Hashtags: should you create your own or just join the trends?

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Hashtags are very useful and can help gain engagement and loyalty. But do we use our own hashtags or the trendy ones?

We don’t have to mention it hashtags are important. They play an important role in social media marketing and have an important role to play in making content searchable and shareable. But they don’t just follow the latest trending tags. Where are they?

Why create ours?

We can create our own unique hashtags whenever we want. As long as they make sense to our audience, we have absolute freedom over what we broadcast. However, some brands do not create their own hashtags.

It could be a mistake. Creating unique hashtags can help a brand develop outright engagement.

What is a unique hashtag?

They are hashtags created for a specific purpose. #Business, for example, can be used for just about anything business related, but #ShareaCoke refers to a specific brand and is part of a specific campaign. Coke uses hashtags like this because the campaign is built around the phrase. Moreover, no other brand is able to use it, it is the invention of Coke.

A unique hashtag like this speaks directly to the public and is a testament to their loyalty. In a sense, it forms a unique message to customers. This uniqueness is necessary to differentiate and add value to social media campaigns.

That doesn’t mean all hashtags have to be brand unique, obviously. There is a ratio that must be understood and followed if a brand is to get the most out of the use of the hashtag. We’ll take a look at these dynamics after looking at “regular” hashtags.

“Regular” hashtags

There are many generic hashtags out there, too many to focus on. There are ways to make sure that you are using hashtags that will be seen by the audience, but also make sense for your brand.

To bring this idea down to its basic level, consider the hashtag #followme. This particular hashtag is the most popular on Instagram, and it’s used in millions of posts. But you wouldn’t use it on a branded account. If you did, you would look desperate and “spam”.

The goal is to find hashtags that are popular but still relevant to your brand and what you do. It would be even better if you could find hyper-focused hashtags, as they literally refer to what you are doing. While it may seem a bit obvious, it’s important to build your campaigns around genuinely sensitive tags.

The best way to start this process is to look at your competition. They will use hashtags in their posts. You can watch what they are doing and imitate that. The reason this is a good idea is that it obviously works with the audience you are trying to engage with.

Don’t just focus on hashtag types, either. Look at the number of hashtags they use in a post. It shows how well your audience can tolerate and still engage with the content.

When looking to create campaigns around hashtags that are used by everyone, it is worth getting involved in some social listening. There are many platforms that allow you to check the feeds and see which hashtags are proving to be the most popular. It’s very easy to do and will give you a constant supply of hashtags worth using in your own posts for visibility and engagement.

Finally, always take a look at the related hashtags the platforms offer you when you start typing your own in posts. These related tags are definitely worth including, simply because the platform (be it Twitter or LinkedIn, or any platform) uses machine learning to find the best hashtags that match your content.

So what do we do?

Hashtags should be used sparingly, but you should focus on what is currently working. The easiest way to approach it is to find popular hashtags so that you have a good chance of getting engaged. Then, as the campaigns progress, use unique hashtags that help establish your brand.

As always, test what you’re doing and be sure to change course if necessary.



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