Hashtag Marketing Guide: 12 Tactics that will Boost Your Business
Efficient hashtag marketing can do wonders for your business. It can improve your social media ROI, increase brand awareness, or generate new valuable leads. So many brands know about the prevalence of hashtags and have been implementing hashtags into their social media marketing tactics. But only a few do it effectively.
Using hashtags can be much more than just nonchalantly plugging them every now and then. The good news is that it is not so difficult to create an effective hashtag marketing campaign.
You need to have a plan with tactics that work.
Sounds interesting? Let’s see what’s in it for you!
- What is hashtag marketing?
- What are the benefits of hashtag strategy?
- Hashtag marketing tactics
- 01 Research the proper hashtags
- 02 Choose the right hashtags for each social media platform
- 03 Find trending hashtags
- 04 Measure hashtag performance
- 05 Check the sentiment of marketing hashtags
- 06 Promote your brand hashtags
- 07 Use campaign hashtags
- 08 Listen to your audience
- 09 Respond to customers’ complaints
- 10 Spark conversations
- 11 Look for influencers
- 12 Take a closer look at your competitors
- How to use hashtags for marketing?
What is hashtag marketing?
Hashtag marketing is a strategy to promote your brand, product, or service with carefully researched hashtags.
It sounds simple, doesn’t it?
In reality, there are multiple shades of grey regarding hashtag marketing. Why?
Because almost every brand uses hashtags, so it takes much more effort than previously to promote your brand on various social media channels effectively.
It’s not enough to rely on popular hashtags. You have to stay ahead of your competitors, and spot the emerging trends or changes in tendencies, and act accordingly.
That means you should analyze and optimize your hashtag tactics regularly.
For your hashtag strategy to work, you need to:
- Monitor your hashtag performance
- Optimize the use of hashtags
- Adjust your overall hashtag strategy when required
Brand24 is a tool that tracks and analyzes hashtags. Try it during a 14-day free trial!
What are the benefits of hashtag strategy?
Hashtags, if used correctly, can boost your business and bring you some valuable insights about your target audience.
The use of hashtags has been spreading to different social media networks, including, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok.
The benefits of developing a hashtag marketing strategy cover:
- A boost in brand awareness
- An increase in engagement
- Enrich social media marketing
- A possibility to generate new sales leads
- Bigger chance to reach a new audience
To get the most out of your hashtags you need to implement a few easy tactics.
Hashtag marketing tactics
01 Research the most relevant hashtags
Before publishing a piece of content on the Internet, you have to research the keywords your article will be based on, so blog posts rank well in Google.
The same rule applies to coming up with the right hashtags for your campaigns.
There are hashtags your chosen audience use more often than others. Take a look at the volume of mentions and sentiment around the hashtags you’ve chosen.
There are different types of hashtags you might want to include in your campaign:
- Branded hashtags that you should include in every social media post. These are usually the name of your brand, product, or service.
- Campaign-specific hashtags that you use while running a specific marketing campaign.
- Event hashtags that are connected with some bigger event such as conference, or festival holiday hashtags which are used during holidays, for example, International Women’s Day or International Pancakes Day.
- Trending hashtags that will help you reach new audiences and increase your brand awareness
You can use social data to make the most informed decisions regarding your hashtag marketing campaign.
02 Choose the right hashtags for social media platforms
Hashtags that will be great for Twitter will not necessarily bring you any social media ROI on Instagram and vice versa.
These are two different platforms, with different audiences, rules, and, most importantly, different algorithms.
Even the number of hashtags you can use differs. On Instagram, you can add up to 30 hashtags. Some experts suggest adding as many Instagram hashtags as possible. It is close to the truth. Experts from Later advised adding about 20-30 hashtags to each Instagram post.
So how to find related hashtags? You can use social listening tool to evaluate it.
In Brand24, you can filter the mentions according to the social media platform you’d like to focus on. The social listening tool will then analyze the mentions and generate a list of trending hashtags.
Brand24 will help you choose the most effective hashtags to boost your hashtag marketing strategy. Also, the tool will identify social media platforms that have the biggest potential for your business.
03 Find trending hashtags
Hashtags are words people use to describe social media posts. They make it easy for users to find interesting content. I dare to say they’re a blessing for marketers.
They make it easy to reach new audiences, measure the estimated social media reach, or see how your hashtag spreads across different social platforms.
That’s why it’s extremely vital to choose the trending ones, especially if you want to promote your content.
