April 25, 2017

Choosing The Right Social Media Hashtags

branding marketingLast week we talked a little bit about utilizing hashtags for Instagram and I got a great question from a reader wonder how does one know which hashtags are ‘right’ and which may not be as valuable?  Since a hashtag is essentially the pound symbol followed by any combination of words that you want – i.e., #thisisahashtag – how do you know what’s going to work and what won’t?

As is true in most things when it comes to marketing, there is no perfect way to know with 100% certainty that every hashtag you use will hit it’s mark.  But here are a few ideas to help you as you think about which hashtags to use for your business:


  • What hashtags are your competitors using?  Since you’re already following your competitors on social media (you are doing this, right?), what hashtags do they seem to use time and time again?  There may be something there that works for your company as well.
  • Do you have any successful hashtags that you know people are finding you though?  Search through a number of posts (yours and other peoples’ posts) that has that hashtag and see if there are any similar hashtags that may compliment what you’re doing.
  • Make your own branded hashtag and ‘advertise’ that to your followers.  For example #smallfoodbiz would be a good one for my company.  While it may be unlikely to bring in new followers who don’t yet know about my company, it does make it easy for existing followers to find my content on social media.  So while this is one that I wouldn’t likely use by itself, it can be helpful to use with some of those other hashtags that help bring in new eyeballs.

Ultimately, as I mentioned, there is no perfect hashtag and even if you land on one that works for you it may not work as well 6 months from now.  Don’t be afraid to play around and test your social media posts to see what hashtags are working and which aren’t.  Social media is constantly changing which means too so should how you use it.

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