Social media marketing continues to evolve. Brands, influencers, and experts keep a close eye on the social media trends to adopt them and make the most of the opportunities.
Hashtags on social media have been around for years and carry a certain weight when crafting a successful social media content strategy — at least for most businesses and individual users.
A worth asking question is, does hashtag marketing matter in 2024?
Hold your horses – every social media tactic matters unless the platform drops the specific feature that kills that tactic once and for all. Are you ready to explore how to capitalize on this hashtag marketing opportunity? Well, grab your cuppa and keep reading!
Are Hashtags Still Relevant in 2024?
Hashtags are very much relevant in 2024 across all social media platforms if done right. However, the users who complain about the hashtags being dormant are the ones who perhaps don’t know how to use them.
Most of them either go overboard or only use highly-competitive, short hashtags.
All major social media platforms, such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, TikTok, LinkedIn, and Instagram, allow users to post or search content using hashtags. So, there has to be a reason behind this.
Anyway, if you have been ignoring hashtags altogether, then you’re probably missing out on a lot of engagement opportunities. It’s a shame that you might be limiting your social media posts’ reach by not using hashtags.
You’ll find social media experts, influencers, and entrepreneurs using their relevant hashtags on social media. Here’s an example:
Bogdan Vovchuk is a web entrepreneur and domain investor. He posted a tweet about his new project that he recently launched. Check out the hashtags he used in the tweet:
It’s a true testament to the whole idea of using fewer yet relevant hashtags on social media.
What is Hashtag Marketing?
Hashtag marketing, as its name suggests, is a marketing type that utilizes the power of hashtags across social media platforms to reach more people and improve content discoverability.
Hashtags could turn out to be an effective social media engagement tool if certain requirements are met. For instance, keywords-based hashtags are used, proper hashtag research takes place, and branded hashtags become widespread.
Before you dig deeper into hashtag marketing, it’s best to get familiar with hashtags. Hashtags are keywords that have the hash sign as a prefix, meaning the hash sign comes right before the keyword.
Social media users use hashtags to get more attention, reach, and visibility on social media platforms.
That’s how the idea of hashtag marketing popped up.
TikTok is one of the top-tier social media platforms that has been pushing users to use hashtags on the platform. When you upload a video on this vertical video platform, it asks you to add hashtags to your TikTok post.
Why is Hashtag Marketing Essential for Your Business?
Hashtag marketing has been around for years, and most businesses that have a significant existence on social media use hashtags in some shape or form.
Hashtag marketing is yet another effective way for businesses to harness the power of attention on social media.
Here are the reasons why hashtag marketing is crucial to your business:
i. Users follow hashtags on social media
Hashtags play a vital role in modern-day social media marketing if they complement the content and are used correctly. The goal isn’t to stuff the hashtags in your social media posts to reach more people and get more views. The purpose is to create relevance and target a specific audience.
Hashtag marketing isn’t something you’d hear every day. So, the fact that social media users can follow hashtags on social media might be astonishing to many, but this feature has been around for quite some time on Instagram and LinkedIn. And it may continue to evolve across other social media platforms too.
Following hashtags on social media platforms means these users can catch up on the latest content being shared on the platform using those hashtags.
Here’s an example:
LinkedIn allows users to follow the hashtags. They show up on the sidebar of the LinkedIn homepage.
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Also Read: How to Use Hashtags on LinkedIn in 2023
ii. The number of posts using the hashtags is public
Some social media platforms showcase the number of posts using a specific hashtag when you type in the hashtag and search for it.
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Instagram is one of those social media platforms that show you how many posts are using a specific hashtag across the platform.
Take a look at the screenshot below:
The #socialmediamarketing hashtag is being used by 23.8M Instagram posts.
It gives users an idea about the attention this hashtag is getting and helps them decide whether or not they should be using this hashtag.
It’s recommended to create a mix of both high-competition, short hashtags and broad, longer hashtags when sharing content across all social media platforms.
iii. Searchable across all social media platforms
One of the reasons why hashtag marketing is essential for businesses that are looking for attention, and reach is that hashtags are searchable across all major social media platforms. It means users freely search and discover the content using the search or explore feature.
However, to make your social media content more discoverable through hashtag searches, one must be able to come up with great content and build a comprehensive social media hashtag strategy. Otherwise, the competition on social media won’t let your content pop up.
