The Importance of Using #Hashtags to Drive Traffic

Hashtags expand your reach beyond just your immediate followers. By using hashtags, you can start, tap into, and engage with new conversations on social media. The more retweets, comments, likes, shares, etc. your social media marketing posts receive, the more visibility your brand will get. Hashtags allow social media sites and users to categorize content, in addition to making your social posts more discoverable.

If you know that your target audience is on social media, you need to be there too! However, there are literally millions of people that use social media who aren’t your target audience. Hashtags are also a great tool to help you weed out those people and tap into your target audience’s conversations. Some hashtags are more popular than others, so it’s important that you use relevant hashtags that fit your brand image. To figure this out, you need to do a little research to find out which hashtags are popular among the community you want to reach. Also if you are trying to create a new hashtag for your community to engage with make sure you keep it simple and obvious because people will not use hashtags that are long or confusing.

Another key element you need to consider with hashtags is how they are used on different social media platforms. Here is a guide to help you with your hashtag engagement on each social platform (statistics are provided by Buffer):

How to Use Hashtags on Twitter

Using hashtags on Twitter can give you a significant advantage. Individuals can see a 100% increase in engagement, while brands can see a 50% increase in engagement by using hashtags.

  • Tweets with 1-2 hashtags get twice as much engagement as those without them.
  • They also get 55% more retweets.
  • However, tweets that use more than 2 hashtags actually show a 17% drop in engagement.

Another fun and effective way to engage in hashtags on Twitter is to participate in Twitter Chats. Twitter Chats are public Twitter conversations around one unique hashtag that allows you to follow along and participate in the discussion. They are usually recurring and on specific topics to regularly connect people and their particular interests.

How to Use Hashtags on Instagram

Instagram uses hashtags to organize photos making hashtags a powerful way to increase the visibility of your posts and attract more followers. However, many people wonder, “How many hashtags should I use on Instagram?” The answer is that you can use up to 30 hashtags per post, but the optimal number of hashtags to use may depend on the size of the hashtag’s audience.

Instagram posts that use 11 or more hashtags tend to receive the highest interactions. However, it’s important to choose hashtags that are relevant to your content and audience. To do this, you can use tools like hashtag generators to help you come up with a list to use on your posts.

How to Use Hashtags on Facebook

It’s pretty clear that Twitter and Instagram are the dominant platforms for hashtags. So how does Facebook fit into the hashtag mix?

  • Facebook posts without any hashtags fare better than those with a hashtag.
  • This doesn’t mean you should completely abandon hashtags on Facebook–it’s best to test them with your audience first.
  • For example, a Social Bakers study found that using hashtags should not be the main worry, but rather using too many hashtags is an issue (just like on Twitter).

Facebook is still working on making their platform more hashtag friendly: You can search specific hashtags from your search bar, you can click on hashtags that originate on other services, such as Instagram, and you can compose posts directly from the hashtag feed and search results.

How to Use Hashtags On LinkedIn

Even the most professional social networks are using hashtags. A fairly new update on LinkedIn, hashtags are now tappable and lead to search results so that you can discover other posts with the same hashtag. When you add a hashtag to your post it will automatically be available publicly and you can also search for a hashtag to see public posts tagged with it.

  • Similarly to Facebook, you do not want to overload with hashtags–1 or 2 hashtags is plenty.
  • Because hashtag functionality is still new on LinkedIn, using or not using hashtags doesn’t seem to have a significant impact either way as of right now.

Ultimately if you are using social media to reach a specific target audience then you should be using relevant hashtags to get your #best results. Who knows, you might even discover key words that have the potential of going viral that will help your brand flourish!

Need help coming up with your own social media hashtags? Contact the social media industry experts at Slice Communications and we’ll help develop your social media hashtag strategy!

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