It can look tricky, but finding them is pretty easy.
The first place you can look for trending hashtags is the Analysis tab in Brand24. Based on your keywords, the social listening tool will generate a list of popular hashtags.
These hashtags should help you increase your brand awareness and reach brand new audiences.
There is one more place you can search for popular hashtags. Take a look at the context of the discussion section in Brand24’s Analysis section.
The context of a discussion is a list of terms your audience use according to your predefined keyword.
If you click on one of the words, you will be redirected to the Mentions tab where you’ll find all the results with your predefined keywords and the chosen word from the context of a discussion. Pretty cool, isn’t it?
Use the Brand24 tool to discover the most popular hashtags for your brand and niche.
04 Measure hashtag performance
If you want to invest time and other resources into hashtag marketing, you should find a way to measure the results of your campaign.
That’s where Brand24 comes in handy.
The robust analytics section will give you all the information you need to assess your hashtag campaign:
- The volume of mentions
- Sentiment of mentions
- Estimated social media reach
- Type of social media interaction – like, comment, or share
- Mentions by category
Why do you need to measure the results of hashtag campaigns?
Monitoring hashtag performance will help you determine the success of your campaign. You will be able to easily assess the results, find what’s working and what is not. That’s the way to improve your future hashtags campaigns.
05 Check the sentiment of hashtags
Before you choose the right hashtag associated with your brand, take a look at the sentiment analysis.
The sentiment will tell how Internet users feel about your product or service. Are they talking about you in a positive, negative or neutral way?
To find out the sentiment around your brand, go to the Mentions tab. On the right side of the screen, you see Filters. The first one is the sentiment filter.
Use the slider to see only positive or negative mentions. That way, you can easily spot all the negative connotations your target audience might have with your brand.
Sentiment analysis will help you avoid the customer experience’s mines and navigate toward quiet waters.
Imagine doing all the research and investing all the resources to find out that your followers have a very negative attitude towards your chosen hashtags.
Hashtag sentiment analysis will also help you determine the results of your marketing campaign. The high volume of mentions is not an indicator of a successful hashtag marketing campaign.
You also have to take a look at the sentiment of those mentions. If the volume is high and the sentiment negative, you have to find the cause of the negative comments.
06 Promote your brand hashtags
You probably thought about using your brand name as a hashtag before. That’s a no-brainer.
Apart from branded hashtags, you should use hashtags specially developed for a specific marketing activity.
There are two reasons why using dedicated hashtags is useful.
First of all, well-chosen branded hashtags will connect with your existing audience and help spread your message even further. The hashtag will naturally circulate in your followers’ networks, reaching their followers who might be interested in your product.
Secondly, if you use a dedicated hashtag for social media posts, you’re able to measure the performance of your hashtag campaign.
You’ll need a third-party tool, and your Brand24 account offers robust hashtag analytics that will help determine the reach, influence, and sentiment of your hashtag marketing campaign.
You can find all those information in Brand24’s dashboard.
You can easily find the number of likes or shares yourself (although, if you have lots of posts, on multiple social media channels, following all the necessary social media metrics might be quite overwhelming), calculating estimated reach without a robust analytics tool can be challenging.
Brand24 implemented an algorithm that calculates the reach of every person who has shared your hashtagged content. Of course, it’s an estimate, but it will give you a pretty good idea of how your content spreads across social media and who is seeing it.
Once you sort out all your hashtags (both the branded hashtag you use regularly and the campaign-specific hashtags), it’s time to promote them.
The easiest way to promote your branded hashtag is to organize a giveaway on a social media platform.
Run a competition and encourage your followers to share your photo or status with the campaign hashtag and your regular hashtag.
The branded hashtag will ensure that your company is mentioned in every repost and new Internet users are exposed to your content.
The campaign-specific hashtag allows you to monitor the marketing performance of your hashtagged content. All you have to do is create a project where your keyword is your campaign hashtag.
07 Use campaign hashtags
It might be a good idea to differentiate your hashtag strategy. Use one hashtag, for example, your company’s name, with every post. For our company, it’s simply #brand24.
Then there’re campaign hashtags that you can use with specific campaigns only.
This will help you measure the results of a specific hashtag campaign. You will know which social media platform is the most popular among your target audience and which hashtag marketing activity was the most successful.
08 Listen to your audience
Social media is all about being… social. I know it doesn’t sound like groundbreaking news, but you’ll be surprised how many brands neglect the social component and use social media only as an additional marketing channel.