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iv. Usable in the social media paid promotions
Have you ever seen a Facebook or Twitter ad with hashtags? You may see several ads across different social media platforms, but chances are, you never got a chance to notice the hashtags in the advertisement.
You can use the Twitter paid promotion to trend your sponsored hashtag on the top. This way, your targeted audience would find your sponsored Twitter hashtag on top and would discover content being shared using that hashtag.
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Brands usually use this sponsored hashtag promotion when they’re running a Twitter campaign using micro-bloggers and social media influencers to create a double effect on the campaign. So, hashtags are usable in social media paid promotions.
v. Provide insights into top trending topics
Top trending hashtags tell what’s going viral or what’s hot at the moment. Twitter has a trending section that showcases the top trending topics or hashtags.
Users can switch the location and see what’s trending in other cities or countries across the globe.
Since hashtags are indicators of what’s trending on social media platforms, marketers and brands keep a close eye on the top trending topics to capitalize the possible opportunities.
It’s safe to say that hashtags provide helpful insights into popular news and trending topics that can often be helpful in marketing.
So, these are five of the many reasons why hashtag marketing is essential for a business, especially if the business is trying to cash in on social media marketing.
How Do You Create a Hashtag Marketing Strategy?
To create a successful hashtag marketing that allows your content to reach new eyeballs and bring in engagement, one must follow several steps to make it happen. Let’s crack open the secret to establishing a powerful hashtag marketing strategy for businesses:
1. Discover the industry-relevant hashtags
It’s no surprise that hashtags are often untapped sources of attention, traffic, and clickability. However, the majority of users use hashtags the wrong way. Usually, beginners think that the more, the better, which isn’t right.
Finding industry-relevant hashtags is not rocket science, but you have to keep your eyes open and make a conscious effort to discover the most relevant hashtags.
- There are several ways/sources to discover the industry-relevant hashtags, but here are some of the best ones:
Social media influencers: Social media influencers are ahead of the average social media user, which is why they have more followers, reach, and engagement. Brands and individuals could learn a lot from the industry-relevant influencers across all social media platforms. All they have to do is to see what hashtags they’re posting, how many hashtags they’re using in every post, and how often they’re using hashtags. Every bit of detail could trigger social media growth.
- Competitors’ content: Competitors’ content strategy gives you a hint about the audience’s needs and topical demands. You don’t have to replicate the exact strategy of your competitors. Instead, you can always elicit the secret source of the competitors’ social media tactics and spice them up to come up with your version.
- “For You” recommendations: “For You” is a content recommendation section on almost all major social media platforms such as TikTok, Twitter, and others.
Here’s an example:
It gives you insights into what’s happening and what people are talking about on social media. Take a sneak peek at the “For You” content recommendations and note down the relevant hashtags from time to time.
- Hashtag trackers: Hashtag trackers are hashtags analytics and research tools that help users find social media hashtags across all platforms. Such tools give you an idea about the top trending Twitter hashtags, TikTok hashtags, and so on.
So discovering the top-notch industry-relevant hashtags using different mediums is your best bid and a stepping stone word establishing a successful social media hashtag strategy.
2. Create branded hashtags to add to the mix
Branded hashtags refer to the hashtags that brands create around their brand names, product offers, or marketing campaigns. Companies could use their slogans as hashtags or come up with new branded hashtags.
The point to be noted is that branded hashtags don’t work alone. They’re created to support the main hashtags. Since branded hashtags have lesser popularity and low reach, they’re used alongside the main trendy hashtags across all social platforms.
Here’s an example:
Daaz is a domain marketplace that provides domain buyers and sellers a space to buy and sell their domains.
Take a look at their tweet:
Daaz knows the importance of using branded hashtags, which is why they smartly added a branded hashtag at the end.
So, make sure that you’re not just focusing on the branded hashtags, especially if you’re a new brand; it doesn’t work this way. Popular brands also have to put in the work to make their branded hashtags familiar throughout many campaigns.
3. Keep an eye on the trending topics in the niche
A vast majority of social media users check TikTok, YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook to stay relevant and up-to-date with the latest updates and news. These users may not be looking to build an audience, grow followers, or sell products online.
However, the same strategy could be used by brands and individuals who are trying to cash in on the attention and engagement opportunities across different social media platforms.
