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How hashtags can connect you to a bigger audience

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For those starting out on social media, hashtags may seem a little confusing at first. But they are an important factor in contributing to your digital marketing success, and can help your content gain a much bigger reach.

How hashtags can connect you to a bigger audience

More accessible

By using hashtags, you are making yourself easier to find on social media. When someone searches for the hashtag you have used in your photo or post, your content will appear in their search results. By doing this, you open yourself up to people beyond your immediate followers and attract new people searching on the network.

For example, if you own an Italian restaurant, be sure to hashtag the name of your business so people begin recognising your brand, but also make use of broader hashtags like #pizza and #pasta, which will allow you to appear in more feeds and search results.

Get involved in the conversation

When global news stories and events occur, you’ll notice that hashtags based around this activity will start ‘trending’ on Twitter and Instagram, due to a high usage of the tags. When you spot a trend like this happening, using those hashtags can get you involved in the conversation, and give you a chance to be seen by people involved in the discussion.

Try and stick to subjects that are relevant to your business and avoid anything too controversial, such as personal political opinions. If you see something trending such as a sporting event, you can get involved by creating content inspired by the event and make use of the relevant hashtags.

Create your own conversation

When you get more confident, you can start to build engagement by creating your own unique hashtag, giving you more brand awareness and opportunities for customer reach. This can work well if you're running a marketing campaign or event, as you can create an original hashtag for people to use when engaging with your content. Nike are a very successful example of this, with over 12 millions uses of their tagline #justdoit on Instagram alone!

Using unique hashtags can help you to keep track of who’s talking about your brand and exactly what it is they’re saying. You can begin to engage with these people and ensure the conversation surrounding you is positive… and if not, see what you can do to change it.

Not to be overused!

Only use the most relevant hashtags in your posts, to avoid coming across as spammy. To find out which ones to use, find the most popular phrases and words in your industry and stick to those. Avoid overusing hashtags as it causes clutter and people will be instantly deterred by it. On Twitter try to stick to 1-3 hashtags in your content and around 5 max on Instagram. You don’t need to hashtag every other word, just stick to key words and phrases that best describe your brand and your content.

It’s also good to be aware of which social platforms the use of hashtags are most relevant. Avoid using them on Facebook, as research shows that using them on this platform does not contribute to a wider reach, due to people seeing the platform as a more private, closed space, rather than an open discussion like Twitter.

What are you waiting for? Follow our guidance and create a post utilising hashtags and see how it affects your reach and engagement.

If you need a hand getting your brand started on social media, keep an eye on our blog for more advice and updates.

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