Updated: Jan 8, 2020
Easy hashtag strategy for small businesses
You’ve noticed all your friends and contacts are going crazy with hashtags. Indeed! They are incredibly popular these days. But you are not sure yet how to implement them in your marketing strategy to promote your business? The following tips will help you to make clever use of them.
What are Hashtags exactly?
Hashtags are a word, or group of words after the # sign
Hashtags first appeared on Twitter in 2007. They enable to aggregate content and conversations under a limited character space. Nowadays hashtags are everywhere on social, you meet them on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, but also on Facebook, Linkedin, Youtube… When you click on a hashtag in a social post, you can see a list of all other posts also using the same hashtag.
Hashtags have become a powerful tool to reach your target audience, attract followers on your social media platforms, develop your brand image, boost engagement and even improve your SEO.
An Instagram post generates 12.6% more engagement with at least one hashtag.
Start with a Hashtag strategy
Getting the right list of hashtags for your business will take some time and research, and a bit of strategy will surely contribute to gain followers and ultimately generate leads and sales.
Experts recommend to use a right combination of different categories of hashtags to maximize your publications performance. You should identify a list of about 15-20 hashtags for each post:
5-7 very popular Hashtags, with over 100k to 500k related posts (but not over or your post might be immediately invisible). They can be trending and seasonal hashtags like Halloween, Christmas, Easter, Mothersday, spring, winter, summer, holidays, motivationmonday….
3-4 “niche” hashtags, with less related posts but targeted to what your business offers (industry), your audience. Try to think like your potential customer.
1 or 2 branded hashtags, unique to your company name or your campaign’s motto. Keep it short and easy to spell (example for Nike #justdoit), consistent and unique, and use it on all of your social sites.
It is crucial, all hashtags in your list are relevant with the content of your post, so you might want to prepare several lists, one for every type of content or product you are posting.
What is the “magic” number of hashtag I should use?
Generally speaking, do not use too many or you will look “spammy”.
On Instagram: 10 to 15 Hashtags, separated from the content (at the end)
On Twitter: 2/3 hashtags inserted in the text (280 characters limit)
On Facebook: 1 or 2 per post, preferably your campaign or brand hashtag. Note that hashtags with 10+ characters see more engagement.
On Linkedin: 4/5 in your company page updates + Add them in your profile summary (to be related to them)
On Youtube: add 1 or 2 Hashtags in the title of your video
On Pinterest: at least 4 hashtags at the end of your pin description
Where can I find ideas of Hashtags for my business?
There are many ways to search and find inspiration and pick the most relevant hashtags to help you promote your business:
List of trending Hashtags for 2019
Look for a specific hashtag in the search results and check the related hashtags that are suggested. You have an indication of the number of posts using each hashtag.
Check which hashtags influencers, followers or your competitors are using on their profiles.
Click on the “search” icon. The “trends for you” section displays a list of trending hashtags, tailored according to your industry or who you follow. When you see a trend that relates to your business, engage in it by using the tag (you must be quick to imagine your post).
You can also type and search a specific hashtag and posts related to it.
Also have a look on Facebook (enter your hashtag in the search box).
On other dedicated tools (attention they are not all free)
Hashtagify.me is one of most popular. You get suggestions of related hashtags and other metrics about each hashtag.
Ritetag (only for Twitter and Instagram) gives you insights on related hashtags, their number of tweets/retweets per hour and a useful list of suggested hashtags just for Instagram.
On Tagboard you can search for hashtags from Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Instagram, and Vine (paid service).
And of course, follow the hashtags you are using (including your own brand or campaign hashtag), other’s content is a great source of inspiration.
Final tips for a successful hashtag strategy
Test new hashtags regularly (to attract new followers).
Keep handy lists of hashtags (for each product/subject) on your mobile (in the Notes for example, or in an email) to be able to post effectively and quickly.
Once you’ve started to use Hashtags, it is important you monitor their performance. Keep a spreadsheet with your main and most effective hashtags. Sort them by topic, popularity, “trendiness” and effectiveness with YOUR audience (in terms of likes, comments.). For Instagram you can use apps for hashtags analytics such as Iconosquare, Sprout Social or Tailwind.
Remember social media marketing is a fastmoving environment. There is no sustainable recipe for success, and what works today may well be a fail tomorrow. So you must never stop to experiment, test, track and adapt your strategy accordingly.