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How To Pick Hashtags For Social Media

Hashtag Hacks: How to pick the best hashtags

Hashtags are a great tool for marketing your business. Once you’ve got to grips with hashtags and how to use them, you may find yourself wondering how to find the best ones. Fortunately, there are several simple steps you can take to take the guesswork out of choosing your hashtags.

How do you choose a hashtag?

With so many hashtags out there, choosing the best ones can seem daunting – where do you even start? To help narrow down the field consider the following factors:

  • Your purpose: What are you trying to achieve? Are you marketing a new product? Promoting a competition? Just looking for extra exposure? Your intentions will help determine the kind of hashtags that are appropriate for your post.
  • Your platform: The number and type of hashtags you use will depend on which social media platform you’re using. It’s important to understand the rules and etiquette for hashtags on different social media platforms.
  • Your audience: Consider your target audience – what are they likely to be searching for? It’s no use using popular hashtags if they have nothing to do with your products or services – if you want like-minded people to find your posts, use hashtags they are likely to be interested in and that accurately describe your business.

When deciding which hashtags to use keep in mind best hashtag practices; remember to keep hashtags short, clear, specific and relevant.

Helpful hashtag tools and websites

Once you’ve decided on your purpose, platform and audience needs, it’s time to choose the best hashtags. When it comes to finding trending and popular hashtags, there are plenty of handy tools out there to do the heavy lifting for you:

  • Platform searches: One of the easiest ways to find the best hashtags for your posts is to use in-platform search functions. Twitter gives you a snapshot of the top trending hashtags, while a quick search will show you how often a hashtag is used. Similarly, searching a topic on Instagram will show you a list of relevant hashtags and how many times they’ve been used. Facebook also has a trending topics section.
  • Trendsmap: Trendsmap offers a geographic representation of which hashtags are trending on Twitter everywhere in the world, from local, to national to global. This is highly useful for targeting your company’s demographic, particularly for small or local businesses.
  • Hashtagify.me: This is a very informative site which shows trends, correlations and popular hashtags, along with related hashtags and top influencers relevant to any topic you choose to search.

    Example: #hashtag search http://hashtagify.me/hashtag/hashtag

Social media hashtag tools

 

  • Hashtags.org: This site shows popular and trending hashtags as well as offering a hashtag tracking service which allows you to see social media conversations and gain valuable insights.

Note: Most of these sites have free features although more advanced functions usually require a subscription.

Are popular hashtags necessarily the best?

A catch-22 of using popular or trending hashtags is the risk of your post getting lost amongst the masses. Trending hashtags tend to get spammed by users trying to give their posts a publicity boost, while over-used hashtags like #SocialMedia are used so often your post will just get swallowed up in search results.

At the same time, you don’t want to use barely-used hashtags as your customers are unlikely to search for them; it’s important to walk the line between over-used and obscure.

The golden rule is to avoid spamming trending hashtags; it’s more important that your posts are seen by the right people than by a lot of people. Use popular hashtags judiciously and only when they pertain to your post. Employ a mixture of trending hashtags (when relevant), industry-specific and descriptive hashtags.

 

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