Marketing for Small Businesses

4 Ways To Select The Best Social Media Hashtags

Hashtags have been a part of social media since almost the beginning. However, some people still don’t understand the value, know how to use of them, or how to choose the correct ones to add to your post.  Using hashtags requires research and consideration to get optimal discovery with your target audience. We have a couple of pointers on how to create a basic hashtag strategy.

What Are Hashtags?

A hashtag is a word or phrase preceded by a hash sign (#). It’s used on social media websites and applications like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to identify digital content on a specific topic.

Why Do We Use Hashtags?

Hashtags create content visibility, social media account discovery, and brand awareness. They also allow social media platforms to categorize your content to be featured on discovery feeds. It’s like the ultimate search within social media platforms. 

How To Select The Best Hashtags For Your Small Business:

1. Check the hashtag activity and make sure it’s being used now.

You can check the hashtag activity by going to your instagram search feature. Then, type in the hashtag you are looking for to see its activity or go to a competitors post and tap on a hashtag they have to see if its recent. You can also use a keyword monitoring tool like these.

2. Find a few that are regularly used by others in your small business niche.

To begin you will identify your specific business’ niche. If your niche is knitting you may want to look through your competitors posts to see the hashtags they are using. Examples would be #yarn, #knitting, #yarnstore #yarnstoreinmichigan etc. Then you will apply those hashtags to your posts (instagram allows up to 30). 

3. Use hashtags that are relevant to what your posts are about.

If you are posting about pet food for a pet food store, then you will want your hashtags to be relevant to that subject. You don’t want to have hashtags about human food or grooming. Those hashtags will not send the right customers to your posts or instagram account so they can check out your products. 

4. Use a combination of mid-sized and smaller niche tags.

To find what hashtags are the most popular, middle of the road and the least popular (this is sometimes what you want for the smaller niches) you can use tagsets.com. The more popular the hashtag sometimes the least likely your customers will be apt to find your business. To find the hashtags you will type in a certain word and it populates the hashtags associated with that word. Then you can choose the list that you want. It will list them from most popular to least by showing you the amount of times they have been used. 

You can create multiple lists of hashtags using this selection process and you will be more apt to catch the attention of those possible customers that are looking for that yarn, new marketing, or even pet supplies. Do your research. Try to make sure they are relevant to the subject matter you are posting about in that small business niche and make sure there is a combination of hashtags that are popular and not so popular in your posts. 

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