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The Power of Hashtags: Boosting Your Social Media Reach

Jailyn Glass, marketing manager at Perfect Afternoon
Jailyn Glass

There’s a reason that hashtags have been prevalent for over a decade on most social media platforms: They increase the reach and visibility of your social media content, often driving users to end their posts with one in addition to hopping on a trend.

Origin of social media hashtags

Let’s start with the basics. What are hashtags, and where did they come from? Hashtags are words or phrases preceded by the pound symbol (#) used to categorize and organize content on social media platforms. Their origin can be traced back to 2007 when Chris Messina proposed the idea on Twitter for group-related conversations. Since then, hashtags have become ubiquitous across various social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn, as powerful content discovery and engagement tools.

The role of hashtags

Hashtags have a two-way job regarding social media from content visibility catalyzer to increased community activity. They make the content more discoverable as it’s easily searchable by users who find the pertinent topics or themes. The hashtags also assist in the more accurate delivery of content closer to its audience, which is a targeted one, so the material should be close to their interest and preferences. Hashtags also add to the communal character of Twitter and exhibit dialogues by grouping people who want to listen to what other people have to say regarding any certain topic or event.

How to boost your company’s social media reach

This symbol has evolved to amplify messages. Including hashtags in your social media posts can increase your account’s impressions and reach. Users search hashtags for posts about conversations they want to learn more about, which allows your posts to appear in search results. So now, users who weren’t previously following your company on social media can find posts based on the hashtags used for the posts associated with them. 

Additionally, you can search hashtags for content ideas while monitoring social media. It allows you to see what is currently being discussed and how many users are using whichever hashtag you decide to research. 

Researching effective hashtags

Crafting a successful hashtag strategy begins with thorough research and analysis. To identify relevant and trending hashtags for your content, consider the following tips:

  • Research platform-specific practices: Understand the nuances of each social media platform and tailor your hashtag selection accordingly.
  • Use hashtag research tools: Leverage tools like Hashtagify, Trendsmap, or Sprout Social to discover trending hashtags and gauge their popularity.
  • Analyze hashtag performance: Monitor the performance of your chosen hashtags using built-in analytics tools or third-party platforms to refine your strategy over time.

The example above shows our team using the hashtag #INBOUND23, signifying HubSpot’s annual convention in Boston. As this is the official hashtag for the event, it was fitting to use.

By staying informed about trending topics and audience preferences, you can ensure your hashtags resonate with your target audience and maximize your content’s reach and engagement potential.

Best practices for using hashtags

When it comes to using hashtags effectively, quality rules over quantity. Here are some best practices to keep in mind:

  • Optimal hashtag count: While there’s no one-size-fits-all approach, aim for a balanced mix of hashtags—too few may limit your reach, while too many could come across as spammy. We recommend using 2-3 hashtags per post.
  • Diversify your hashtags: Incorporate a blend of popular, niche, and branded hashtags to broaden your content’s reach and relevance.
  • Promote branded hashtags: Create and promote branded hashtags to amplify brand visibility and encourage user-generated content.

Hashtag & content strategy

Integrating hashtags into your content strategy is essential for maximizing its impact and resonance. Here’s how you can seamlessly incorporate hashtags:

  • Content categorization: Use hashtags to categorize your content, making it easily discoverable to users interested in specific topics or themes.
  • User-generated content campaigns: Encourage user participation and engagement by creating branded hashtags for campaigns or events, fostering community and collaboration.

By strategically integrating hashtags, you can enhance your content’s visibility, engagement, and overall effectiveness in achieving your marketing objectives.

Measuring the impact of hashtags

Robust measurement tools and metrics are essential when evaluating your hashtag strategy’s effectiveness. These tools allow you to track the reach and engagement of your hashtags, providing valuable insights into their impact on your audience. You can see how your social media posts perform. Meta Business tracks how your posts perform on Facebook and Instagram. 

Use hashtags for your social media posts

The next time you craft a post or launch a campaign, try using hashtags to amplify your social media presence. Learn more about Perfect Afternoon and how we can help with your next social media project.

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