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How to Use Hashtags to Increase Your Reach on Social Media



It's likely that you've invested considerable effort in your social media marketing. However, the challenge lies in making your posts distinguishable amid the vast online content. With a staggering 95 million daily posts on Instagram alone, leveraging hashtags becomes crucial for optimizing your content's performance across various social media platforms.


This guide aims to enhance your comprehension of the significance of hashtags in social media. It will provide insights into choosing the most suitable hashtags for your brand and offer strategies for effectively incorporating hashtags across leading social media platforms. Without delay, let's dive into it!


What Exactly Is a Hashtag?


You've likely encountered the symbol "#," known as the pound sign to Baby Boomers, Gen Xers, and Millennials, especially on telephones.


In the 21st century, hashtags have taken on a new role. Now, you can label social media content using hashtags, allowing other users to explore a compilation of related content when they click on the hashtag. Simply prefix the # sign to the words you wish to use.

For instance, if you're a shoe retailer, you might apply tags like #skateshoes or #formalshoes when sharing images of those particular types of shoes.


Why Incorporate Hashtags?


Hashtags not only enhance the user experience but also assist brands in broadening their reach. Tweets with hashtags, for instance, garner twice the engagement compared to those without.


While hashtags originated on X, they are now ubiquitous across nearly all social media platforms. In fact, integrating hashtags into your overall social media strategy can effortlessly boost engagement by 21%.


Choosing the Right Hashtags for Your Brand Hashtags should be tailored and distinctive for each business, and it's crucial to adhere to this principle. For example, a shoe business wouldn't want to create confusion by using the hashtag #veterinarymedicine in a Tweet about a shoe sale.

Some individuals mistakenly believe that inundating their posts with popular yet irrelevant hashtags will enhance their reach. While this may yield short-term benefits, if your hashtags are not at least loosely connected to the content's subject or theme, you might risk alienating and perplexing your audience.

Therefore, the most effective hashtags are those directly related to your industry, product, and target audience. Additionally, hashtags can be employed to succinctly convey your business's principles and values, with some brands choosing to incorporate them into their social media profiles.


Choosing the Right Hashtags for Your Brand


Hashtags should be tailored and distinctive for each business, and it's crucial to adhere to this principle. For example, a shoe business wouldn't want to create confusion by using the hashtag #veterinarymedicine in a Tweet about a shoe sale.


Some individuals mistakenly believe that inundating their posts with popular yet irrelevant hashtags will enhance their reach. While this may yield short-term benefits, if your hashtags are not at least loosely connected to the content's subject or theme, you might risk alienating and perplexing your audience.


Therefore, the most effective hashtags are those directly related to your industry, product, and target audience. Additionally, hashtags can be employed to succinctly convey your business's principles and values, with some brands choosing to incorporate them into their social media profiles.


Discovering relevant hashtags is made easier by observing the ones utilized by other businesses in your industry. On various platforms, the auto-fill hashtag feature facilitates this process by generating related hashtags automatically when you start typing even a portion of a word or phrase.


For instance, during the post creation, entering #shoes prompts many platforms to generate associated hashtags automatically.


Utilizing Hashtags on Your Social Media Platforms


Each platform has its own set of best practices regarding hashtags, although there are some consistent rules across most platforms:


1. Hashtags should be one word.

2. Numbers are allowed.

3. Spaces are not allowed.

4. Special characters are not allowed.


Let's explore how you can employ hashtags to enhance your visibility on the most common social media platforms.


Instagram


While you can include up to 30 hashtags in each Instagram post, it's not necessarily the most effective use of your time or the hashtag function.


A practical guideline is to limit yourself to no more than a dozen hashtags per post. There are various approaches to using hashtags on Instagram.


First, you can put hashtags in your profile description

The second place to put hashtags is in your post itself. All you have to do is use the # symbol in your caption, followed by the tag you want to link to.


Finally, you can add them to a comment on the posts you create. If a user is looking at your Instagram from a desktop, they will see this comment. However, if a user is on a mobile device, this comment will be hidden and only accessible if someone clicks “View all comments.” 


A strategy to implement this approach is to employ our Social Poster tool to pre-schedule the comment, ensuring it appears simultaneously with your post. This allows you to schedule all your comment hashtags when you initially create your posts. Currently, this feature is exclusive to Instagram, but keep an eye out for updates!


Facebook


Although Facebook provides the option to incorporate hashtags, they are not as widely embraced as on other platforms.


The effectiveness of hashtags on Facebook remains a subject of debate. While some experts and business owners argue in favor of their impact, others believe that their influence is limited.


Given this uncertainty, it's prudent to use your time judiciously by restricting hashtags on Facebook to just one or two per post.


X


X is the originator of hashtags and arguably the most prevalent platform for their utilization. Nevertheless, employing hashtags in promotional Tweets can be delicate and may yield unintended consequences, potentially hindering the desired engagement.


As a best practice, consider using hashtags in Tweets that initiate conversations. This approach is more conducive to organic reach and fosters user engagement on social media.

For a straightforward approach, you can incorporate a hashtag within a sentence or place it at the end.


LinkedIn 


LinkedIn makes using hashtags a breeze. When you create a LinkedIn update (post), you can either add your hashtags directly to your content or click “Add hashtags” at the bottom of your post.


There is no limit to how many hashtags you can use; however, LinkedIn recommends no more than three per post


Remember that LinkedIn is a network for professionals, so make sure that your hashtags reflect the nature of the platform and don’t contain any inappropriate language. 


TikTok


TikTok, a platform enabling users to share videos with a maximum duration of ten minutes, has experienced significant user base expansion in recent years. Similar to other social platforms, TikTok employs hashtags to categorize content, facilitating easier discovery.


A distinctive aspect of TikTok is users' tendency to blend widely popular hashtags with more specialized or branded hashtags. This approach aims to attract a smaller but highly engaged audience. For instance, Nike might use hashtags like #FYP (For You Page, TikTok's curated feed) alongside #JustDoIt.


There are several methods to discover effective hashtags on TikTok. Firstly, analyze your competitors' strategies. Examine their most popular videos—the ones with the highest likes and views—and observe the hashtags they employed for that specific content.


The second approach involves exploring the hashtags used by your followers. For instance, if Nike aims to attract shoe enthusiasts to their TikTok feed, it would be wise to delve into their follower list and explore profiles. It's likely that these users generate content with both niche and popular hashtags related to shoes.


An alternative option is to initiate or participate in an existing and popular hashtag challenge. Hashtag challenges are essentially activities or challenges associated with a specific hashtag. Some users create challenges centered around dances, makeup, pranks, and a myriad of other themes, offering endless possibilities.


Finally, you can use the search bar to find popular topics being discussed on TikTok. TikTok also offers some of the most popular suggested searches you can browse to find more hashtag ideas.


Discovering and Organizing Your Hashtags


A highly effective method for identifying top-performing hashtags is to analyze the hashtags utilized by your competitors. Semrush Social offers the capability to delve into your competition's most successful hashtags, enabling you to incorporate them into your own targeting strategy.


Once you've identified the hashtags you want to employ, the Semrush Social Poster simplifies the process of scheduling your social media posts with the appropriate hashtags. This feature streamlines the management of multiple posts across various platforms, saving you time and effort.


Encourage creativity in your messaging. Seek out niche hashtags that directly address your audience's concerns or questions, fostering a connection with your brand even before they encounter your competitors.




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