Everything You Need to Know About Hashtags on Social Media

Hashtags or previously known as the pound key -  what are they and why do you need them in your social media strategy?

As we all know, social media is ever evolving and sometimes it may feel like there’s too much to keep up on. BNL Media Consulting is here to help you with your social media marketing and explaining the inner working of social media.

Take hashtags for example.

While having hashtags with your photos is important, what’s the point if you’re using the incorrect ones or placing them in the wrong spots?

In this blog post, we’ll share why you need to use hashtags, where to put them on photos and the difference between hashtags on different social media channels.

Engagement - What Every Account Wants

Hashtags are your bread and butter.

A post on Instagram with one or more hashtags averages 12.6% more engagement than posts without a hashtag. This is because a hashtag lets you category what type of content you’re uploading to Instagram and makes it more discoverable to others. So, when someone clicks on the hashtag, they’ll be brought to a feed with every photo ever taken using that hashtag.

When you’re hoping to boost your engagement, it’s important to consider what niche your content will be placed in and use hashtags relevant to that niche. Take Revelstoke, B.C. for example. A spot many locals are #stoked to go to and tourists love to explore. Because of the love for this city, a hashtag was created #Revelstoked. Currently, on Instagram, there are 31,000 photos using this hashtag and it’s growing every day.

Revelstoked Hashtag.png

There’s essentially a niche for almost anything you could think of. A niche for sharing photos of #WhatIEatInADay to #athomeworkout photos and videos.

The more specific the hashtag, the more targeted your audience will be. And with a targeted audience, there’s a higher chance of quality engagement.

At BNL Media Consulting, we believe there’s a space for everyone online. You just have to find your niche, search for relevant hashtags to that niche and then start posting!

Share Your Local Love

One of the best ways to increase your engagement on social media is by showing up locally.

Like we mentioned above, #Revelstoked is a great example of not only a niche but a geo-specific hashtag that will help locals or lovers of the city find the content.

If you’re a new business, geo-targeted hashtags are a great way to get known in your area. For example, if you’re a new business in Kelowna, we’d recommend you start off posting a handful of Kelowna specific hashtags on your photos.

#KelownaBC

#ExploreKelowna

#KelownaBusiness

#OkanaganLifestyle

#KelownaNow

#YourKelowna

#DowntownKelowna

#ShopKelowna

downtownkelowna hashtag.png

When you’re looking for geo-targeted hashtags, start by looking at your city’s account, then move over to popular local Instagrammers, businesses and eventually your competitors.

This will give you a good idea of what hashtags are showing up locally.

Instagram VS Twitter VS Facebook

While hashtags look the same on Twitter and Instagram, they don’t act in the exact same way when it comes to engagement and increasing your reach.

Let’s begin with Twitter, where the hashtag was born.

Most of the trending topics on Twitter can be followed through a hashtag. These work really well for sporting events, award shows and large news stories. Live tweeting has become a trend in this era of social media and having a specific hashtag visible lets people search and know you’re part of the conversation.

twitter trends.png

Moving over to Instagram, as we’ve mentioned before, it’s about showing up in your local scene, boosting your engagement and increasing awareness of your visuals and brand.

Unlike Twitter, there is no count limit, which means you don’t have to worry about only adding one or two relevant hashtags. The Instagram posts with the best engagement have eleven or more hashtags, resulting in increased engagement and reach.

And finally to Facebook, the one that got away.

While hashtags were growing in popularity on Instagram and Twitter, they started being used on Facebook, but it never stuck. Posts with hashtags received less interaction than those with hashtags. This may have to do with the Facebook algorithm that dictates what shows up on someone’s home page, compared to Twitter and Instagram where you will “see everything”.

In the end, hashtags on Facebook flopped and we’re not sure if they’ll ever make a powerful comeback.

Placement is Key

This is the question we always get asked... “Do I put the hashtags in the caption or in the comments?”

The answer is ALWAYS the comments! While a couple of specific hashtags in the caption is okay, you don’t want to bog down your caption into looking like a spam account. Instead, add a paragraph of hashtags into the first comment of your post after a number of …….’s.

This will create a “whisper” campaign for your hashtags. They’re not easily viewed, but they’re there and doing their job quietly.

Ready to get started?

Is your brain revving and ready to start creating? Contact BNL Media Consulting to discuss how to create a social media strategy that will allow your company to hit the ground running. You can’t ever redo a launch!

Research, professional advice and a strategy is a social media must!