14 years ago the hashtag was born on Twitter. Since then it’s been, frankly, an often overused and poorly executed tactic for brands trying to grow quickly on social media.

The truth is that hashtags can damage a marketing strategy. So what’s the deal?

Use the full allowance of hashtags on Instagram?

Include the most popular hashtags to reach as many people as possible?

Save a list of the best hashtags you can find to copy and paste consistently?

Use the same hashtags on Facebook and Instagram?

The truth is that every platform should be used according to its unique purpose, and how hashtags are utilised, if at all, is important.

Here’s some thoughts for you on Hashtag Day…

+ Relevance!

What is the purpose of your post and who’s it for? If you’re throwing hashtags like #love (2.1B posts on Insta alone!) into the mix then you’re certainly not going to see any notably impressive results. It also looks a little amateur and impacts brand perception.

Our advice is to do some research and find niche hashtags that the people you’re targeting will likely choose to follow. (Did you know you can follow hashtags?)

+ Create your own

Maybe you run an annual event that you’re looking to grow year on year and build a community around? Expand the impact of the occasion itself by promoting the hashtag in the build up, encouraging conversation on the day itself, and continuing the conversation throughout the following months – ideally building year round dialogue. People can’t make it to the event? The hashtag creates an aggregated feed and allows the audience to grow from capacity crowd at the physical venue to an unlimited amount online.

Maybe you’re a fashion brand creating brand advocates through user generated content, or a B2B brand that utilises thought leadership at the heart of their marketing strategy… there are possibilities for any organisation to use a brand hashtag to their advantage.

+ Did you know there is a list of banned hashtags?!

It’s true. Use these and your content won’t even be fed into news feeds. (These aren’t just the obvious dodgy words!)

+ Keep it simple

Don’t think about how many you can or should use, focus on which one, two or three hashtags are key, according to each individual platform your brand is active on. Then monitor the engagement levels!

Is it hashtags that are niche to your geographic location or globally? Is it a hashtag that is relevant to your product or service offering? Give it some thought and keep it simple.

+ Keep it fresh

Got a list that you copy and paste every time? Get rid. We used to do it, everyone has done it, but you’ll be punished by platforms for doing it and we’d advise keeping your hashtags fresh, aside from any brand hashtag.

Hashtags have a place, but don’t be lazy! Give it some thought to ensure you’re gaining as much as possible.

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