When it comes to content marketing, you’ll continually hear over and over again how important social media is. And it’s true, especially for small businesses! But to just “be” on social media isn’t going to help you.
Hashtags, can. Utilize hashtags that will get your social media posts seen – it’s something every business SHOULD be doing.
Social media hashtags are used across several platforms, but the most common are Instagram and Twitter. We’ve seen Facebook and LinkedIn both utilize hashtags as well, but they are not as commonly used on there.
Great! Let’s use them…but how?
With an endless number of hashtags you could be using, how can you choose the best hashtags? Better yet, how can you research hashtags to ensure you are using the right ones to promote your business?
Best Tools to Research Hashtags
When it comes to searching hashtags for a particular post, there are many tools you can use. Some may be better than others, but they all serve one purpose – to help you narrow down the best hashtags.
However, whatever tool you decide to use or if you choose to use a combination of some tools (which is what we do!), be sure that you select specific hashtags to align with your social media strategy.
1. Use the Individual Platforms
This might seem like a no-brainer, but the platforms you are using, whether it be Instagram or Twitter are going to give you ALL hashtags possible in real time. Instagram specifically offers “Related” hashtags as you begin to search on select hashtags.
The “Related” hashtags are a great way to see similar hashtags users are using in addition to the one you’ve just searched.
On Twitter, check out the “Trends” section on your account. That will show you different hashtags or phrases that are trending. There are common hashtags that trend weekly based on your industry to look into.
But also, beware! While Instagram and Twitter can show you all the hashtags they have to offer, it can get overwhelming.
If you’re looking to narrow it down by industry, theme, or phrase – use one of the tools below.
2. Keyword Tool
We love Keyword Tool for a few different reasons. First and foremost, there are multiple benefits to Keyword Tool not only for social media. You have the ability to search for keywords that will help you with search engine optimization.
Going back to social, you have the ability to find the best social media hashtags related to a term or phrase. Plus, this tool allows you to see the number of corresponding posts within that hashtag.
This is a great way to search a popular hashtag being used, but also to see additional hashtags that include that phrase or term. This is very helpful as large hashtags are often modified slightly to create a new group of posts that will actually be seen!
*Insider tip* – Hashtags that have over hundreds of thousands of corresponding posts are great, however, the more often they are used, the quicker it is for your post to be bumped from being seen! Aim for hashtags with 50k to 500k in corresponding posts.
Keyword Tool has a paid “Pro” version to see a larger number of hashtags. If you aren’t looking to invest in just one tool, connect with an agency like us as we have a social media marketer who can come up with a hashtag list that works for your social media strategy.
3. All Hashtag Generator
This is a newer hashtag generator that we’ve been playing with lately. I will say that it takes a little bit of work after you have searched for hashtags, but they take into account three factors – top, random, and live.
Top hashtags are hashtags that are the most commonly used – but can have millions of corresponding posts.
Random hashtags are just that – random.
Live hashtags are hashtags that are being used right now, so it can be a mix of commonly used and not commonly used.
One thing I have noticed with this generator is that it is not necessarily finding the best social media hashtags for your social media site instantly, but it is giving you tons of hashtags that you can use within the platforms themselves to see how they are doing.
4. Instagram Hashtag Generator
Take your hashtag research to the next level with the Instagram Hashtag Generator. This is a great tool to search for hashtags related to a specific image – because you can upload one!
It generates related hashtags and niche hashtags. You can also upload a specific Instagram URL or a keyword.
This is one of our favorite tools! There is so much opportunity within this generator and I like that it also takes into account hashtags that utilize emojis. This one is specific to Instagram, but I do think you can modify it to work for other platforms.
- You get 30 hashtags per post – use them!
- Use relevant hashtags
- Include 1-3 branded hashtags, 1-5 location-based ones (if your business is location-based), a few generic ones that relate to your industry, and make the rest specific to your post
- Engage with hashtags you are using
- Random hashtags that DON’T relate to your post can hurt you
- Hashtags that have over 1 million corresponding posts won’t benefit you as much as a hashtag with 50k-500k
- Utilizing the exact same hashtags for every post can actually hurt you if they aren’t related to that image.
- Use 1-2 hashtags per post
- Posts have a short life span, so trending hashtags are really important to use if possible
- Use your character count wisely by using hashtags within your post versus afterward
Wondering how to increase #Instagramengagement with hacks that actually work? Here are 11 tips that will help you get more likes, comments, and views on @Instagram that your brand may be missing. https://t.co/yHh1XBQDOK pic.twitter.com/PfHSgqZMs1
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- Using more than 3 hashtags can be “spammy”
- Branded hashtags aren’t as important here unless you are starting a conversation or live streaming an event. Save the space for relevant tags.
Other Social Platforms
Now that we’ve shared our favorite tools for finding the best hashtags for Instagram and Twitter – what about other platforms?
To keep it simple, hashtags on Facebook are most commonly used when it comes to a hot topic or a brand. Like other platforms, hashtags are clickable, so users are able to see posts within that hashtag if they are public long-after a hashtag has been used.
Hashtags on LinkedIn are becoming more and more popular and are similar to that of Twitter. Keep them related to the post versus branded and utilize them within the text so that it flows smoother.
Pinterest is another common one our clients often bring up, but just as a reminder, Pinterest is a search engine more than it is a social platform. It is also smart enough to identify #digitalmarketing as “digital marketing”, so it is not as necessary to utilize them.
How will you use social media hashtags?
Take your hashtag game to the next level with these tips for researching hashtags. By implementing some of these tips, you’ll be able to drive traffic from your social media site to your website content.