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Written by Rivka Hodgkinson

Last modified December 10, 2019 at 11:11 am

Should You Use Your Industry’s Most Popular Hashtags or Get Creative?

How do you use hashtags in your marketing right now? Do you see a measurable impact from them? Many social media managers and marketers often just find the most popular hashtags and use them—but don’t know whether that’s a good idea.

To answer those questions, we need to look at the finer points of using hashtags and how to measure their impact. Then, we can find and try out new hashtags.

Using Hashtags on Different Platforms

All platforms are not created equal in how they regard hashtags. The first step to effectively using hashtags is to make sure your use is appropriate for the social media channel that you are on. If you are not yet familiar with those practices, take time to learn more about using hashtags on the major social media platforms:

Hashtags are often used to insert humor and connect with an audience. However, they are primarily a tool that allows people searching for content like yours to find it.

Ask yourself, “What are people looking for that my content is a perfect fit for?” In other words, ask, “What questions does my audience have that my content answers?”

The answer will all depend on your industry.

For example, if you are a food blogger or a restaurant owner, the people you want to reach might be asking, “What should I make for dinner?” Your latest recipe post or new menu feature would be the perfect find.

Say you are in the fashion or makeup industry; your audience might wonder about what colors look good together or what will work for their skin tone.

Measure the Impact of Your Hashtags

Social media managers and marketers may assume that the biggest and most used hashtags will be the best for their campaign. However, everyone else is using those popular hashtags, too. You can easily get lost in the crowd because of the increased competition.

So, what is the solution?

  • Review your own results.
  • Experiment.
  • See what works best for you.

Agorapulse makes that process easy with its reporting tool. You can view all the hashtags that you have used over the reporting period. You can see whether your hashtags have gotten more engagement and which ones performed the best.

use hashtags

You will notice that often some of the smaller hashtags get almost as many interactions as the primary ones. The key is to try different hashtags to see what works best for you with your audience—and even what will work best on each individual social media platform.

Another way to analyze which hashtags are the best fit for your brand is to see how others on the platform use them.

A great alternative to the long process of manual searches is to set up the Listening tool in Agorapulse with some of the hashtags that you want to track. Doing so will allow you to see example posts in real time. You can even use this tool to respond and engage people on this hashtag, and it can even be a good way to grow new followers.

use hashtags for listening


Hashtag searches can also give you ideas of other hashtags to try when publishers use multiple hashtags in their post.

Use Hashtag Sets

One of the reasons people don’t use hashtags is because figuring out which hashtags to use can be a hassle.

Also, as you develop your strategy, you will have an ever-expanding list of hashtags to use. It is easy to fall into the trap of reinventing the wheel if you don’t have a way to track all these hashtags. That can be especially true if you are working with a team to manage a social media account.

One way to tackle that task is to use the new “saved hashtags sets” feature on Agorapulse. Especially on Instagram, where you want to use more hashtags than other platforms, you can save time in reduced typing alone.

Saved hashtag sets also makes communicating with the whole team about its hashtags strategy easier.

To use this feature, when you are in publishing, select the hashtag symbol to access or create a new hashtag set. You can use this to create and use hashtags around common subjects that you post about regularly. Name the hashtag sets, so all the managers of the account clearly will know which hashtags should be used and when.

use hashtags

The great part is that once you insert the hashtag set into your post, you can still edit it in the post as well as each individual platform.

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Don’t let hashtags be something you overlook or assume which one to put at the end of your social media post. Take time to figure out which hashtags will best reach your audience (and potential audience).

Rivka Hodgkinson

Rivka has been managing and teaching social media for over 10 years, working with clients in a wide variety of industries. Her specialty is in creating content that connects and starting real relationships in the online world. She has been a speaker on the topic of social media all over the United States and worked with clients around the globe. She has been featured on numerous podcasts and published in The Better Business Book. When she is not writing, creating, and speaking, you can usually find her doing one of her two favorite hobbies - reading and baking.

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