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#Hashtag marketing: How to strategically use hashtags to build brand awareness

How to use hashtags to build brand awareness

Hashtag marketing is an essential tool in the small business’ brand-building toolbox. 92% of small businesses saw an increase in online sales in 2021, according to a Sendlane survey. There’s no getting around the fact that digital marketing is essential for any small business that wants to survive. But how do you build brand awareness on social media when millions of other enterprises are trying to do the same thing? This is where strategic hashtag marketing comes in.

Learn the basics and then bookmark this page for future use.

Relevance is key

The trick is to use hashtags strategically rather than choosing random words or using terms. The more relevant your hashtags, the better your chances of reaching your target audience and building brand awareness.

Find relevant hashtags by researching emerging trends among consumers as well as the content in your top-performing social media posts. When you know which words and terms are relevant, you can start planning to use different types of hashtags in your marketing strategy.

Different types of hashtags

Let’s take a look at the different types of hashtags you can use in your business's social media posts:

  • Branded hashtags are unique to specific brands and are used in all their social media posts. They can be your business’ name, a slogan, or a product. Miller Lite’s #ItsMillerTime is a great example, as is our very own #MadewithRipl!

  • Campaign hashtags usually accompany new marketing campaigns to build brand awareness or advertise a new product. A good example is Coca-Cola’s #ShareACoke is a good example.

  • Product hashtags use the names of specific products to create awareness and to join the conversation consumers are having about them.

  • Trending hashtags usually include popular cultural topics and trending challenges. Use them when you want your brand to join a bigger conversation. An example of a trending hashtag that brands and individuals used a few years ago was #GameOfThrones.

  • Community hashtags connect like-minded individuals and can be generic or brand-specific. Use generic community hashtags such as #DogsOfInstagram if they harmonize with your content. Use brand-specific community hashtags to create a community of followers from among consumers who support your business. An example is Lululemon’s #TheSweatLife.

  • Holiday hashtags let you connect with your followers over well-known and less popular holidays and national days. Again, they should align with the content you post, whether it be about a product or brand values. Dove used the #InternationalNursesDay holiday hashtag effectively.

How to choose the right hashtag

You need to choose the right words and terms if you want your hashtag marketing to build brand awareness. Follow these tips to create or choose the right hashtags:

  • Be simple and straightforward – Your hashtags should be direct. Their purpose should be obvious to your audience.

  • Involve your audience – Encourage your audience to tag and share their own content to generate conversation among your followers.

  • Be clever – Use humor to create hashtags that are easier for your audience to recall.

  • Choose an actionable phrase – Using a call-to-action as a hashtag encourages your followers to respond. The above-mentioned #ShareACoke is a brilliant example of a branded hashtag that’s actionable.

How many hashtags?

Even though some social media platforms let you use up to 30 hashtags, using that many is not the best option. It’s better to build brand awareness with a few well-chosen hashtags:

  • Instagram – Use 5-10 hashtags

  • Facebook – Use 1-2 hashtags

  • Twitter – Use 1-2 hashtags

  • YouTube – Use 2-3 hashtags

  • Pinterest – Use 2-5 hashtags

  • LinkedIn – Use 1-2 hashtags

Strategic hashtag marketing can help build brand awareness for your small business. In 2022, authentic marketing is trending and using hashtags is one way of connecting with your target audience. Create content, add your tags, and get the word out there! #YouCanDoIt