Hashtags are more than just another gimmick the kids have come up with to keep you forever confused on social media. When used properly, they can cause your content to stand out, explain the content of your posts, showcase your brand, and inspire your audience to #takeaction.
How to Use Hashtags to Stand Out and Grow Your Business
There are tons of hashtags out there you can choose from, but not all of them will work wonders for your business.
Many businesses make the mistake of spamming their own content with dozens of hashtags that fail to promote the content and do nothing for their brands.
You can do better; follow these tips instead:
- Create a Unique Hashtag for Your Brand or Business
Why not? You want to stand out, don’t you? Create a hashtag that captures something central to your business like customer care, original thought, or story telling; and then tag your posts to make them instantly recognizable.
Just be sure to follow these 3 best practices:
1. Make sure that the hashtag is not already in use and does not already have a totally different meaning.
2. Make sure your hashtag cannot be read in a different way that leads to a different meaning. For example, #Nowthatcherisdead can be read as Now Thatcher is dead or Now that Cher is dead. Oops!
3. Keep it short. #Sentencesdonotmakegreathashtags
Ideally, you can come up with a hashtag that is clever, relevant, and easy to remember.
- Go with the Trend
On social media, the trend is your friend. Not only do they make your marketing timely, they also expose you to a huge number of people who are actively engaged in a conversation about a particular topic--in order words, hot traffic!
Trends don’t last however, so you have to remain on top of what is trending in order to ride the wave before it ebbs away. Luckily, platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram make it easy to follow these trends by highlighting daily trending hashtags.
Once you come across a trend that ties in well with your business, quickly tag it on a relevant post and highlight your business before thousands of engaged social media users.
- Join in the Conversations that Your Customers are Already Having
It’s all well and good to post great content and talk about your business. But communication is a two-way street--what are your customers saying?
Hashtags are an easy way to listen in on the people who matter to your business so that you know exactly what matters most to them at that moment. For example, if you run a restaurant and discover that #healthyeating is trending, you can quickly create a post on the benefits of healthy eating and engage your audience.
- Don’t Shy Away from Asking Your Customers to Take Action
At the end of the day, you want your audience to take action, either in the form of shares, clicks, retweets, and so on. There are lots of action hashtags that can help you do this. A good example of such a hashtag is #ShareACoke which Coca-Cola uses to encourage people to use Coke as a way to connect with people in their communities.
Best Hashtags to Attract Customers to Your Business
- Local Hashtags
Best for businesses with a local presence, because hashtags like these expose a business to customers nearby. Examples include:
#NYCfitness #LAphotographer #Bostonbraider etc.
- Action Hashtags
Hashtags like these work well for businesses that run a service. Examples include: #LearnSEO #LearnToSwim #getoutofdebt etc.
- Bragging Hashtags
These hashtags help to highlight products and businesses that have lived up to expectations--for example: #bestseller #toprated #customerfavorite, and so on.
- Promotional Hashtags
These present a great way to usher in promotions going on in your business. For example: #summersale #Bostondeals #specialdiscount, etc.
- Descriptive Hashtags
Turn your generic product or service into something customers understand, by using descriptive hashtags. For example, a business that renovates kitchens can use the popular hashtag #Kitchenrenovations to attract a relevant audience towards its posts.
- Custom Hashtags
If you really want to stand out, you needed to come up with a unique hashtag for your business. Branded hashtags let followers become familiar with your business and converts leads into customers. The best examples in the world are: #ShareACoke (Coca-Cola) #JustDoIt (Nike) #PutACanOnIt (Red Bull).
- Charitable Hashtags
If your business gets involved with charities and causes, you can use hashtags to inform your followers. Examples of charitable hashtags include: #donateblood #Support #RandomActsOfKindness #CancerAwareness, and so on.
- Relatable Hashtags
These hashtags attract an audience because they resonate. For example: #OnlyIn[Your City] #Mondaysbelike #thatfeelingwhen
It’s time to stop posting random tags that don’t help your business. When used correctly, hashtags can become a marketers best friend. There are literally tons of hashtags you can use to take your social media activities to the next level.