Hashtags are a great way to broaden your reach and engage followers. Unlike regular tweets and status updates that appear only in your followers’ news feeds, posts with hashtags have the potential to be seen by the masses. By adding an appropriate hashtag to a post, you are making that post discoverable. In addition, you can piggyback on other popular hashtags by using them. As a result, your tweets and updates may be seen by a much larger audience. But where do you find good hashtags to use?
Follow the Lead of Others
Assuming you fully understand your audience and its interests, start by following thought leaders and industry experts in a relevant field. For example, if your target audience includes lawyers and paralegals, you might follow the American Bar Association (ABA) as your prospects likely do. Now pay attention to the hashtags these thought leaders use. Click on hashtags that make sense for your business and look at: (1) appropriate usage and (2) what kind of engagement they get.
For example, the hashtag #ABA might appeal to you at first glance. After all, it’s likely that your target audience would be interested in what the American Bar Association has to say. However, if you click on the #ABA hashtag, you’ll soon find that the #ABA hashtag is commonly used to tag tweets related to the American Basketball Association and the American Benefits Association.
While that particular hashtag might not be the best, dig deeper. Check out the relevant users who have used that hashtag and see what other hashtags they are using. For instance, you might find a hashtag such as #womeninlaw that makes perfect sense for your business just by exploring.
Hashtags.org is a great resource for finding and researching hashtags. Using our law example, start by entering the word “law” or a similar broad topic into the search bar. Hashtags.org will display a 24-hour trend graph, list of prolific users using that particular hashtag, related tweets, and related hashtags.
Check Out Trending Hashtags
Various websites will show you which hashtags are currently trending including Twitter itself, Hashtags.org, TrendsMap, and WhatTheTrend. If you can find a relevant, trending hashtag, your tweets and updates could be seen by a huge audience. The key here is to find a relevant one.
Start Your Own Hashtag
Can’t find the perfect hashtag? Another option is to create your own. Many marketers create their own hashtags as part of a marketing campaign and then encourage others to use the hashtag. For example, if you had a marketing campaign for a product that solves a paralegals’s problems, you might create the hashtag #frustratedparalegals and encourage your prospects to share their frustrations using that hashtag.
Hunting for hashtags isn’t difficult but it does take some effort. Before using a hashtag, make sure that you understand how others are using it so that you use it in proper context. Once you find solid, reliable hashtags, consider creating a spreadsheet so that you have a list of go-to hashtags at your disposal.