The key to building long-lasting relations and turning your customers into brand ambassadors is to listen to what they have to say.
Furthermore, mentions spread across the Internet are user-generated content that you can use in your hashtags strategies.
A social listening tool will help you collect all the voices in a discussion and engage with them in a timely manner.
Listening to what your followers say will help you build content around their conversations.
McDonald’s is a famous example of an active social media listening tactic that helped its users and generated a lot of social media buzz.
Ever wondered why McDonald’s offers a whole day breakfast menu? Or why does it reintroduce its Szechuan sauce back? All because they listened to what their customers were saying on social media channels!
Imagine how hard it would be to spot such conversations without a dedicated hashtag and social listening tool!
Creating meaningful interactions with your existing and potential customers is easy and can bring long-term benefits.
Set up the Brand24 tool and check the performance of hashtags.
09 Respond to customers’ complaints
Another way to use social media monitoring in hashtag marketing is to react to customers’ complaints.
Yep, clients complain more often than you expect. Take a look at this example:
I’m sure it’s valuable feedback for Nike. By the way, Nike uses brand hashtags like #JustDoIt, which is very effective. More information here: How Effective is Nike’s Social Media Strategy? Report.
Negative opinions are a source of tips on how companies can improve their products. On the other hand, they can negatively impact brand image.
The good thing is that you can catch negative opinions and react to them. To stay at the top of the game, you need a bulletproof notification system. Brand24 offers:
- Storm alert emails – every time there’s an unusual spike in the number of mentions, you’ll receive an email. You can set up the percentage by which the number of mentions has to rise in the Project Settings
- In-app notifications – Brand24 is available for iOS and Android devices
- Slack integration – you can integrate your social media listening project to a Slack channel
By answering your customers’ criticism, you can turn the tables around and present a solution to their problem, minimalizing the potential churn.
10 Spark conversations
You can explore the social side of social media even further and initiate conversations between social media users.
Not only will more people see a hashtag connected to your brand, but you will also position yourself as an industry leader.
You can jump on existing conversations or come up with your topics for discussion. For example, if you’re in the culinary industry, you could spark conversation about the newest dietary trends, look for gluten-free alternatives to favorite dishes, or do something completely different.
11 Look for influencers to boost your hashtag marketing
We’ve been hearing wonders about influencer marketing for a while now. The main benefits of working with influencers are:
- Reaching brand new audiences
- Authenticating your brand reputation and messaging
Influencers are people who other social media users trust. That’s why their recommendations are so valuable. After all, we tend to trust people who have some kind of authority.
Marketing hashtags are a perfect addition to influencer marketing campaigns as it helps to measure the results of this activity.
All you have to do is set up a monitoring project for your hashtag campaign and see the results.
How do you choose the right influencers for a hashtag marketing campaign?
The best influencers for your campaigns are already in your network. Your only job is to spot them.
To do so, log into Brand24 and go to the Analysis tabs. Then choose The most popular mentions and filter mentions according to the platform you’d like to analyze.
If you want to base your hashtag and influencer marketing campaigns on different metrics, take a look at the two tables:
- Influence of social media authors – where you can find metrics like the Share of Voice and calculated influence.
- Most active social media authors – which also includes their social media reach and the number of mentions.
12 Take a closer look at your competitors
Monitoring hashtag marketing campaign provides a ton of essential information. Think about audience insights, hashtag performance, or influencer marketing tactics.
It’s a great idea to create projects for your main competitors. That way, you can monitor what marketing channels they are using, which influencers are in their network, and the results of their hashtag activities.
A competitor analysis will allow you to uncover some new social media platforms your competitors are actively using.
Moreover, you might find some new content ideas you can incorporate into your marketing strategy.
Set up, Brand24 and measure the effectiveness of your hashtag campaign!
How to use hashtags for marketing?
Using hashtags in marketing means much more than casually plugging them into social media conversations. They bring real value. No doubt, so many popular brands use them in their marketing strategies.
In this article, I presented 12 tips that you can benefit from. Hopefully, now you can develop a sound hashtag marketing strategy for your brand.
Successful hashtag strategies involve thorough research and implementing at least a few hashtag tactics. As a result, you will boost your impressions, make your content easier to find and encourage people to talk about your company.
Want to build powerful hashtag marketing? Try hashtags’ tracking and analytics to measure the results!