Hashtag Truths – Everything You Need to Know About CORRECTLY Using Hashtags for Business Social Media Pages
There is nothing we love more at Jumping Elephant than an INCREDIBLE hashtag used for a business post. Why do we love them so much? These simple little ‘pound signs’ have become one of the best ways to drastically increase your digital marketing reach on business social media pages, and offer an incredible opportunity to connect and increase your engagement! Why wouldn’t we love them?
Hashtags are an easy and efficient way to improve your business pages, but there are rules you need to follow and certain guidelines that should be acknowledged before going #hashtagcrazy. Not sure if you are using hashtags for business correctly? Here are your #HASHTAGTRUTHS and everything you need to know about using hashtags for business social media pages so that you can succeed!
Where to Use the Hashtag
When it comes to the time and place to use hashtags for business, there are some platforms that are better than others. Why? Every platform targets a different demographic, and depending upon the audience and usage of the platform, hashtags may or may not increase your reach or engagement. For example, Buffer.com found that tweets that used hashtags received 2 times more engagement than those tweets without hashtags! They also found that “interactions [were] highest on Instagram posts with 11+hashtags.” So what platforms should you be using hashtags on and how many should you use? Of all the many social media platforms, it is recommended to use hashtags consistently on:
- LinkedIn – using 3-5 hashtags per post
- Instagram – using 15-20 hashtags per post
- Twitter – using 2-5 hashtags per post
- Facebook – only use 1-2 if it is a trending topic or branded social media campaign
Using the Best Hashtags for Business
When you make a post, story, or tweet, it is CRITICAL that you use only the best and most relevant hashtags. Not sure what we mean by ‘relevant’ hashtags? Let this conversation between Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake guide you!
Ok ok… maybe not to this extreme… but at least they aren’t simply using hashtags like #life, #fun, #hi, and #food – they are using hashtags that are relevant to the conversation! The same should be done with the posts you share on social media. They need to be RELATED to your business, brand, services/products, and company while also adding trending hashtags that will help to reach an even wider audience. According to AdEspresso by Hootsuite, it was found that having even 1 hashtag on your post could increase engagement by up to 12.6%! Think of what you could do with 10 RELEVANT hashtags!
Need an example?
If your business is a massage clinic, you can use #massage, #relaxation, #massagetherapy until the elephants come home, but unless someone is specifically following or engaging with those hashtags, audiences won’t likely see your posts. On the OTHER hand, if you start also using hashtags like #momdeservesabreak, #spaday, #treatyoself, #localbusinessyyc, #workhardrelaxharder, #christmasgiftidea, #workingmomma, #massageyyc, etc. THEN you will reach a wider number of users who may are likely to be interested in your services and even give you a follow!
How to Find the Best Hashtags for Business
Now that you know the types of hashtags you should be using for your business posts, stories, and tweets, it is time to start searching! The best way to find hashtags for business is to use a technique our herd likes to call ‘going down the rabbit hole!’ Here is how it works:
- Search a hashtag relevant to your business (ex. #softserveicecream)
- Look at the popular posts using that hashtag and see what other hashtags they use (ex. #iscreamforicecream)
- Click that hashtag and look at the other hashtags popular users have used with it (ex. #sunsouttonguesout)
- Click that hashtag and look at even MORE hashtags that users are using (ex. #summerdaysnacks)
- Keep going!!
Continue ‘going down the rabbit hole’ until you have collected a document FULL of hashtags that are relevant to your business! This is the best way to find those trendy, popular, fun, and business-related hashtags that people are engaging with!
BONUS TIP: The number of uses of a hashtags depends on the type of hashtag. For super niche hashtags, fewer is fine because those using it are VERY targeted. However, for broad hashtags like city-specific ones, find more popular hashtags that more people are using and therefore more people are searching. And since we are avoiding super generic ones like ‘sun’ – don’t worry about the multi millions… people are using them but rarely searching them.
Hashtag Rules – DON’T MAKE THESE MISTAKES!
Although you can literally add ANY hashtag you want (again, we recommend only using the best, most relevant ones!), there are some platform-specific algorithms and rules that need to be acknowledged. If these mistakes are made, it can lead to penalization, meaning that your post will be less likely to be shared on newsfeeds and your engagement/reach will drop. How do you avoid getting penalized? Dodge the following mistakes:
- Using banned, overly generic, or spammy hashtags (ex. #like4like, #love)
- Using too many hashtags (Instagram will actually delete your content if you accidentally go over the 30-hashtag limit)
- Using the same hashtags every time (Instagram will penalize you if you use the same hashtags for every post – branded ones included!)
- Using bots to comment on posts (especially those comments that include hashtags and appear as spam)
Take care to avoid these common mistakes so that you can avoid getting shadowbanned! Not sure what that is? As defined on Hubspot, “Shadowbanning is the act of blocking a user’s content on social media sites, in such a way that the user doesn’t know it’s happening. If you’re shadowbanned on Instagram, your content won’t appear on anyone’s feed unless they already follow you.” Pretty much a marketing nightmare! But if you avoid the mistakes above, you won’t need to worry, because you will be the star user that all platforms want to help succeed!
Now that you know all of the #hashtagtruths, it is time to get out there and start filling your social media posts with the FINEST hashtags that will increase your audience reach, boost your page and post engagement, and get your business seen!
Not confident in finding the best hashtags for business? Thankfully we are slightly obsessed with hashtags (and not just because they look like waffles!). Our herd has our 150 Hashtag service to ensure that you will get the most AMAZING hashtags to use throughout your posts! Send us a note and let’s #getourhashtagon!