Hashtags are your friend. Repeat after me: Hashtags are my friend.
They can be a little intimidating when you get started, but on platforms like Twitter and Instagram, they are absolutely necessary to maximize your posts. So let's cover some basics!
There are a couple of ways to find hashtags that are applicable to you and your messaging:
1. The easiest way to start is to follow other businesses or people in your field on Twitter and/or Instagram. Note the hashtags they are using on their posts. On Twitter, it'll be easier to spot the ones that are most focused to your target group. Instagrammers have a habit of using LOTS of hashtags and it can be tricky to sift through and find the ones most useful for you. But look at all of them and see what people are using to draw audiences in to their posts.
2. Use a hashtag popularity tool. There are lots out there, but I use Hashtagify to do some research. It'll show you how popular a hashtag is AND show you related tags. Not bad!
3. Create your own hashtag. Now, there are some documented fails of this happening for some big brands—but don't let that stop you. Especially if you keep yours simple and directly related to your business. This works particularly well for events, so people at the event can tag and find each other.
4. Trial and error. I know! You hate this one! But you can run some very simple experiments (especially on Twitter) to find out which hashtags give you the best reach and engagement. Focus on your hashtags for 3-4 weeks and see what you can pull out. I think you'll be surprised about what hashtags give you the most leverage.
Now go out there and get to it! Try a few out, do a little research and find conversations happening. Hashtags are a great tool for social media marketing, so don't lose out because you don't understand or don't know how to find them. Good luck!
Jensie is the ringleader of Slanted Communication & Consulting. She is an expert in marketing, social media, content, and loves helping other entrepreneurs get started in their own adventures. Learn more about working with Jensie and her team here.