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The Value of Hashtags

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Many of questions that we are often asked at CCD are about the use of hashtags, that little symbol – # – with the big attitude!  As well as the more traditional PR campaigns here at CCD PR & Digital we also do influencer marketing and social media campaigns.

So what are hashtags and what do they do?

Hashtags that classify content

Hashtags help to classify content by the use of the symbol # followed by a key word or phrase e.g. #foodPR or #healthcarePR.  It seems as if this is a special code that separate your keywords and make them findable, but really a # is just an unusual symbol that can be searched, just like any other unusual words or symbols.  You can make your own personal search lists on your computer by using any symbol alongside a keyword (inc #) eg: ^whatever in a selection of documents and change the keyword as you please.  You can then do a search on your computer and all the ^whatever docs will list for you.

Using this method of tagging content online helps to increase its visibility and engagement levels on social media platforms. Clicking on a hashtag will take you through to all the relevant content about that topic, which can be helpful in many ways when planning and implementing an influencer or social media campaign.

They are used on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter and are a valuable way to promote content to others and also search for relevant news in your sector.

Hashtags for business

Hashtags are good for all businesses, brands and products but none more so than start-ups, making it easier for them to be discovered by potential new customers. Here are some of the ways hashtags can help your brand:

  • By increasing how discoverable you are
  • By increasing website traffic and potentially sales
  • By increasing engagement levels
  • By increasing brand recognition
  • By increasing your social presence and ultimately your following

How to use hashtags

As with any marketing or communications activity, it’s important to deploy a meaningful strategy, and this applies to the use of hashtags.

Hashtags are powerful. In fact, posts with just one hashtag can increase engagement by 12.6% compared to those without any (source: Simply Measured).   Of all the social media platforms, Instagram is incredibly hashtag-friendly and was built for hashtag use. On Instagram you’re allowed up to 30 hashtags, but as with so many things, quantity vs. quality still applies and it’s important to use the right hashtags for the best results.

Here are five things to consider when using hashtags:

  • Use up to your 30 hashtag allowance on Instagram only if they are all relevant and meaningful
  • Avoid the temptation to use a hashtag just because it’s popular and trending if it isn’t relevant to your post!
  • Use as specific as possible hashtags – less people will follow these, but they will be your target audience
  • Check out what hashtags the competition is using and see how this has impacted the reach of the post
  • Add hashtags to Instagram stories so these also come up in searches

If you want more information about influencer marketing or social media campaigns get in touch.

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