#TasteOfBrookes: How to use hashtags for your business

Brookes and Co

Hashtags have been around for more than 10 years now so we’re fairly sure that everyone knows what they are.

However, not everyone knows how to use them, particularly when it comes to your business.

Hashtags provide a great way for brands to make their social media posts discoverable and increase engagement levels, find relevant content from other businesses and engage with other social media users.

Originally used on Twitter, hashtags are now featured on almost every social network to categorise content.

With the number of social media users growing rapidly day by day, it’s vital for businesses to be using hashtags to tap into the growing online market.

To make sure you’re using hashtags for your business to their full potential, we’ve come up with our top ten hashtag tips:

1. Do your research Keyword hashtags are a vital tool for businesses to connect with social media users through a common interest. Research relevant hashtags for your business and make sure you use them. There are a variety of online tools to help you find related hashtags to any given topic, such as Hashtagify.

2. Set a limit It’s tempting to cram as many hashtags as possible into your social media posts to increase your reach, but on certain platforms this can dilute your message and can come across as desperate.

Limit yourself to 1 or 2 specific hashtags on platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. When it comes to Instagram and Pinterest, however, hashtag use is a lot more descriptive so feel free to use a few more but make sure they are always relevant to your content.

3. Get personal Come up with a unique hashtag for your business that will be instantly recognisable. This doesn’t mean just use your company name; instead, you can use something you want your brand to be known for. At Brookes, for example, we use #TasteOfBrookes, combining our company name with the name of our quarterly newsletter, Taste.

4. Start campaigning Another way to use unique brand hashtags is to come up with a campaign specific hashtag for every marketing campaign you run. This could be as simple as the name of your new product or your campaign slogan. Whatever you come up with, make sure you use it consistently in any campaign posts on social media.

5. Competition time Running competitions on social media is a great way to increase engagement with your brand. Hashtags such as #competition, #win and #FreebieFriday are incredibly popular online, often pulling massive levels of engagement for brands.

Use these for any online competitions, or come up with your own branded hashtag like we have done for Liberon’s latest campaign #WinWithLiberon.

6. Stay local If you are a local business, using a local hashtag is a great way to get exposure and build community awareness. As members of the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce, we often use local hashtags such as #Birmingham, #Staffordshire and #Uttoxeter to connect with other local businesses and the community.

7. Keep it short and sweet When coming up with your own hashtags, try to keep them as short as you can to avoid your message becoming lost. If you do want to use a few words, make sure you capitalise each word for clarity, eg #TasteOfBrookes. Whatever you come up with, make sure they are as easy as possible for social media followers to understand.

8. Follow trends Make sure you check regularly for trending topics and hashtags across social media platforms. If there is anything trending that is relevant, make sure you use the hashtag to join in the conversation!

9. Change with the seasons Watch out for any seasonal hashtags that you can use that are relevant to your brand. Generic hashtags for seasonal celebrations such as #Christmas and #Halloween can help you get your brand name out there. Last December, we planned a ‘countdown to Christmas’ social media schedule using the unique hashtag #24DaysOfBrookes and saw high levels of engagement.

10. Join conversations Whether it’s trending hashtags, relevant keywords or Twitter chats, make sure you are joining in conversations on social media.

Use hashtags to find social media users to interact with and get chatting with potential customers.

Looking responsive online will work wonders for your brand. Hashtags are a great tool to elevate your brand online and make a wide impression, but understanding where, when and how to use them is key to success.

With our top tips, you should have a good starting point to come up with a successful hashtag strategy for your brand.