Adding hashtags is a great way of increasing the reach of your content. They add your content to the hashtag feed for that hashtag on that platform, allowing you to become visible to those looking through that feed. They also put you on the feeds of those following that hashtag.
So, how do you decide which hashtags to add to your posts?
1. Research hashtag competition using Flick
If you use hashtags that have millions of posts using them, you’re in much higher competition and are less likely to appear on the top feed. Lower competition hashtags will give you a greater chance of appearing on that top feed, but will also have fewer people looking at them. That’s why it’s a good idea to use hashtags that have a range of low to high competition. You can do your own research on this, looking at number of posts for each hashtag. Or speed up the process by using the app Flick Hashtags. This allows you to see the competition for a hashtag and suggest other hashtags for you.
2. Use search and tools like Hashtagify.me to find related hashtags
By searching a hashtag, you can find related hashtags that you may also want to use with your content. For example, if you search #car, you’ll also find #cars, #carlovers, #carlover, etc. TOP TIP: save these to the notes section on your phone in different categories so you always have a list of hashtags ready! To speed up this process, there are lots of apps and tools that help with researching related hashtags, such as Hashtagify.me.
3. Look at the hashtags your competitors are using
When looking at the hashtags your competitors are using, look at the content that is getting great engagement. While you can’t look at the reach figures for the content, engagement signifies that the reach is good for those posts. Look at the feed for these hashtags and see what other hashtags those posts that appear in the top results are using.
4. Think about the hashtags your audience will be searching
You want to be found by the right people. While #cutedog might get your post seen, if you don’t sell anything to do with dogs, it’s getting seen by the wrong people! What hashtags are your audience searching? For example, if you share tips relating to your subject, use the hashtag #[insertsubject]tips (in my case I would use #socialmediatips). If you’re not sure what they might search, ask them!!
5. Use hashtags that relate directly to your post
This should go without saying, but I still see so many cases of hashtags being used to increase reach despite having no relation to the subject of the content! If your content doesn’t relate to the hashtag you are using, you’re not going to attract the right audience to you. Or if you do, you’ll put them off straight away! By having content themes that your content fits to, you can create lists of hashtags that are relevant to each theme so you don’t have to research them each time!