#Hashtags: Do They Still Work?
What’s the best thing you can do for your business on social media? Are hashtags still necessary to achieve increased awareness and engagement? The formula for a successful digital marketing campaign seemed simple enough: create interesting content, sprinkle it with a few relevant hashtags and voila, your content was on its way to being seen and clicked on by anyone who was following one of your chosen hashtags. Unfortunately, those were simpler times, and while it may seem more complicated nowadays, we’re here to help you make sense of it all.
Why New Algorithms are a #GameChanger
In 2016, Instagram and its owner, Facebook, decided to switch up their algorithms to prioritize posts “you care about first.” With the updated algorithms, the traditional chronological order of your followed content has been replaced by a prioritized order of content supposedly meant to “value friends and family first.” Both Facebook and Instagram did this in hopes to eliminate promotional content from their users’ feeds and timelines and replace them with posts directly from fellow social media friends and followers.
What does this mean for your business account? Your followers may not be seeing the majority of your content if they aren’t engaging enough with your posts. But don’t throw in the towel just yet. There are ways to choose hashtags that work to ensure your content is still gaining exposure.
Know Where They Work
While new social media algorithms are making it more difficult for the majority of your followers to see your content, if used correctly, hashtags can still have a positive impact on your business.
There is a certain standard that comes with using hashtags to generate engagement and reach. Knowing what hashtags to use is always helpful, but you should know where ten hashtags are ok, and where they’re not. On Instagram, using ten or more hashtags is considered normal. However, while abundance is socially acceptable on Instagram, you won’t want to use the same strategy on Facebook or Twitter. Although Twitter is considered the birthplace of the hashtag, the more condensed the better. Be careful that you’re not posting more than two or three on these platforms.
Your business’s reach and awareness only go as far as you allow them to, so Twitter, Facebook and Instagram shouldn’t be the only platforms you’re investing content and hashtags in. Luckily, all of these platforms have adapted to the changes the digital era has brought to social media and all currently support hashtags.
Since the early 2000’s, LinkedIn has been a hub for professionals of all trades to come together for networking and sharing ideas. While the goal of this platform may be more business-oriented than Facebook or Instagram, LinkedIn updated the usage hashtags. However, LinkedIn hashtags are used more to pull together relevant content, most of it being industry-related articles, blogs or other professionals. What does this mean for your business? Regularly uploading articles relevant to your company is a great way to make the vast professional community on LinkedIn aware of your product or service and connect with industry-specific thought leaders. Like Facebook, keep hashtags as concise as you can, limiting yourself to one or two hashtags per company update.
Another social platform that treats hashtags a little differently is Pinterest. As a growing platform, over recent years, Pinterest may be considered the second most visually inclined platform next to Instagram. Similar to Instagram hashtags, Pinterest hashtags are only clickable in descriptions. Keep that in mind when you are posting content to your boards, and be aware where you are placing your hashtags in your pins.
No matter if you are creating unique content or if you are reposting, hashtags are still a crucial component to ensure your business is being seen by the right people.
Know the Hashtags That Work
While keeping up with trends is important, contributing to the millions of #ThrowbackThursday posts won’t bring you reach and engagement. When trying to crack the code for which hashtags work, think outside the box. Be unique. Incorporate hashtags related to your company into social media contests, or make your own unique weekly hashtag as a chance to share content with your followers and give them insight to who your business is and what you do. At Appleton, we try to encompass our company’s culture in our social media using the unique hashtag #agencylife to highlight the exciting and fast-paced environment of being a marketing agency. Consistency is key, so once you choose a unique hashtag, stick to it and most importantly, get creative!
Do More Than Just Hashtag
Without a doubt, the best way to start reaching more of your followers is by interacting with them. Get your hands dirty. Dig into the comments and engage with what they’re saying about your content. If Instagram or Facebook notices a user interacting with a certain account, that account then becomes more prioritized than others they follow.
Social media can be a strong tool to incorporate into a digital marketing campaign if used correctly. However, it can be challenging to keep up with a medium that is constantly changing its algorithms, features and standards.
Need help stepping up your hashtag game? Appleton Creative is an award-winning, full-service online marketing agency located in Orlando, Florida. Appleton works with local, national and international clients to deliver custom content, persuasive online ads and expertly crafted campaigns. By implementing valuable and shareable digital content strategies, Appleton can create the perfect social and online marketing experience for your brand and audience. Your Internet advertising goals are worth a conversation: contact us at 407-246-0092 or firstname.lastname@example.org.