Why hashtags are more important than you think

So, I’m sure you’ve all seen the ever-present # (hashtag) sign in social media posts, maybe you even use them yourself, but do you really know what that symbol does—or could do for you?

A hashtag is a symbol used on social media – it makes it a hell of a lot easier to filter information and posts with a theme that contains specific content, it’ll look something like this: #socialmediamanager #bloggerlife #smallbusinesstips

Hashtags are used on most social media platforms. They first made an appearance on Twitter in 2007, but have since been added to Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn etc.

Anyone sharing content on a relevant topic/subject can add hashtags into their captions or comments – whoever is searching around that particular area will get exposed to posts that have used the correct hashtag. This means more reach for you and your brand on social media, I like to think of it as free advertising.

I know what you’re thinking – why am I even reading this, I know all about hashtags and what they do. Well I’m here to tell you that you probably don’t… sorry! It’s a common practice to just whack in a few popular hashtags into your posts and BAM you’re finished. As unfortunate as it is, this method will never get you the reach and engagement that you deserve and will simply get lost in the constant flow of posts being uploaded to social media every second – do you want your brand to stand out?

If you’re looking to really give your brand that edge and show people that you know what you’re doing then you really need to be optimising, personalising & researching your hashtags for each post. More on this later!

Hashtags have so much power in social media and most people don’t even realise it. They can be the key to your posts reaching your target audience, or even going viral! The possibilities are endless and all it takes is a bit of time and research – you’ve got this!

A niche-related hashtag will help you reach your target audience and connect you with like-minded people in your industry – but don’t be fooled, this doesn’t necessarily have to be the most popular or trending hashtag, in fact, in most cases you’ll want to be using non-popular hashtags!

Now, you’re never going to find one perfect hashtag that brings you all the reach and success that you’re looking for. It’s best to create a pack filled with multiple different sets of hashtags that you can use on your posts and stories. Try to fully optimise and research them as best you can – more on this in a minute!

Like I mentioned earlier, how you use hashtags can be the make or break of the success of your brand on social media. It’s all about how you use them to your advantage. They can land your content on the Explore Page on Instagram, increase your reach by thousands, increase engagement etc. All of these factors will not only boost your ranking in the Instagram algorithm, but it will also boost your brand awareness. If you’re selling either a service or product online, chances are a good pack of hashtags is going to bring in a lot more customers over time.

Hashtags can be generalised or very niche (specific). The best practice is to experiment and be consistent with your hashtag usage. If #smallbusinessowneruk doesn’t drastically increase your reach after 1 post, don’t give up on it! They can take a while to vent through your channels and catch the right kind of attention.

Don’t forget to check your analytics. It’s crucial to know what’s working or worsening your social media campaign. You don’t want to continue using a hashtag that no one is following, but you also don’t want to use a hashtag that everyone is following. I know, contradicting myself right?

The key is to find that sweet spot that is perfect for your channel. Over the many years that I have worked in social media I have only just devised a hashtag strategy that I can honestly say is almost flawless (let’s be real, nothing is perfect). Use a combination of research and analytics to find a mix of popular, semi-popular and niche hashtags that fit in well with your niche and your target audience.

A lot of people will tell you to either use a small amount of hashtags, or hide them in the first comment of your post – apparently they think it looks clogged up and unprofessional. I have to completely disagree, if you want to take my advice then use all the hashtags you have available to achieve the maximum reach possible. On Instagram this will be 30 tags per post and 8 tags per story. Regarding posting your hashtags in the first comment of your post, that actually used to work, but unfortunately mr.algorithm doesn’t like that anymore, it’s better to just dump them all at the end of your caption – trust me!

So that’s a very brief look at how hashtags are more important than you think, with a dip into how best to use them and research them. If that’s all gone over your head and you’re thinking ‘I wish someone could just do all this for me so I can boost my channels’ then you’re in luck! Click here to buy my fully optimised, personalised & researched hashtag sets – I personally use my refined and (almost) flawless hashtag strategy to find the best tags for you to use. I aim to provide you with your sets via email within 1 business day!

Alternatively, if you’re looking to learn a bit more about my strategy and boost your own skills (to either use on your own channels or offer as a service if you’re a VA/SMM) then feel free to click here and book a call with me and you can pick my brains about anything & everything!

If you’re just generally lost and you have no idea what I’m on about, that’s also okay – we all have to start from somewhere! If you’re looking to understand more about the new Instagram algorithm and how you can use it to boost your ranking to then increase your reach and engagement, click here to access my guide!

You’ll all get there in the end, it takes a lot of hard work and dedication to learn the ins and outs of social media but I believe in you all! Now go out with your new knowledge and make some great hashtag sets!

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