Updated: Apr 14
Hashtags are short words with a giant impact. Research reveals that posts with relevant hashtags can get many times more engagement than posts without hashtags.
These little phrases let social media users know that a piece of content relates to a topic or category they’re interested in. The purpose of using hashtags is to help your target audience discover your content.
Hashtags are an essential piece of your social media marketing strategy.
Since hashtags drive traffic to your profile, they are an essential piece of your social media marketing strategy. To help you get started, we’ve put together a guide.
Keep reading to find out how you can use hashtags to elevate your small business.
1. Choose Hashtags Based on Density
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Hashtag density refers to the total number of posts a hashtag has. The higher the density, the higher level of competition for a specific hashtag.
It also determines the chances of being seen by your target audience.
High Density: Over 1 million posts — has a lot of competition, difficult to rank high for these hashtags.
Medium Density: less than 500,000 posts — has lower competition and easier to rank high.
Low Density: less than 50,000 posts — too specific and less visible than other hashtags.
Where’s the middle ground when it comes to reaching your target audience?
We recommend using a combination of both medium and low-density hashtags. This tends to be a sweet spot for many small businesses.
Using both medium and low-density hashtags tends to be a sweet spot for many small businesses
Now, let's talk about the specific types of hashtags you should incorporate.
2. Use Niche and Custom Hashtags
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Here’s what you need to know about the main types of hashtags:
Niche hashtags are used to connect your brand to a specific audience. Essentially, using these hashtags makes your brand visible to people who will most likely engage with your business.
These types of tags are useful for small businesses that want to be seen by a large audience.
For example, if you’re honing in on fitness enthusiasts, the tag #ExerciseRoutine might be too broad.
However, something like #VirtualKickBoxing or #VirtualTraining will attract an audience looking for a specific fitness-related topic. Doing this will narrow the search results and give you a better chance of discovery.
These tags are unique to your brand. They can be your slogan or a phrase that aligns with your business.
The purpose of branded hashtags is to allow your audience to interact with your brand
Branded hashtags can also be connected to specific products, services, or marketing campaigns. The purpose of branded hashtags is to allow your audience to interact with your brand.
Source: Instagram/ homebyheena
Event hashtags are used to drive attendees to local retail locations and other businesses. It also helps to boost engagement.
3. Don’t Over Use Hashtags
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As we've learned so far, hashtags are powerful tools that can get your brand noticed. But using them too much can have the opposite effect. Research has shown that going overboard with hashtags could cause less audience engagement.
According to Social Baker data, using 10 more hashtags on Facebook resulted in significantly fewer interactions from followers.
And even marketers at Mention agree that less is more. They found that using one or two hashtags yielded the most interactions.
To ensure you use the perfect number of hashtags for each platform, we’ve made a quick cheat sheet:
Twitter: Because of the low character count requirement, use no more than 2 hashtags per tweet.
Facebook: No more than two hashtags — one medium-density hashtag and one niche hashtag specific to your brand.
Instagram: This platform permits up to 30 tags. However, a sweet spot for small businesses is between two and nine hashtags. Hashtags are extremely important with Instagram Reels.
LinkedIn: There are no limits for hashtags on this platform, but we recommend using no more than five tags. Otherwise, the LinkedIn algorithm could flag your posts as spam.
4. Keep an Eye on Trending Topics
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Trending hashtags are topics people are currently buzzing about. They’re usually centered around major news stories or viral content.
You can use this hashtag to contribute something valuable to the conversation. If your post is generic, it’s going to get lost in the sea of other posts.
If you use a trending hashtag, be sure to create something interesting. People will more than likely share a genuinely informational post. And the more shares, the greater brand awareness.
If you use a trending hashtag, be sure to create something interesting
To find trending hashtags, take a look at Twitter's “Trending Now” column. This will give you an idea of what people are currently talking about.
When you spot a hashtag you want to use, go through some of the top tweets and identify how you can add value to the conversation.
5. Build Communities and Encourage Engagement
You can use hashtags to target and interact with a specific community to grow your brand’s visibility. You can also build a micro-community with your own followers.
An example of this would be Lululemon’s #TheSweatLife. Lululemon started a community that encourages fitness lovers to relax, recharge, and connect through exercise. More than 1 million people have used this hashtag and shared how they stay active and live a healthy lifestyle.
To find community-oriented hashtags, research which hashtags your target audience is using when they mention things related to your brand.
Also, you want to give your audience a reason to use your hashtag. For example, you can have your followers use a hashtag for a chance to have their posts reposted.
6. Test and Monitor Hashtags
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If you have a business profile, you can see how effective your hashtags are. You can use this data to enhance or improve your hashtag strategy to get more views and post clicks.
You also analyze hashtag performance with websites like Hashtag.org, Trendsmap, and Hashtagify.
It’s crucial to continuously track, experiment, and test which hashtags attract new followers and garner profile visits.
7. Create Engaging Hashtags With AI
Hookle AI Smart Content Suggestion
If you’re a busy business owner, staying on top of posts and creating effective hashtags can be a challenging task.
Hookle generates AI-powered posts with hashtags, and publish them to all your channels in just one click
Not only does Hookle generate AI-powered posts with hashtags, but it also takes your social media strategy up a notch by publishing them to all your channels in just one click. Plus, Hookle's hashtag manager feature makes it easy to remember and add frequently used hashtags to your posts.
With the help of AI, you can save time and effort in coming up with effective hashtags and focus on creating quality content that resonates with your followers.