Hashtag Marketing Guide: 10 Tactics that will Boost Your Business

15 min read

Efficient hashtag marketing will do wonders for your business. It can improve your social media ROI, increase brand awareness, or generate new valuable leads. Most brands know about the prevalence of hashtags and have been implementing hashtags into their social media marketing strategy. But only a few use hashtags effectively.

Using hashtags can be much more than just casually plugging them every now and then. Hashtags can help to raise reach and brand awareness. When you use a hashtag, you also increase the chances of your content going viral.

The good news is that creating an effective hashtag marketing campaign is not so difficult.

You need an action plan to make sure your strategy is efficient.

Sounds interesting? Let’s see how hashtags can help!

What are hashtags?

Simply put, hashtags are a way to organize and categorize your content. You assign your post to a particular niche, industry, or topic using hashtags.

This way, people interested in a specific content category can find it easily.

From a more technical point of view, a hashtag symbol consists of a hash (#) and a tag (a keyword). Together, they create a hyperlink, helping you to find relevant content around the topic.

What is hashtag marketing?

It is a strategy to promote your brand, product, or service with carefully researched relevant hashtags.

Today, almost all brands use hashtags, so it takes much more effort than previously to promote your brand on various social media channels. If you want to be sure the hashtags you use work, you should take a practical approach.

It’s not enough to rely on popular hashtags. You have to stay ahead of your competitors, spot emerging trends or changes in tendencies, and act accordingly.

Thus, you should regularly analyze and optimize your social media strategy to use hashtags effectively.

For your hashtag strategy to work, you need to:

  • Monitor brand hashtags you use
  • Optimize the use of hashtags
  • Adjust your strategy when needed

Brand24 is a tool that tracks and analyzes hashtags. Try it during a 14-day free trial!

What are the benefits of using hashtags?

If used correctly, hashtags can boost your business and bring valuable insights about your audience.

Hashtags have been spreading to different social media networks, including Twitter (X), Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok.

The benefits of developing a social media marketing strategy, including hashtags, cover:

  • A boost in brand awareness
  • An increase in engagement
  • Enriching social media marketing
  • A possibility to generate new sales leads
  • Bigger chance to reach a new audience
  • Posts using a hashtag have a higher chance of going viral.

What are the hashtags you can use?

There are many types of hashtags to use on social media platforms. The most common hashtag categories are:

  • 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 connected with events, such as conferences, festivals, or holidays, for example, International Women’s Day or International Pancakes Day.
  • Trending hashtags help reach new audiences and increase brand awareness.
  • Location hashtags to use when you appear in exciting places.
  • Community hashtags
  • Niche hashtags to use within your industry.

Hashtag marketing tactics

01 Research the most relevant hashtags and trending hashtags

Before publishing content on the Internet, you must research the keywords your article will be based on to rank blog posts well in Google.

The same rule applies to coming up with the right hashtags for your campaigns.

For sure, your audience uses some hashtags more than others. Take a look at the volume of mentions and sentiment around the hashtags you’ve chosen.

The first place to look for trending hashtags is the Analysis tab in Brand24. The social listening tool will generate a list of the most popular hashtags based on your keywords.

Trending hashtags by Brand24
Trending hashtags by Brand24

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. Look at the context of the discussion section in Brand24’s Analysis section.

Brand24: Context of a discussion for Duolingo
Brand24: Context of a discussion for Duolingo

The context of a discussion is a list of terms your audience uses 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?

Discover popular hashtags for your brand with the Brand24 media monitoring tool.

02 Create branded 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 developed for a specific marketing activity. These are so-called niche hashtags.

There are two good reasons for creating branded hashtags and niche hashtags to use.

Firstly, well-chosen branded hashtags will connect with your existing audience and help spread your message. The hashtag will naturally circulate in your followers’ networks, reaching their followers who may be interested in your product.

Secondly, if you use hashtags for social media posts, you can measure the performance of your hashtag campaign and social media platforms.

That’s where hashtag tracking tools come in handy.

Brand24 offers robust hashtag analytics that will help determine the reach, influence, and sentiment of your hashtag campaign. You can find all that information in your Brand24 dashboard.

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.

Encourage your followers to share a photo with the campaign hashtag and your regular hashtag.

Thanks to the branded hashtag, your company will be mentioned in every repost.

The campaign-specific hashtags allow you to monitor your marketing performance. All you have to do is create a media monitoring project with your campaign hashtag.

03 Discover relevant topics around your brand

Another way of boosting your social media posts is tapping into the most popular topics around your brand. How to detect them?

With Brand24 Topic Analysis, you can effortlessly research trending topics. Here’s an example of Duolingo.

Brand24: Topic Analysis for Duolingo
Brand24: Topic Analysis for Duolingo

You can switch between topics to check extra analytics, like its popularity changes in time, sentiment, and platform share.

Use the Brand24 tool to discover the most popular hashtags to use for your brand and niche.

04 Measure hashtag performance

If you want to invest time and other resources into using hashtags effectively, you should find a way to measure the results of your campaign and social media post.

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 can assess the results easily, finding what’s working and what’s not. That’s the way to improve your future hashtag campaigns.

Check: What is the Best Hashtag Tracker?

05 Check the sentiment of hashtags

The sentiment analysis 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 second one is the sentiment filter.

Use the checkboxes 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.

Brand24: sentiment chart
Brand24: sentiment chart

Imagine doing all the research on your own!

Investing all the resources to find the negative comments and hashtags would take ages.

A hashtag will also help you determine the results of your marketing campaign.

Remember, a high volume of mentions is not an indicator of a successful campaign. You also have to take a look at the sentiment. If the volume is high and the sentiment negative, you have to find the cause of the negative comments.

