3 Basic Steps To Understanding Hashtag Strategy: Sherpa Series

One of the biggest challenges that business owners face is understanding how to promote their products and services through social media; which platform should I use? and what to share? Are the most common questions we always receive at Social Sherpa. As Sherpas, we always ensure that the loads are equitably for our client’s safety, and in this article, we explain what a hashtag is and how you can use it for your social media in three steps:

Step No. 1 - Understanding the purpose of your hashtag strategy

Did you know the hashtag technical term is “octorhorp”? That’s right, it is not the catchiest name but according to the Oxford English Dictionary, the “hashtag” term was added only 7 years ago and the first hashtag was shared on Twitter by Chris Messina in 2007:

The purpose of a hashtag is to make your content easy to find, and it has to be unique and memorable; sometimes people think posting as many hashtags as they can, results in the most engagement. Studies have shown that sometimes less is more. For example, in the below image, hubspot shows how tweets with two hashtags have 21% more engagement than those with more than three hashtags per tweet.

It is a fact that hashtags are crucial to get more exposure on social media, however, we need to use the appropriate hashtags according to the right platform. We also need to avoid spammy behavior (for example Youtube will ignore if you use more than 15 hashtags); relevancy over quantity is key

Step No. 2 - Research and Implement your hashtag strategy

The next thing we want to do is to think about our current customers, what do they like? How do they interact with my business? What does a day in their life look like? You can create a master list on excel called “hashtag bank” and brainstorm hashtags related to different topics your customers like to remember you for. Here we show different types of hashtags that can be useful for your list:

  • Industry hashtags – #food #yummy # instagood #foodphotography
  • Branded hashtags (Evergreen) – #ShareACoke by Coca-Cola
  • General hashtags – #selfie #bestoftheday #quoteoftheday
  • Trending hashtags – #blacklivesmatter
  • Daily hashtags – #WednesdayWisdom
  • Acronym hashtags – #FBF #TBT
  • Location-based hashtags – #TorontoCleaningCompany

Now that you have an idea of what type of hashtags are relevant to your audience, let’s see how many hashtags are recommendable to use per platform:

  1. Twitter (1-2 hashtags)
  2. Facebook (1-2 hashtags)
  3. Instagram posts (11-30 hashtags) 
  4. Instagram stories (10 hashtags)
  5. Youtube (2-3 hashtags)
  6. LinkedIn (1-2 hashtags)
  7. Pinterest (2-5 hashtags)
  8. Tik Tok (4-5 hashtags)

Step No. 3 - Test, learn and repeat

Here is where a lot of business owners give up. If they post and didn’t get the likes or comments they were expecting, they think it wasn’t good, but consistency is key, and you need to trust in your business to project that on social media. It is important to keep posting and analyzing the performance; for example, Instagram’s feed is not chronological, so posting regularly a few times per day will increase the chances to get on top of the feed. Test different timing and try these online tools to search for more hashtags when you are running out of ideas:

The most important when posting your content and building your hashtag strategy is to remember, inspire the audience, be consistent and encourage them to join a conversation. 

Do you have any hashtags ideas for Social Sherpa? Let us know!