Confused about hashtags or don’t know where to start?
Don’t worry, you aren’t the only therapist with those thoughts. We get so many practitioners asking us about hashtags, so we’ve decided to answer the most frequently asked hashtag questions, to help you use them successfully in your social media marketing. This will help to build your online presence, be visible and attract the right audience.
So, what is a hashtag?
“A hashtag is a keyword or keyword phrase preceded by a hash (#) (Digital Marketing Institute, 2021). We can “think of hashtags as a way to connect social media content to a specific topic, event, theme or conversation.” (Hootsuite, 2020).
Why do we use hashtags?
Let’s explore five reasons…
- Hashtags engage your audience.
Hashtags can communicate directly with your audience. Furthermore, they can attract your specific target audience. They can help people that are interested in your topic. By using hashtags you’re taking part in a conversation happening on that social media platform. This means that your posts are visible in those conversations. This can lead to greater engagement, boosting your brand’s social media engagement through likes, shares, comments, and new followers.
2. You can create or increase brand awareness
You can discover relevant content related to your topic. In addition to attracting new customers, it makes your brand accessible when people search. Creating a branded hashtag can be an effective way to promote your business and drive conversation. Hashtags are commonly used for creating a community amongst followers. You can follow our branded hashtag #TaLKSocial for lots of social media news, as well as tips and tricks!
3. Expands your reach
By increasing the number of people who view your content, you are getting in front of people outside of your network. On certain social media platforms, users can follow hashtags as well as other users, expanding their reach further. Using a few popular hashtags can be another way to help new users find your brand. This enables people who are not your fans or followers to find and engage with your content.
4. Draws attention and encourages interaction
Hashtags draw attention and encourage interaction because they have an audience who are already interested in the topic. Therefore, this potentially creates conversations and engagement. Hashtags are well known for connecting a community of people with a similar interest.
5. Monitor your competitors
By using hashtags, you can research your competition, which is extremely useful in business. You can analyse what is working or not working for your competitors and you can use this to inform your own content.
What platforms do we use hashtags on?
Hashtags first made an appearance on Twitter, but are now commonly used on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google + and Pinterest. So get hash-tagging on every platform!
What’s the difference between # and @?
@ is used to mention a person, business, page or event, where as a hashtag is related more towards a topic. E.g. @sltherapylondon #AchievingCommunicationPotential; @lkdigitalmarketing #TaLKSocial; @koalava #SocialMediaMadeSimple
How many hashtags should I be using on my social media platforms?
It very much depends on the platform, in most cases it’s better to use one or two (with Instagram being an exception). Don’t be too unusual with your hashtags, you want to use hashtags that people are looking for.
However more specific hashtags will lead to better results for your marketing than broad hashtags but this does depend on what your goal for the post is and who your audience is.
- Facebook: one or two per post
- Twitter: one or two per tweet
- Instagram: commonly up to 10, but it’s acceptable to use up to 30
- LinkedIn: a maximum of three
- Pinterest: one or two that are specific to your topic
- Google+: up to three hashtags
How do I find which hashtags to use?
- Look at what hashtags influencers or people viewed highly in your niche are using?
- Look at your competitors
- Use tools to search for popular hashtags and analyse trends, such as Hashtagify.me, Ingramer, or Flick
Do I need a branded hashtag?
Branded hashtags are helpful because they allow your audience to connect to your brand and view all of your content which can promote your campaigns. Branded hashtags can be your company name or tagline.
Examples of branded hashtags: #TaLKSocial #SocialMediaMadeSimple #AchievingCommunicationPotential #NRG
Is there anything else important to know when using hashtags?
- Plan a strategy that aligns with your goals and audience
- Use capital letters at the front of each word, to avoid any misinterpretations e.g. #TherapistsLife #TherapistsOfInstagram