The Square Team
Building your brand online & driving traffic to your business
Updated: Sep 25, 2019
It's becoming increasingly important for businesses to have an online presence and to be able to drive inbound traffic to their website or sales team. Hashtags '#' are a great way to do that. Hashtags help...
Build your company’s brand
Boost a marketing campaign
Keep in touch with your audience
This article walks you through some of the dos and don’ts of using hashtags - as well as shows you how to use them for the biggest social networks to get maximum exposure.
But first, let’s take a look at what a #hashtag is exactly.
What is a hashtag?
Before it became a household term (and even added to the Oxford English Dictionary!), hashtags simply referred to the pound symbol #.
That all changed in 2007 when Twitter began to use the hashtag as a method of indexing keywords to help facilitate good search results for it. Since then, most every social media site has been leveraging hashtags for that same purpose.
Fun fact: The first hashtag ever used in this way was #barcamp. It was posted by Chris Messina, a product designer and internet consultant.
Hashtags that spread quickly and get used by a lot of different users begin to trend. That means that the keyword term is popular and becoming widely used online. That doesn’t mean that every hashtag you set out to use should trend. It all depends on why you’re using your hashtag.
Why use a hashtag?
There are plenty of reasons why you should be using hashtags in your tweets—but if we had to distill it down to three reasons, they’d be:
Increased engagement Using hashtags in your social media posts can greatly increase awareness and engagement.
Twitter reported that brands who use hashtags see a 50 percent increase in engagement compared to those who don’t.
Hashtags have also been shown to positively impact your number of retweets as well. At The Square we found that tweets that include hashtags were 55 percent more likely to be retweeted and shared by other users.
Hashtags are a very effective way to build your brand via promotional material, announcing new products, or just generating interest for your business.
At The Square, we use a number of hastags - #lovebrick #contech #tinderforconstruction #constructionjobs #hiring #construction #jobs #loveconstruction to generate excitement for and promote the hiring, job finding, payroll and training offerings.
Find your audience
Hashtags aren’t just good for brand building and engagement—they can also help you find your target audience as well.
More specifically, hashtags can help your target audience find you.
How? Simple: By using the hashtags they use.
This method is especially effective within social media sites like Instagram where users can follow hashtags and see all the posts that use them.
For example, if someone follows the hashtag #lovebrick or #tinderfor construction, they’ll see recent posts that have that hashtag in their feed.
This is incredibly useful for businesses who want to build their audience. By leveraging these popular hashtags that people follow, you’ll be able to get the attention of different users.
Be sure to leverage this tool when you’re trying to build your audience on social media.
And for us using #lovebrick or #tinderforconstruction it's fun
What hashtags to use: 5 ways to find the best one
Now that we know what a hashtag is and why brands should be using them, let’s break down how you can find the right hashtags.
Because while they’re a powerful way to increase engagement, build your brand, and find your audience, it’s not going to matter if you’re leveraging the wrong hashtags for your social media posts.
To help you out, here are five great ways you can find the right hashtags to use for your brand.
1. Look at what influencers are doing.
The influencers within your brand’s niche can give you a lot of insights into what hashtags are working. And it’s simple: Go through your influencer’s social media posts and take note of the hashtags they’re using frequently.
To streamline the process even further, you can use a tool like Hashtagify.me. This tool allows you to search different keywords throughout Twitter and Instagram and see the top influencers for that keyword.
For example, if you enter in the term “construction” it’ll search through all of Instagram and Twitter’s construction hashtags to find the top influencer using that keyword.
This can give you a great idea of what people in your niche are doing—and what you can do to optimize your hashtag usage.
2. See what’s trending
Zooming out from influencers, your brand’s entire niche can give you great insight into what hashtags you should be using.
Whenever there’s a trending topic or hashtag within your industry’s circle on social media, take note of that. You can jump on that hashtag in order to increase your brand awareness too.
Another great tool you can use is RiteTag.com. This handy platform gives you instant hashtag suggestions based on real-time data whenever you make a social media post.
3. Be specific
Remember: The more you niche down your target market, the more customers you’ll attract.
The same idea goes for social media posts and hashtags. The more specific and targeted your hashtags are, the more opportunities your target audience will have to see you.
Try and hone in on a passionate community that shares an interest in one specific theme. The more specific you can get with your hashtag, the more targeted your audience will be - and a targeted audience generally means better engagement.
If you don’t have your own business hashtag, find one or two existing ones that really fit the photo.
Say, for example, your business does brick work. Instead of using #construction — resulting in everything construction related - opt for #lovebrick or #brick or #brickwork. The hashtag is specific to the area of construction & will help you target customers.
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