How to hashtag in 2022
You may have seen a hashtag # whilst scrolling on social media but not know their purpose or why anyone bothers using them. 2022 has seen many developments in technology and social media, so where do we stand with hashtags. Within this post, GottaBe! will look at the impact of hashtags in 2022 and how to use them effectively.
What is a hashtag, and what does it do?
Hashtags make your content more visible as users can easily search for specific tags. Social media platforms can then use this search data to understand user preferences to suggest new content to audiences. Including a hashtag in your comments or captions will allow your post to appear on your follower’s feed and the specific page associated with the hashtag.
Instagram’s algorithm considers a range of things but most importantly, engagement, recent posts, type of post (video or picture) and user preference. While hashtags are not directly influencing the algorithm, they help Instagram identify search patterns and engagement. The more you engage with content that has specific hashtags, the better Instagram and other social media platforms can work out consumer interests, and the more tailored consumer content will become. It is essential to understand your target audiences’ interests as a brand. By including hashtags tailored to your audience’s preferences, your brand will reach new customers organically.
There are many forms of hashtags that your brand can use to get the most out of your social media, GottaBe! suggest a combination of the following:
Campaign hashtags – #shareacoke by Coca-Cola
Campaign hashtags provide your brand with the opportunity to track campaign reach. Coca-Cola’s #shareacoke was an omnichannel campaign that ran in several countries worldwide and saw people’s names printed on coke bottles. By providing consumers with the #shareacoke, the beverage brand could track the campaign’s reach and engagement.
Another campaign hashtag that took off in 2014 was #mycalvin. The campaign was launched whilst also encouraging consumers to share how they wear their Calvin Klein underwear. The campaign saw the perfect combination of branding and user-generated content shared across social media platforms increasing the brand following by 2.2 million in the first year!
User-generated hashtag – #MyMonsoon by Monsoon
Monsoon created this user-generated hashtag that allowed customers to share images of themselves wearing the brand’s clothes and gave new customers a chance to see what their clothes would look like in real life. As we know, word of mouth advertising is one of the most effective forms of marketing, and user-generated hashtags allow consumers to search for specific brand items. 85% of people say UGC is more influential than content made by brands directly, according to Adweek.
When Monsoon started using UGC in their email campaigns, the click-through rate increased by 14% and revenue by 3%. Consumers prefer to see real people wearing a product rather than model images; consumers are 2.4x more likely to say UGC is more authentic/trustworthy than branded content. By creating a hashtag for consumers to use in their posts, Monsoon could easily gather user-generated content from one place that can also be tracked and used across platforms.
User-generated hashtags are often used to encourage consumers to feature on TV shows as it’s one way of “rewarding people for what they do, but equally, it works as an encouragement for others to create more content, as they also want to be featured.
Product or service – #beaniehat
These hashtags are more specific to your product or service and typically are more niche. This is a great way to raise awareness of a particular product but not suitable for your brand alone. Unless you run a specific business, your brand should run product or service hashtags alongside phrases and campaign tags to expand the reach of your posts.
From a user perspective, product hashtags are great for finding new brands to buy from and inspiration. The dedicated hashtag is usually left for the specific product or service, unlike other tags which are overused.
Phrase – #homeiswheretheheartis
Hashtags that use well-known phrases or sayings should not be relied on alone. They are a great way to raise awareness of your post on several pages but will not necessarily connect you with your target audience. They are often overused and should only be used in the mix of other hashtags that suit your audience. Phrases are excellent to use as hashtags as they give you rotation options to avoid being banned from specific tags.
Why are hashtags relevant in 2022?
- Using the right hashtags consistently can boost your account to new customers raising brand awareness
- Hashtags allow consumers to participate in conversations about a company, brand or campaign
- Influencers can use them to reveal sponsorships; they can also use them as a call to action
- Hashtags give your brand another measure to track campaign data
- They make it easier for consumers to search for products or services to get authentic reviews
Is there a limit to the number of hashtags you can use?
Each social media platform has a different limit for the number of hashtags used per post. While the limit may allow many hashtags to be used, it may not be the best way to increase engagement; we have outlined the limits for various platforms and the recommended amount.
Whilst the maximum number of hashtags is limited to 30 per post and 10 on the story, Instagram recommends 11 as the perfect number (for posts).
According to Instagram, 87% of accounts prefer to use hashtags in the caption compared to adding hashtags to the first comment of a newly published post. However, they found that posts with hidden hashtags in the caption are more engaging within the same study. Hashtags in the caption have proven to be highly effective in elevating engagement rates.
Technically you can use as many hashtags as you like on Twitter in the 280 characters available. But Twitter recommends using no more than two.
Studies have found that when brands connect with what is happening on Twitter through hashtags, brand awareness increases by 8% and purchase intent increases by 3%.
Facebook has no limit to hashtags; however, they recommend 1-2 hashtags per post. While it is possible to track hashtag data on Facebook, it is not accessible due to the amount of private profiles.
Hashtags can also be used on LinkedIn, Pinterest, and other social media platforms. The limit for each differs, so to make the most out of hashtags on your posts, your brand will need to measure the success to discover the most effective method.
What is the most effective way to use hashtags?
Being consistent in your approach and including hashtags in your brand’s posts raises brand awareness. So by doing this with all of your posts, you will increase your page’s engagement. When including hashtags with your posts, you will need to have a variety of specific hashtags that can be used that can be mixed up to avoid being banned from using tags.
A branded hashtag that is memorable and unique to your product or brand will see an accurate measure of engagement. A memorable tag will also generate brand recall, with consumers searching for your brand after seeing a set tag.
Consider where you wish to include hashtags in your posts. As discussed, brands prefer to post hashtags into the captions, but posts with hashtags in your comments see higher engagement.
The best way to know the optimal number of hashtags for your brand is to test and see what works. In general, somewhere between one and 15 hashtags seems to work well for most brands, but this depends on the limit the social media site has. We suggest that it would be best to test the ideal amount for your brand as the results will vary.
If your brand is looking for help with digital marketing, our team is ready to help. With digital marketing experts on hand, we can run your social media accounts for you or point you in the right direction. We also specialise in multicultural marketing, so you know how to expand your digital platform to reach ethnic audiences. Read our guide to social media to see how you can make the most out of the tools available to you.