Related Read: A Must-Read Hashtag Guide For Instagram Influencers
It’s crucial to know what’s happening, what people are talking about, and what’s changing in the niche. No wonder understanding the use of hashtags is one of the ways to keep an eye on the trending topics in the niche, as it provides insights into the current state of your niche.
One of the best ways to keep an eye on trending or popular topics is to follow them. Several social media platforms allow users to follow the topics or hashtags, and Instagram is one of them.
4. Make multiple sets of hashtags to skyrocket content reach
Using simple, generic, and short hashtags is a no-go. It’s recommended to use both longer and medium-sized hashtags to get attention and reach. A lot of influencers, experts, and brands know this strategy and apply it quite well.
However, they could amplify their social media hashtag strategy by creating multiple sets of hashtags having a diverse collection of different hashtags.
The benefit of adopting this strategy would be that they would attract a social media audience through both medium and low-competition hashtags.
Every social media platform works differently. For instance, Twitter’s content remains there and anyone can use the search button to find older tweets using the hashtags or tweet’s wording.
On the other hand, it may be difficult to find an older post on Instagram using hashtags because fresh and newer content keeps taking over the explore section. Moreover, the trending content on Instagram mostly tops the Explore page.
Here’s an example of multiple sets of hashtags for a dog niche Instagram account:
You can see that several sets of hashtags include both medium and large hashtags to balance the hashtag strategy.
5. Analyze hashtags using hashtag research tools
Influencers and brands utilize every opportunity accessible to them. One of these opportunities is hashtag tracking. Using hashtag analytics and tracking tools eliminates the guesswork, which helps social media experts and influencers establish a data-driven social media marketing strategy.
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There are multiple benefits of using such hashtag tracking tools, for instance, you get insights into the hashtag data, which helps in figuring out the popularity of the hashtag. Secondly, you get to find the untapped, relevant hashtags while analyzing their hashtags.
Here’s a brief snippet of the hashtag analytics report for the hashtag (influencer marketing):
- There are several hashtag discovery and tracking tools available on the market. Some of the most used ones are as follows:
These tools would surely help you find insights and data regarding the top trending and widely popular hashtags across different social media platforms.
The rest is up to you on how you develop a social media content strategy to attract, engage, and convert the audience.
Top 5 Hashtag Marketing Tools: Free & Paid
Let’s discuss the top five hashtag tools that might come in handy in building your social media hashtag strategy:
1. ContentStudio’s AI Hashtag Generator
ContentStudio is an all-in-one social media management dashboard that provides social media content publishing, scheduling, automation, curation, and analysis. This social media managing tool also has an AI-integration that speeds up the social media content creation.
One of the AI-powered tools of ContentStudio is an AI hashtag generator that automatically creates hashtag suggestions for the user. All it requires is to provide a brief caption to help understand the context of the social media post.
Hashtagify is a well-known hashtag analysis platform that lets social media users, influencers, and brands analyze the popularity of hashtags. It can provide insights into the hashtag data across different social media platforms.
Hashtagify could help marketers and influencers who take hashtag marketing seriously and try to find the best-suited keywords on Instagram and Twitter. Moreover, this platform also suggests additional hashtags relevant to the keyword/hashtag.
Trackmyhashtag is a Twitter hashtag tracking and analysis tool that helps marketers, influencers, and social media experts analyze Twitter hashtags. It offers several features, such as hashtag tracking, influencer finding, historical data, and hashtag analysis.
Also, try this free Twitter hashtag-generating tool!
Usually, hashtag research is required to find out the popularity of the hashtag to determine whether or not it’s worth paying attention to the campaign. And this is quite an impressive tool from a social media hashtag-tracking standpoint.
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TweetBinder is a Twitter analysis and tracking tool that is designed to provide reporting on Twitter historical data and brand mentions. It’s one of the best tools for generating Twitter hashtag analytics for a social media marketing campaign.
Brands and influencers use this tool to track keywords, brand mentions, and content popularity on the Twitter platform.
Awario is yet another social media listening tool for monitoring brand mentions and tracking conversations about your brand. However, this tool works beyond social media platforms and tracks brand mentions and conversions on forums, blogs, and news.
It’s a great tool for analyzing your brand awareness, popularity, and mentions across the web. It uses keywords, hashtags, and brand names to detect conversions across all social media platforms in real-time.
