If you’re new to social media, you’ve probably noticed the use of a pound symbol with words after it. These are hashtags! So are #hashtag #401love and #yum. The use of hashtags is a way to collect similar content and also to grow followers for your social media channels.
How powerful is a Hashtag?
Twitter’s own research reports that “tweets with hashtags can increase engagement almost 100% (2x) for individuals and 50% (1.5x) for brands.” Hashtags can be a way to localize your post, (“Summer livin’ in #LilRhody”) or a way to assimilate yourself with like followers, (“What better way to grow a #SmallBusiness than with hashtags?”).
If your Instagram or Twitter accounts are public, anyone searching for a hashtag you used will be able to see your content. Using a hashtag (or three or four) will most likely increase engagement and increase the rate at which you accumulate more followers. Here’s more on how to grow your business with hashtags.
The most popular hashtags for various industries (for Twitter and/or Instagram)
1. If you blog about food, the most widely used hashtags are #instagood, #food, #sweet, #yummy, #instapic, #yum, #yummy, #instapic, #yum, #delicious, #fresh, #foodie, #hungry, #homemade and #foodgasm.
2. If you are in the restaurant busines, the following are great hashtags for your social media accounts: #food, #foodie, and #foodpic #dinner, #brunch, #breakfast, #tasty, #yummy, #delish, #nomnom, and #goodeats.
TIP => One of the best things about hashtags for marketing restaurants is that you can cater your hashtag to advertise what is special about your restaurant. #vegan #farmfood #organic #glutenfree
3. Let’s say your target market is local foodies in the Rhode Island area. Hashtags like; #buylocalri, #rifood, #richefs, #rhodeisland will help to localize your tweet or Instagram photo.
While hashtags will definitely contribute to the success of your post being seen, don’t overuse hashtags. Three to five is the general rule.
Once you have a list of hashtags, what can you do with them?
If you come up with a hashtag and want to know how many followers it has, Twitter is a good resource. Search the hashtag in Twitter to see how many folks and what kind of content you would be aligning yourself with. In Instagram, as you type a hashtag into your update, the number of other people who have used that same hashtag pops up on your screen, letting you know how popular or unique a hashtag is.
Five hashtag tools for learning more about hashtags
A search of Hashtags.org will help you to determine what hashtags are popular or currently trending. You’ll be able to find out what and which hashtags are already in existence as well as the analytics on when a particular hashtag is being tweeted most within a day. Hashtags.org also has a host of articles so you can brush up on your hashtagging skills.
Sometimes when you’re trying to think of hashtags to use to promote your business or to gain more followers, you want to know how different hashtags are linked. Hashtagifyme shows you the different links between certain hashtags and allows you to see how closely linked and how popular they are. If you’re posting about your recent summer beach trip, try searching #summerinRI and #ribeaches and see how they relate, and how many followers they have and how closely linked they are.
RiteTag optimizes updates for Facebook, Twitter and Google+ with the best possible hashtags for your post, then analyzes them to let you create a library of hashtags to use. To make posting and publishing easier, RiteTag has an option you can add to your web browser. Use it to schedule updates with your optimized hashtags.
Sprout Social has a tool for hashtag research. When you’re researching hashtags to use, it can be beneficial to see which hashtags are already associated with your brand.
Create streams on Hootsuite that include hashtags. Each stream can include a maximum of three keywords. By examining the stream, you can identify the frequent users of that specific hashtag and start tweeting them or retweeting them which will help to build more of a fan base.
The hashtag game can be a lot of fun! Think about what your potential followers want to see in their newsfeeds, then make a hashtag. You may not realize it yet, but #welovestuffies can go a long way!