Blog: Don’t make a hash of your hashtags. Successful hashtags for SM

Don’t make a hash of your hashtags. Successful hashtags for SM

Hashtags are a key driver of organic reach on SM, here we analyse the use of them on the main platforms and show how you can use them to your advantage.

Hashtags are a key driver of organic reach on SM, here we analyse the use of them on the main platforms and show how you can use them to your advantage.

 

What is a hashtag?

 

Quite simply, it’s the hash # symbol followed by the name of the hashtag, as in #SocialJems, our company one.

 

There should not be any gaps between the letters, use of the ‘space’ bar immediately ends the hashtag.

 

You can embed them within the post itself, but this can disrupt the reader’s flow so we recommend that they appear at the end of your body text.

 

Aren’t they all just a bit un-necessary?

 

If that’s what you think, think again!  They aren’t just there as an afterthought or decoration to your posts.  You can, and people do, post without them.  But you’re restricting the reach of your post by doing so, and who honestly wants to do that?

 

 

Hashtag use on LinkedIn

 

We’ll focus on LinkedIn and deal with the different platforms individually later. 

 

The ‘Rule of three’

 

We always recommend that you use three hashtags for every post, being as follows:

 

  1. The subject matter of the post or a keyword relating to it

 

  1. The market sector that you are trying to reach

 

  1. Your company name

 

 

If this section was a post, we would hashtag it as follows:

 

#Hashtags #Content #SocialJems

 

We’re discussing hashtags as the theme of a post about content creation on our SocialJems company page.

 

If you go for more than three, you dilute the effectiveness of each individual hashtag chosen, so you are harming your potential reach if you pack your post with them!

 

 

Helping the algorithm to help you

 

The use of hashtags enables the algo to understand the subject matter and context of your post.  This enables it to recommend content organically into the feeds of those who follow the featured hashtags and therefore gain you access to people who will be interested in what you have to say.

 

If the algo doesn’t know what your post is about, it can’t determine who will be interested in it, so it will appear in far fewer feeds as a result.

 

 

Maximising reach for small networks

 

When you start out and are developing your network, your reach is inevitably small, which can be dispiriting if you aren’t getting the engagement on your posts that you’d like.

 

By carefully choosing your hashtags you are maximising your prospects of gaining an organic following from people following the hashtag who seek to connect with you because they saw and appreciated your post.

 

 

Most followed hashtags

 

You might be tempted to just put the most followed hashtags into your post in the assumption that this will maximise the reach.

 

Don’t because the algo doesn’t work like that, it will actually harm your reach if you do!

 

The algo likes relevance, if you use a hashtag with no relevance to your post it won’t be read because the audience won’t be interested in it.

 

Because there will be poor engagement, the algo won’t show your post to that hashtag because it won’t see the content as being relevant.

 

Always ensure your hashtags are relevant for your target audience!

 

 

LinkedIn top 10 most followed hashtags 

 

Hashtag                                                Followers

 

  1. #innovation 37,683,010

 

  1. #management 35,270,217

 

  1. #digitalmarketing 27,286,973

 

  1. #technology 25,231,754

 

  1. #entrepreneurship 22,221,557

 

  1. #socialmedia 19,541,326
  2. #marketing 19,075,546
  3. #branding 18,068,674

 

  1. #personaldevelopment 14,062,346

 

  1. #sustainability 12,913,868

 

 

 

Twitter

 

When it comes to hashtags, Twitter has a suggested limit on how many hashtags that you use for every tweet that you put up.

 

They also state that using hashtags on Twitter ads can hinder your marketing success.

 

Using hashtags with your tweets can increase their engagement by 100% for the individual, and 50% if you have a brand.

 

The optimum number of hashtags to use per tweet is between one and two. If you follow this strategy, you can gain 21% in engagement.

 

Tweets that use more than two hashtags can experience 17% less engagement.

 

Tweets that only include a couple of hashtags have a 55% higher chance of being retweeted by someone.

 

Less is definitely more when it comes to hashtags on Twitter!

 

Top 10 Twitter business hashtags

 

  1. #B2B
  2. #B2C
  3. #BizTips
  4. #Business
  5. #BusinessOwner
  6. #Businesswoman
  7. #Consumers
  8. #DIY
  9. #Entrepreneur
  10. #entrepreneurs

 

 

Instagram

 

When compared with LinkedIn and Twitter, you get a lot more creative freedom with hashtags on Insta.

 

You can use up to 30 tags on every post that you put up!

 

However, before you go wild with your tags, ensure that you know what the best practices are, so that you can optimize your content for engagement.

 

If you use just one hashtag on a post, it is going to get 29% more interactions.

 

If you use more than 11 hashtags on a post, then you are going to have 79% more interactions!

 

Longer hashtags are typically between 21 and 24 characters, and they do better than shorter tags.

 

7/10 hashtags that are on Instagram are brand hashtags, it’s worth noting.

 

Apart from the number of hashtags you use, the engagement rate of your content is also dependent on other factors, including where the hashtags are placed and the size of the Instagram profile.

 

If you place hashtags in your caption, profiles with less than 5000 followers are going to get 36% more reach on each of their posts, and if you have between 5000 and 10,000 followers, this number is going to be 20%.

 

If you have between 10,000 and 50,000 followers, this number is going to be around 21%, and profiles that have between 50,000 and 100,000 followers receive an average of 21.43% more engagement per post.

 

Profiles that have more than 100,000 followers are going to get 15.9% more reach on each of their posts when they place their hashtags in the first comment, compared to 14% for posts that include their hashtags in the caption.

 

87% of profiles prefer to put their hashtags in the caption, compared to just 12% that like to put them in the comment section.

 

The vast majority of posts – as many as 93%, include hashtags in their caption, vs. 6% that include them in their comments section.

 

Hashtags in your caption will therefore serve you well!

 

Top 10 Instagram hashtags:

 

  1. #love

 

  1. #instagood

 

  1. #photooftheday

 

  1. #fashion

 

  1. #beautiful

 

  1. #happy

 

  1. #cute

 

  1. #tbt

 

  1. #like4like

 

  1. #followme

 

 

Facebook

 

Hashtags on Facebook are a lot less clear cut, and the platform is reluctant to give too much away on the subject!

 

In general the best principle to adopt is that less is more.  You run the risk that if you use too many hashtags, you might come across as annoying and spammy with your posts.

 

Posts that only include one hashtag tend to get the most engagement.

 

They are helpful when you are trying to expand your reach with a Facebook campaign. Just make sure that your Facebook post is set to public so that even people who aren’t following you can see your post with your hashtags.

 

Top 10 B2B Facebook hashtags

 

  1. #B2B
  2. #Business
  3. #Smallbusiness
  4. #Startup
  5. #BusinessTips
  6. #Marketing
  7. #Ecommerce
  8. #Entrepreneur
  9. #Businessowner
  10. #Networking

 

 

Now post with confidence!

 

Now you have all the information you need to use hashtags effectively across a range of platforms. 

 

Use them wisely and see how your engagement improves massively as a result.

 

Now you’ll never make a hash of your hashtags again!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By David Goldsmith