These are five of the many hashtag marketing tools that could play a vital role in designing an effective hashtag marketing campaign for a business.
How Many Hashtags Should Be Used on Each Social Media Platform?
Avoiding hashtags altogether isn’t a smart move, as hashtags tag your content and improve discoverability on the platform. However, going overboard with adding hashtags is a sign that the person doesn’t know how social media works.
There is no right or wrong number when it comes to using hashtags on the social media platforms. Our research on the topics shows that most of the influencers and social media experts keep the number of hashtags to a minimum.
So, we dug deeper into this and found out how many hashtags users should use on each social media platform. Here’s what our research found out:
- Facebook: Users can include several Facebook hashtags, but using 2 to 3 hashtags per post is ideal. Going overboard doesn’t help the cause, so it’s better to stick with the industry standards.
- Instagram: Instagrammers can put up to 30 Instagram hashtags in the caption or post comments, but it’s advised to only use 3 to 5 hashtags on Instagram.
- Twitter: Twitter has a 280 characters limit on the tweet, which doesn’t make room for a dozen hashtags. Therefore, use between 2 to 5 to-the-point and relevant Twitter hashtags in a tweet.
- TikTok: TikTok is no different than Instagram and Twitter. So, stick with a maximum of 3 to 5 TikTok hashtags in a TikTok video to stay relevant and improve your TikTok’s content reach. Also, try our free Tiktok hashtag generator!
- LinkedIn: LinkedIn hashtags are essential to get more eyeballs around. Try using 3 to 5 hashtags per post and see how they work. Use this free LinkedIn hashtag generator!
- Pinterest: Don’t shy away from using Pinterest hashtags. Experiment with different numbers of hashtags on Pinterest, starting with 2 and going up to 6. You may be able to include a maximum of 20 hashtags on Pinterest.
- YouTube: YouTube hashtags are crucial to improving your videos, community posts, and comments’ reach. Use at least two hashtags and try up to 4. YouTube may not allow more than 15 hashtags per post. These are the number of hashtags you should be using across all major social media platforms, and these numbers would help you elevate your hashtag marketing strategy.
Hashtags are crucial to your social media marketing, but not as much as high-quality and relevant content.
Keep in mind when building a hashtag marketing strategy that a good hashtag marketing strategy would amplify the content distribution process, but the content has to be good enough to get attention.
Crappy content won’t skyrocket even with a killer hashtag marketing strategy because it doesn’t make an impact on the lives of social media users.
The purpose of pinpointing the importance of quality content is that the relevant hashtags would only complement the high-quality and effective content. So, try to come up with useful and helpful content and then worry about using the right hashtags for the social media content.
FAQs About Hashtag Marketing
What is the 3×3 hashtag strategy?
Different experts have slightly different connotations for the 3×3 hashtag strategy, but it revolves around creating two types of hashtags. Three of them indicate the problem being discussed and the next three are about the solution/product.
What makes a successful hashtag?
A successful hashtag refers to a hashtag that brings attention, clickability, and views to social media content. It doesn’t have to be too short or too long; find the middle ground when choosing a hashtag. Plus, always go for the combination of both mid-sized and long hashtags.
What is the best hashtag strategy?
The best hashtag strategy is to come up with a combo of mid-sized and long relevant hashtags. However, keep in mind that the hashtags must be getting some traction on social media. Otherwise, the hashtag strategy won’t make a huge difference.
How do I market my hashtag?
To market your hashtag, you can adopt different strategies, such as using it across multiple platforms, mentioning hashtags on social media images, asking followers to use those hashtags, and paying influencers or experts to infuse those hashtags into their social media posts.
Can I start my own hashtag?
Yes, you surely can start your hashtag. Make sure that it’s relevant and easy to remember. However, it’s always best to use the industry-relevant hashtags (that are getting attention) rather than coming up with your own.
Can you promote a hashtag?
You can promote a hashtag through Twitter ads. The ad-based hashtag would be among the top trends on Twitter for your targeted audience. Furthermore, you can also use hashtags in your ad campaigns on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.
Meet Nawal, the savvy Digital Marketer from ContentStudio, who keeps up with the latest trends and technologies ready to elevate your social media and content marketing game. With a knack for crafting engaging and accessible strategies, she empowers brands to shine in the digital spotlight. Beyond the digital landscape, Nawal is an adventurous soul always travel-ready!