Hashtags: When To Use Them & When To Lose Them

In the social media world, hashtags are a useful tool to brand and categorize your posts. Hashtags can be used to identify a particular type or category of content, brand a specific campaign, and ultimately get more impressions and engagement for your content. When used properly and strategically, they can be a helpful tool to help you curate your content and grow your audience. But just like you put in the time to plan, develop, and execute your content strategy, you want to make sure to put in some time to plan the hashtags you’re using to tag your content as well. Using hashtags is one of the best ways to get your content and business discovered by new audiences on social media. Here’s a few recommendations for how to know when to use hashtags and when to lose them.

When To Use Them

The key to using hashtags strategically is making sure that they are relevant to the content that you’re sharing. This may seem obvious, but when you see trending hashtags, it can be tempting to use those on your content, knowing that a lot of users are thinking about and interacting with those hashtags. But, unless it’s relevant to your business and content, and it makes sense for your business to be a part of that conversation.

In addition to relevancy, using hashtags that are location-based are a great way to attract and engage with an audience near your store or place or business, or in a specific market you’re interested in. This makes your content more targeted and lets potential customers know where you do business.

When To Lose Them

On the other hand, when you’re reviewing your hashtags and developing a strategy, you want to avoid any hashtags that aren’t relevant or are banned on social media. Using these types of hashtags aren’t going to help your content get more eyes and engagement, and could potentially have a negative impact on how your content performs, particularly on Facebook and Instagram. Similar to keywords or key phrases with your paid search advertising, you want to use hashtags that are relevant.

It is also a good idea to avoid hashtags that could be too general or are used too frequently. Your content can get lost among the swarms of content using that hashtag, and just because hashtags are used millions of times doesn’t mean that potential customers are using or interested in those hashtags or keywords.

Hashtags are a great tool to use on social media to build your audience and increase your engagement, but only when used strategically. Doing your research on potential hashtags, and finding a good mix of popular hashtags and more targeted hashtags, that are relevant to your business and content is key to developing a sound strategy. Reviewing this strategy throughout the year, and tailoring your hashtags to different types of content that you share ensures that you stay up to date and continue to improve your relevancy and targeting through your hashtags.