How to Pick the Best Hashtags for Your Social Media Campaign

How to Pick the Best Hashtags for Your Social Media Campaign

If you’ve been on social media for more than five minutes, you’ve probably seen a hashtag.

Every social network under the sun uses hashtags now. The feature started with Twitter back in 2007, and now it’s hard to use a social network without seeing one. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and a ton of other social networks use hashtags.

What exactly do they do?

Hashtags categorize posts and make it easier for users to search for posts they’re interested in. Do I want to see tweets about Earth Day (which was earlier this week 🌎)? I just need to search #EarthDay.

I’m glad I did, because I found this awesome tweet from NASA.

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But it’s not just your Average Joe who uses hashtags. Hashtag strategy is popular—and an integral part of any successful social media campaign.

And what do we know about popular strategies?

Strategies are popular because they work, and we should use what works if we don’t want to get left behind.

Boy, oh boy, do hashtags work. Tweets with hashtags can get nearly two times the level of engagement than tweets without them.

How can you pick the right hashtag to make sure your social media campaign gets as much engagement as possible?

Figure out what’s worked and what hasn’t

Traditional marketing uses a lot of statistics. Social media marketing isn’t any different. If you’ve been running a social media campaign for any length of time, you can dig into your statistics to see what hashtags have and haven’t worked for you in the past.

What hashtags did you use that sparked the most engagement?

What hashtags didn’t really increase engagement at all?

This will be more effective if you’ve been doing marketing for the same account for a while. But even if your campaign is brand new, any data will give you insight into what works and what doesn’t.

Be Original – Create Your Own Hashtag

Creating a hashtag just for your social media campaign can be a great way to boost engagement.

There’s a catch, though. It’s incredibly hard to create a hashtag that catches on. This strategy doesn’t work for everyone. But if you manage to pull it off, it works well.

Creating a good custom hashtag takes some legwork. Here’s a few tips to help you along the way:

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  • Make sure no one else is using it. This can’t be overlooked. If you want someone to associate a hashtag with your brand, it can’t already be popular elsewhere.

  • Consider integrating your slogan or other marketing materials you’ve already developed. For Red Bull, creating a successful custom hashtag was as easy as hashtagging their slogan (#givesyouwings) and combining it with some creative content.

  • Don’t rely on your hashtag alone. Like I said, this worked for Red Bull because they combined their hashtag with some creative content. You can check out a snapshot of it to the right. Who wouldn’t love some flight footage?

Keep Up with the Trends

Keep in mind that you don’t have to create your own hashtag. You can capitalize on hashtags that are already popular.

But how do you find out what hashtags are trending? Sprout Social recommends RiteTag, a tool that makes picking hashtags easy.

Sprout Social likes RiteTag because the program will tell you which hashtags are currently popular, which are overused, which to avoid, and more.

For me, the coolest thing about RiteTag is that it recommends which hashtag you should use. The program will analyze the content in your post and recommend a hashtag that’s a good fit. It’ll even match you with a hashtag to go with photos and videos!

More Resources

There are so many other ways to use hashtags for your social media campaigns. Here are some great resources from Sprout Social, Short Stack, Lyfe Marketing, and Photo Slurp.

How have hashtags improved your social media campaigns? Have they increased engagement like you expected? How else can social media marketers use them to their advantage? Tweet me about it! @_Jaroldo_

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