Hashtags are anything but humble. At first glance they could be seen as a throwaway additive to chuck in at the end of your carefully crafted copy, but fail to utilise them properly at your peril. These versatile, reach-boosting, conversation connectivity tools are much more than they seem upon first glance.
We’re going to be looking at the Twitter account of bath and beauty brand @lushcosmetics but you can apply these techniques to your content on multiple social media platforms including: Facebook, Instagram and TikTok too!
1. Expand your reach on search
One of the most obvious uses for hashtags is to use them to connect with relevant people and attempt to expand your audience through search. Using hashtags that your target audience is likely to search for can get your content in front of more people who might potentially love your brand.
A prime example of this is when @lushcosmetics adds hashtags such as #AdventuresInBathing, #bathart and #bathbomb to tweets. This is entirely suitable for the brand and the business it wants to attract as Lush is famous for its visually explosive, highly indulgent bath bombs.
What hashtags would your ideal audience search for and interact with?
2. Join conversations
There are a number of conversations you might want to join. Jumping on relevant trending topics can aim to boost your visibility, but it is time sensitive. You can find trending topics on Twitter in the ‘What’s happening’ column on the right-hand side of your Twitter homepage on desktop. Select ‘Show more’ at the bottom of this panel, then select the trending tab to navigate to trending topics. Alternatively, select the magnifying glass symbol at the bottom of the Twitter app, then tap on the ‘Trending’ tab at the top of the screen.
Some conversations regularly pop up on certain days of the week, for example #GivingTuesday. Being aware of frequent topics to jump into is a good place to start with this.
Ultimately, as long as a hashtag makes sense for your business to join, you can jump into any conversation whenever is suitable to you. However, be sure to read threads and conversations before joining in. Twitter can be rife with sarcasm and double entendres, so make sure you do a bit of reading and research before awkwardly aligning your company with something you’d wish you’d checked out first.
3. Start conversations
You don’t have to wait for someone else to start a hashtag to get a conversation going. If a conversation doesn’t appear to have a hashtag currently in circulation for a topic you want to talk about, reignite a lost hashtag or start an entirely new one. Just make sure that if you’re using multiple words in a row that it’s easy to distinguish the topic and you don’t end up with a hashtag you later regret.
4. Bring out your playful side
Hashtags don’t always have to be about reaching new people and getting a message out there. Sometimes they are the perfect excuse to humanise your brand through humour. The occasional pun or joke can grab your audience’s attention and gift your followers a giggle. If it’s going to get more eyes stopping on your content and perhaps even interacting with it, this kind of hashtag can indirectly support your quest for business growth.
5. Stand with a movement
There have been several movements around the world and in today’s age we can see, share and stand with these movements online. We saw this happen in a huge way in recently years with the #BlackLivesMatter movement, with a significant amount of high profile voices, brands and businesses aligning themselves with the movement by joining the hashtag.
Lush is extremely vocal in advocating for social change and this is reflected in the hashtag use and conversations Lush contributes to. #PassTheEqualityAct is one of the several movements @lushcosmetics aligns itself with.
Not every business looks beyond its own company when creating content, but if you choose to align your business with particular movements, social change and political opinions etc. using hashtags helps you join the conversation and publicly shows your brand firmly taking a stance.
6. Share your company ethics
Company policies, morals and ethics, often drawn up in a manifesto, can permeate your presence on social media. Depending on your business and what you choose to stand for, this could cover a wide array of topics.
Lush is a brand against animal testing and shares this regularly through hashtags such as #VeganSkincare and #VeganHaircare.
How can you share what your company stands for by reiterating a hashtag that reinforces this in the minds of your followers?
7. Celebrate holidays
Popular hashtags that circulate each year revolve around global, national and local holidays. Often this will coincide with business advertising campaigns, making it the perfect opportunity to integrate hashtags into your content copy. You don’t have to stick to just 1 hashtag either. Many brands hashtag the name of the holiday alongside a brand-specific hashtag relating to the day and the holiday with the year added. This covers a lot of places people might be searching for content about this particular day.
8. Celebrate milestones
If you’re coming up to a company anniversary, a certain follower count or a major event in your company story, add a hashtag to share the celebration with your followers. This can help your audience feel like they are a part of your success as a business and it allows them to voice their support in celebration with you.
9. Group content together
Regularly, brands will hashtag their own brand names to make it easy for people to find their content. When a person searches on social media, they may come across hashtagged content alongside or before finding a business profile. Adding brand-specific hashtags can help you get found without solely relying on your profile coming up in search.
10. Track campaigns
If you’re looking to push a product, service or event and you’ve developed an advertising campaign, it is imperative to integrate a hashtag into this campaign. This allows you to track a campaign on social media and get insight into content and context metrics which may help shape its success. It also gives the public a way to comment, share and communicate with your business and each other about the campaign. By using Minter.io you can view the demographics of the contributors of the hashtag, other hashtags associated with your chosen hashtag and information about the types and amount of engagement on tweets with your hashtag. With this knowledge, you can adapt and evolve your approach as necessary.
It’s also a good idea to track metrics across all your social media content. When you do this, you can see the hashtags that are most effective on your social media content.
Get the most out of your hashtags by tracking them with Minter.io - the analytics tool for your business on social media. You can track individual hashtag campaigns and view the best performing hashtags across your social media content. You can even track your competitors too!
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