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The Role of Hashtags in Digital Marketing

The use of hashtags in Digital Marketing is something known by everyone, but do you know how to get the most out of them in your strategy? To do this, we offer you this guide so you can learn how to use hashtags in your Social Media strategy effectively and obtain better results.

There are many questions that probably arise when you want to use hashtags in your Social Media strategy, right?:

What hashtags to choose for my brand? Where and how to use them? How many should I use? Where to find them?

The objective of this blog is to solve all these doubts, but before getting down to business, let's review and define the role of Hashtags in Digital Marketing.

Hashtags on Social Media

First of all,we should point out that each social network has its own specific characteristics, so it is important to differentiate them well. However, despite the fact that each social network has a specific way of displaying content related to the same hashtag and its own algorithms work in different ways, there are a series of generic guidelines applicable to all platforms.

Regardless of whether you decide to use existing hashtags or choose to create your own hashtag, take note of the following basic guidelines for using them.

Basic guidelines for using hashtags on social networks:

  • Use short and easy to remember hashtags.

  • Don't overload your post with too many hashtags. The appropriate number of hashtags will depend on the social network you're on, but in general, posts that contain 1-3 hashtags have much more impact than those that use many.

  • Make sure to use highly relevant hashtags regarding the content of your post.

  • Make sure the hashtags you use are also relevant to your target audience.

  • Check that the hashtags you use are popular.

  • Capitalize the first letter of each word, or the most important, of the hashtag to make it more readable: #HashtagsOnSocialMedia

  • Use hashtags to "spy" on your competition and detect interesting content related to your topic.

Use of hashtags on Twitter

As we have seen, using hashtags on Twitter can increase your engagement considerably. Of course, as long as you do not saturate your tweets with them.

- One or two hashtags per post is more than enough to achieve optimal results. If you also encourage participation in your tweet with a call to action that invites users to share, the impact could be even greater.

- In addition to allowing other Twitter users to find your content when they search for the hashtags you use, you should not forget that you can also search for those same hashtags and detect interesting conversations in which to participate.

- If you want to get a "plus" in your reach, use popular hashtags or those that are trending at the time. Remember that in the same application you have a section dedicated exclusively to it, the Trends column, where you can discover the famous Trending Topics, which are nothing more than the hashtags and/or terms that are being used the most at a given moment and in a certain place within Twitter.

How do Trending Topics work?

The Trending Topic are those keywords or hashtags (they may or may not have a “#”) that are being used the most in a specific time interval within Twitter. In other words, they are the terms that are being talked about the most at any given time within the social network and that are becoming a trend.

These trends are determined based on an algorithm that is responsible for identifying in real time the hottest topics of the moment, taking into account, mainly; the number of different users using the hashtag or term, the increase in the number of users who use it, the retweets that include it. However, these factors are just a few pillars that the algorithm takes into account when determining what is trending. It may also happen that there are several terms or hashtags related to the same topic and it is possible that the Twitter algorithm groups them under one.

Note: Trends on Twitter correspond to terms that become popular at a particular time versus topics that have been popular for a longer time. Therefore, you have to know how to take advantage of them and even, better yet, predict them in order to join the conversation and prevent them from going out of style.

In order to take full advantage of these trends, prior planning is essential. It is true that there are events that cannot be predicted, but we can anticipate special dates or events or popular events, globally or locally, that are normally talked about.

- Create your post calendar for Twitter and write down all those dates that have the possibility of becoming a trend and that you are interested in talking about. Of course, make sure that the topics you choose are relevant to both your target audience and your product or your sector.

- In addition, you can use external tools that can help you find those hashtags that are trending at any given time.

Use of hashtags on Instagram

Instagram is, without a doubt, the platform where these tags are most essential if you really want to see results in your posts and make a difference with respect to your competitors:

Using hashtags on Instagram will allow you to:

  • Reach your target audience more effectively.

  • Have a better reach and increase your number of followers.

  • Appear in the featured posts section, with its corresponding benefits.

  • Improve your engagement.

But, taking into account the importance of hashtags on Instagram, this is where you should take maximum care of how you use them and not leave it to chance. To do this, take note of the following tips to use them effectively.

How to use hashtags on Instagram effectively:

- Unlike other social networks, on Instagram we can, and in fact it is advisable, to use several hashtags. The usage limit is 30 hashtags per post. This does not mean that you have to use all 30 but it does mean that the ones you use, choose them wisely.

- Detect and use hashtags that are very popular, but always try to make them related to the theme of your post and your brand. This will allow you to appear in the search results for a few seconds, or hopefully minutes, with the activity that entails. But beware, do not abuse them as this can put you in the target of unwanted bot activity.

- Detect and use very specific hashtags of your niche (4-5). This type of hashtag does not have as many searches compared to the previous ones, but on the contrary, you can reach a very specific and relevant audience for your content. Also, while using the most popular hashtags you could have a few “glory minutes” in the search section, with these specific hashtags you ensure a longer dwell time.

- Combine popular and specific hashtags of your niche with your own hashtags, created by and for your brand, with which you can improve your branding and give visibility to a specific event, campaign or action.

- Use the platform's own hashtag search engine and when you do, take note of the hashtags related to it and use them as well.

Among the different hashtags you use, make sure you have hashtags related to:

  • The content of your post

  • The sector to which the brand belongs

  • The niche or target audience you are targeting

  • The brand itself

Don't forget about your competition! Find out which hashtags are used by brands similar to yours, how they do it and if they are having an effect on them. It is a very good way to get inspired and determine which of them could work for you. Make a good list of hashtags (in an Excel document, for example) that meet the above requirements and start using them in your strategy.

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