Hashtags have been around for quite a while now. Businesses have been leveraging them for almost as long as they’ve been on the scene. There’s no dispute that they’re an essential part of a successful social media marketing strategy. But when using social media for business, is it sufficient to add the first few hashtags that come to mind whether they’re relevant or not? No. That would achieve very little and, simply put, be a waste of time. Hashtags need to be carefully chosen to enhance your social media strategy instead of rendering it useless. What types do you have to choose from? Consider four main kinds that can be used for your business, as well as the advantages of each.
This category can include broad terms such as an industry name. Additionally, it could include common terminology, trends, the names of influencers and current or upcoming events. In other words, anything that a person would instantly associate with a specific industry. What are the benefits of using these kinds of hashtags?
Non-specific hashtags group your posts and tweets with others on unrelated topics. The result? Most likely, the majority of people searching that tag won’t really be interested in what you do…if they can find you at all. After all, the less specific the phrase, the more posts there are to sift through.
Being industry-specific makes you visible to people who’ve demonstrated their interest in your industry by searching a related hashtag.
Industry-specific tagging will allow you to reach a wider audience outside of just your friends and followers. You can join in on current discussions within your industry and encourage others to get involved in the conversation as well.
The most authoritative and well-known businesses in your industry are using industry-specific hashtags. If your relevant posts and tweets are grouped under those same tags, you’ll appear and become more credible yourself.
There are at least two subcategories within this category: Broad and specific. A broad location is just the name of a place such as #NewYork. This might come in handy, for example, if you were tweeting about being in town for a conference.
On the other hand, more specific tags add more detail. A commonly-used formula is #(place) + (profession) such as #bostonyoga.
When a tag falls into a broad category, you become visible to people with a shared interest in a particular location. These same people just might have an interest in your business too. Of course, this wouldn’t be a primary source of new leads, but it could certainly generate some.
If you go the specific route, you’re not competing to be recognized for a broad term in a large pool of others trying to do the exact same thing. In other words, you have to fight far fewer competitors for the attention of potential leads.
Trending hashtags are those that are currently popular. They don’t stay “in” forever, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. When used wisely, they can give your social media marketing strategy a short-term-boost. That is until you get on board with the next trend.
Those that keep up with the latest social media trends may not yet be aware of your business, but they may be interested. Using hashtags that are, in some way, relevant to or appropriate for your business can allow them to find you.
It’s worth mentioning the words “relevant” and “appropriate” again. Just because it’s trending doesn’t mean it’s a good choice. Something that makes no sense in relation to your business will confuse your current followers and fail to attract new traffic from interested people.
On the other hand, if you choose wisely, you’ll show your current followers and new potential social media leads that you know their interests and what matters to them.
Just as the name implies, these hashtags are your very own creations and align with your brand. You could use your business name, a catchphrase you create, the name of one of your campaigns. The possibilities are really endless. And what are the pluses of doing something like this?
Suppose that you throw in a custom hashtag among several non-branded ones. If people find you via any of those others, the customized one is likely to be the most memorable. Because it’s uncommon, it will stand out. That could spark a person’s interest and cause them to explore your social media account further.
Additionally, you can encourage your followers to use your custom tags when referring to your business. If they do so, they’ll be making their followers aware of your business.
You have an opportunity here to think outside of the box and show some personality. Doing this will create an air of enthusiasm and excitement around your brand.
Distinguish your business. In creating a tag that’s unique and customized for your brand, you set yourself apart from the competition. You make it known that you’ve claimed a place in your specific industry and that you’re enthusiastic about what you do—on and off of social media.
As outlined above, each of the four main types of hashtags has its own, desirable rewards. Do you have to choose just one type, though? No. In fact, it’s best to use more than one. When combined, they can help you to achieve specific business and marketing goals.
Does that mean that you’re locked into using all of them, then? No. Some may not provide a high enough ROI in your particular case. Others simply may not align with the goals you have. That’s to be expected.
Therefore, you should determine what types make the most sense for your business and contribute to the success of your marketing strategy. Those are the hashtags that are the most valuable.