Act fast to avoid a PR crisis!

Hashtags can help you a lot in your social media efforts. Try the Brand24 Trending hashtag feature!

06 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 are campaign hashtags that you can use with specific campaigns to measure their results.

You will know which social media platform is the most popular among your target audience and which activity using a hashtag was the most successful.

07 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 is listening to what they say.

Furthermore, mentions spread across the Internet are user-generated content that you can use as testimonials.

McDonald’s is a famous example of an active social media listening tactic. Not once did it help its users and generate a lot of social media buzz.

Brand24: Negative McDonald's mention
Brand24: Negative McDonald’s mention

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!

McDonald's replying to their negative mention
McDonald’s replying to their negative mention

Imagine how hard it would be to spot such conversations without a dedicated hashtag and social listening tool!

Set up the Brand24 tool and check the performance of hashtags.

08 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.

Negative opinions are a source of tips on improving your products. On the other hand, they can negatively impact brand image.

The good thing is that you can catch unfavorable opinions and react to them. You need a bulletproof notification system to stay at the top of the game. Brand24 offers:

  • Storm alert emails – email every time there’s an unusual spike in the number of mentions. You can set up the percentage by which the number of mentions has to rise in the Project Settings.
  • In-app notifications – for iOS and Android devices.
  • Slack integration – integrate your social media listening project into a Slack channel.

You can turn the tables around by answering your customers’ criticism and presenting a solution to their problems, minimalizing the potential churn. 

Not all dissatisfied customers tag brands or use hashtags. Let Brand24 help you with finding negative mentions.

09 Take a closer look at your competitors

Monitoring a hashtag 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. This way, you can monitor the 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 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 track your competitors’ hashtag campaign!

10 Look for influencers

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 messaging

Influencers are people whom social media users trust. That’s why their recommendations are so valuable.

Marketing hashtags are a perfect addition to influencer marketing campaigns as they help measure this activity’s results. 

How do you choose the right influencers for a marketing campaign with hashtags?

The best influencers for your campaigns are already in your network. Your only job is to spot them. 

To do so, go to the Brand24 Analysis tab. Then, choose The most popular mentions

The most popular mentions detected by Brand24
The most popular mentions detected by Brand24

If you want to base your hashtag and influencer marketing campaigns on different metrics, take a look at the two tables:

  • Top public profiles – where you can find metrics like the Share of Voice and calculated influence.
  • Most active social media authors – which includes the number of their social media followers and mentions.  
Brand24: Top public profiles & Most active public profiles
Brand24: Top public profiles & Most active public profiles

Hashtags are a great way to increase your social media reach. Make sure you use hashtags the right way with Brand24.

How to use hashtags on different social media platforms?

Hashtags that will be great for Twitter and Instagram will not necessarily work as Linkedin hashtags. 

These are different platforms, with different audiences, rules, and, most importantly, different algorithms. 

Even the number of hashtags you can use differs from platform to platform.

Hashtags on Instagram

On Instagram, you can add up to 30 hashtags.

In the past, experts suggested adding as many Instagram hashtags as possible. Today, it changed! You should use a maximum of a few hashtags, preferably three hashtags on average. This is because using too many hashtags started to be perceived as a spammy practice on Instagram.

So, how do you find related hashtags? You can use a social listening tool to evaluate it.

In Brand24, you can filter the mentions according to the social media platform on which you’d like to focus. 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 tactics. Also, the tool will identify social media platforms with the biggest potential for your business.

PS. Remember to use hashtags on your Insta Story!

Hashtags on TikTok

That is the place where hashtags can win you views and virality. Use a moderate number of hashtags for the best results. Embracing trending hashtags is a great way to hop on trends and reach the intended audience.

Research trending hashtags with Brand24.

Hashtags on Facebook

Since introducing hashtags in 2016, Facebook hasn’t shared any explicit best practice recommendations. As a result, many people are confused about whether or not to use hashtags on Facebook.

I recommend not exaggerating the number of hashtags but still using them. Hashtags help users to find your content online, so do not resign from them.

Hashtags on LinkedIn

LinkedIn users tend to follow hashtags related to their job or industry. So, use these in your social content. Create your own company-specific hashtag and encourage your team to do the same. When using hashtags on LinkedIn, remember to:

  • Keep it simple: Use 2-3 hashtags per post.
  • Place them in posts or on your company page (they don’t work in comments or articles).
  • Mix popular and niche hashtags.

Hashtags on Pinterest

Pinterest makes it easy for people to find Pins they love by sorting them into categories. So, using relevant and specific hashtags in your posts is an excellent idea to reach the right audience.

There’s no official limit on hashtags, so use them wisely. Fewer can be more effective, but you can use more than on other social media platforms.

Pro tip: Use a hashtag that is seasonal and timely. This works miracles on Pinterest and helps you fall into a niche of like-minded people and brands.

Use the Brand24 Trending hashtag feature & stay on top of your mentions and hashtags.

Hashtags on Twitter (X)

Using a hashtag on X is essential. All social media users should know that!

It’s such an important topic that we have a separate article for it: How to Find Trending Hashtags on X (Twitter) in 2023? | Brand24

Should you use the same hashtags on different platforms?

Some experts say you shall definitely avoid using the same hashtag across platforms. I’d say it depends. Hashtags help to categorize your content, so your brand or niche will always be the same hashtag, and that’s okay!

Avoid using a fixed set of hashtags for every post, but some will naturally repeat.

Benefit from trending hashtag marketing strategy!

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 10 tips that you can benefit from. Hopefully, now you can develop a sound marketing strategy with the right hashtags 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.

Your successful hashtag strategy starts now.

 Good luck!

Use hashtags and boost your performance with Brand24.

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