The hash symbol has become an important tool in social media platforms. It began with Twitter but later spread to other social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. The hashtag is used to relay important messages to the audience of your choice and is an important tool to reach your clients. But, when using hashtags, the following tips should be put into consideration. You can use a wide array of Instagram and Twitter tools to get the most out of our hashtag strategy.
1. Hashtag Strategy Based on the Platform
You must understand the social media you are using. Depending on that platform, you can change or execute the desired results. Research done by the buddy media shows that tweets that include hashtags have double the engagement than those without. Yet, those that include more than one hashtags have shown a significant drop in engagement. Contrarily, on Instagram, posts with many hashtags usually have a higher interaction than those with few. But, the use of hashtags on Facebook has not shown any evidence of their effectiveness.

2. Use Only a Few Hashtags (or Many)
It becomes annoying when you read a post with too many hashtags, say eight or ten. Create a hashtag strategy that matches your channel and audience. In Twitter use on or two hashtags. Instagram is where you can go a bit wild, and a good number of hashtags is 8 to 10. Use of hashtags helps you to capture the attention of those who do not follow your brand yet.
1-2 powerful and relevant hashtags are enough to reach your target population. It doesn’t burden your post and helps you to garner new followers. A good example is #amazingmonday
3. Ask Questions with Specific Answers
To build a good hashtag, one must ask only those questions with fixed or specific answers. When you ask open-ended questions, the answers you get becomes ambiguous. You can expect all sorts of replies from those who see your post. Before using a hashtag, you must ask yourself how different audience will react to that post. For instance, teenagers are fond of posting funny comments that can be embarrassing and demeaning. Some comments may cause harm to some people and may make certain rumors go viral. Some may even bring a topic that is not even supposed to be discussed on a social media platform. While others may display defamatory information to certain key personnel’s.
For example, one can use the following hashtag to criticize a certain theme. #remember2007crisis? Don’t do that.
4. Understand the Type of Hashtag Strategy You are Using
There are three types of marketing strategies for hashtags. These are:
  • brand and campaign specific,
  • trending 
  • content hashtags.

To begin with, brand and campaign hashtags are specific tags that one makes for his own business. They are used to market your products or to promote a certain brand your business deals with.
When using these hashtags, you should make a brand hashtag that is unique and consistent with your business or organization. Use your tag as your representative and get people to use them to promote your product too. Once you have created them, you should check them to respond to those using them. A good example of a brand hashtag is #royalmabati which is used to market iron sheets on social on social media.Secondly, trending hashtags include topics that have become popular and what people are talking about in every corner. When you see a trend relating to your business, you should engage in it by using the tag. Using trending hashtags potentially gets your message seen by a massive audience. For instance, if you sell burgers you can take part in the #burgerstrending, likeAndrewTUCCI.
Lastly, content hashtags are hashtags you use in your posts and which simply relate to your post content. They include, among others: product, lifestyle, even and location hashtags. For example, if you are selling coffee, you can post your best coffee images using #streetcoffee.
5. Find Out What Your Audience is Talking About
If you find what people are talking about, you can easily know the hashtag appropriate to use to tackle a certain felt need. This is important for businesses who would like to take an opportunity to execute a certain business idea or to market their products. Bloggers can also listen to what people are talking about a certain issue and use it to address it using a hashtag. Brand could use the name with a hashtag to promote any content they publish. He could ask other bloggers to use his hashtag when he guest posts.
A good example is when you find that people are talking about vintage wear and you have or know somebody with a boutique selling such clothes. You can use #bestvintageinTown to direct the potential customers to your boutique. You can also post something funny for people to take part in the debate.
6. Use Live Tweets
If you are wishing to connect a wider audience, or get more followers, live tweet the events your customers are interested in. Just use the event hashtag and your own one. When using this tactic, you need to make sure that your brand participates or adds something special to the conversation. Another way to make an excellent hashtag is to be ready to show your personality. One of the most successful hashtag campaigns is #ShareaCoke.
share-a-cokeThis made the tweeters tweet their own stories with the hashtag #shareAcoke and the people owned the brand.
7. Make Your Hashtag Simple, Authentic and Catchy
The phrase should be easy to remember. Also, it must be unambiguous, so you will see only those mentions that relate to your campaign. A short hashtag becomes easier to understand the content of what the post really want to communicate. Some hashtags are usually long such that it becomes difficult for one to combine the initials to understand what the post actually means.
For example, stand #messiandbarcelonaarehellofashit. This hashtag is difficult for one to understand what is being communicated since it is long. A shorter hashtag such as #messiAgain is easier to capture audience attention. It can go viral more than it can ever be anticipated.
8. Make it Easier for Your Audience to Join Hashtag Discussion
To engage more people, you have to encourage them to join discussion. Furthermore, reduce the barriers to entry as much as you can. Make the topic of discussion as interesting as possible or use a reward to encourage people to take part. An interesting topic will always catch people’s attention and induce them always to participate. When people learn that it is a competition by the one who is actively involved in the conversation and there is a reward after that, your hashtag will capture a wide region. Furthermore, it can be used for other business activities such as brand promotion. For instance, #whoKnowsAvirginTeen urges people to join the conversation as the topic is interesting. It gets harder to find a teenager who is a virgin, and you can expect all sorts of humorous expressions.
9. Correct Timing
It will be of no use to use an outdated hashtag or rather one that addresses an event that has already happened. You must know the correct time to execute your hashtag depending on the current trends or something you expect to happen in the future.
You find that most successful hashtag campaigns are done a month before. It provides ample room to join and take part in the latter. MasterCard’s #pricelessSuprises is one of the successful campaigns that was launched in January 2014. #PricelessSuprises is still running today. It was launched during 2014 Grammy awards, and the occasion was graced by Justin Timberlake.
10. Inspire
When coming up with a hashtag, make it lofty and relatable. You should pick a hashtag that is relevant and inspiring on its own outside your brand. A targeted hashtag will make it communicate strongly what you desire to inform your target population.
A good example of an inspiring hashtag is #lestweforget2007. It’s a powerful hashtag relating to what happened in the year 2007 in Kenya during the post-election violence. This hashtag inspires people to embrace unity and shun away tribalism to avoid such crises.

Depending on what you wish to communicate, you can gain huge benefit from using hashtags in your campaign. A catchy, positive, actionable and inspiring hashtag can do great for any campaign. This analysis shows some of the hugely successful campaigns. It helps one to understand the dos and don’ts of a successful hashtag strategy. It is also important to note that none of the few winning hashtags included the names of the brands behind them and none were over-promotional.
BIO: Elaina Meiser is an enthusiastic blogger from Sweden who is interested in writing about everything worth reading in the marketing sphere. She is eager to become an expert in this field. Also, Elaina strives to share her own perspective about activities for personal and professional development. You can follow her on twitter.