Hashtag with acronyms
#ootd #lol #l4l
8. Daily hashtags
#mondaymotivation #funfriday #wednesdayvibes
9. Phrase or short message relevant
#bebold #savenature #keepcooking
3. Branded hashtags
A branded hashtag is exclusive to your business and used when you’re using Instagram business or Facebook for business.
These brand specific hashtags are used to increase brand awareness and promote your products or service.
Not necessarily you use the name of your business, but you may use a hashtag that relates to your brand identity.
It is not available anywhere and you basically create it.
For example, if your business name is YumVegan selling vegan food, then you may create something like #eatyumvegan or #yumveganforlife.
Once you create your brand hashtag, I’d highly advise you to promote your hashtag as much as possible. Encourage your customers to use it in their posts on Instagram, Twitter, and wherever possible.
You may also run some competition or offer that demands your customers to use your hashtag to get some benefits on their future purchase.
This strategy is also a kind of User-Generated Marketing Strategy that helps you improve your brand visibility, credibility, and makes your business more popular and fun to deal with.
I’d suggest you use a mix of all hashtags to increase your reach. Trending hashtags on Instagram, photography hashtags, and other popular hashtags must be included.
Make sure that you’re using the those that the people would use, and when they find you, they find you relevant.
Now that you know everything about the hashtags, I hope you’ll be able to develop the EXACT hashtag strategy that can take your business from a noob stage to a pro-level.
(If you don’t I’d suggest you re-read it!)
Before I leave, I wou;d just like to address the most usual question that you might have in the end.
‘How many hashtags do I use?’
Well, that depends on which social media platform you’re using, and what type of post you’ve created.
If you’re writing a post on Facebook or Twitter, then no more than 5 to 7 are required.
However, if you’re posting an image on Instagram – Use as many as you can! Yes, you are free to use even all 30 hashtags if you want.
I know this sounds crazy but it’s true. And, you can always bring changes in how you run your hashtag strategy campaign. If something doesn’t work – change it.
Do things differently, follow the trends, read my blogs, and trust me – you’ll be fine.
Thank you so much for reading this blog post till the end. If you liked it or have any questions, do leave a comment and I’d be more than happy to come back to you.
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