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Hashtag Strategy for 2023

Hashtags are a strategy businesses use to help drive traffic to their content in order to increase engagement with comments, views, likes and shares. Understanding how to use hashtags and their benefits will help you outline your hashtag strategy for 2023.


Hashtags are keywords or phrases used to identify the topic of the content you are posting, or allows you to search for online content within a specific topic.


Are people using #'s in 2023?

While a percentage of users are "over it" when it comes to using hashtags, #'s are still a very relevant strategy for business growth. But the hashtags you use, how many you use, how frequently you use them and what platform you are on should all be factored into your hashtag strategy in 2023.


Here are the top recommendations for hashtags:


Instagram

As of December 2022, there have been no updates to Instagram's recommended hashtag strategy of 3 - 5 #'s per post. Can you use more than 3 - 5? Yes, you can actually use up to 30 hashtags on an Instagram post, and up to 10 in a story. However, just because you can, doesn't mean you should. Here are guidelines for properly using hashtags:

  1. Only use hashtags relevant to each piece of content you post. Instagram uses AI (artificial intelligence) to scan your image, read the caption and review the hashtags to determine relevancy. So, if you are a realtor and you post a cute photo of your "office mascot" (your dog) for National Dog Day, you wouldn't want to use #homeforsale as part of your hashtags on this post.

  2. Use hashtags that your audience is already using and following.

  3. Don't only use commonly used hashtags.

  4. Aim for a mix of different types of hashtags, including well known community hashtags and niche hashtags, for example #sandiegolife #sandiegoliving #southerncalifornia #sandiego #sandiegocounty

  5. Use specific hashtags to find your audience, create your own branded hashtag, or use a campaign hashtag. #coremarketingnow

  6. Use a hashtag finder such as Flick, Inflact, Hashtags For Likes, Tailwind, etc. to help generate different hashtags.

To check banned hashtags on Instagram, use the search feature to type the #hashtag you want to use. If it is a restricted hashtag, there will be a notification.


What not to do:
  • Don’t use hashtags with nothing to do with your content.

  • Don’t use generic hashtags that will cause your content to get lost among the millions of other posts.

  • Using the wrong hashtags can hurt you, from turning off potential followers to being penalized by Instagram’s algorithm.


Later ran a study of over 18 million Instagram posts and found that posts with 20 - 30 hashtags received the most reach, and posts with 30 hashtags had the highest average engagement (175% more than posts with 5 hashtags). So what does this conflicting information mean?


Using a minimum of 3 relevant hashtags up to 30 hashtags max on your posts, create a strategy that works the best for you. If you get the same engagement on posts with 3 - 5 hashtags as using 30 hashtags, you may not want to spend extra time writing the extra hashtags and vice versa.


BONUS TIPS
  • Share 2 - 5 quality posts per week, including reels.

  • Post M-F between 5:00am - 11:00am or 5:00pm - 6:00pm paying close attention the the middle of the week.

  • Hide your hashtags by placing them on line 4 of your caption, or move them to the comments section.

Facebook

Keeping in mind the best practices outlined above, the best strategy for using hashtags on Facebook include:

  • 2-3 hashtags

  • Use common industry or content type hashtags

  • Use locations and brands when relevant

  • Post 3 - 5 quality posts per week, including reels.

  • Place your hashtags at the end of your content.


LinkedIn

Using hashtags on LinkedIn is all about keeping it simple and formatting. Here are the tips for LinkedIn:

  • Although there are no limits on the number of hashtags for LinkedIn, using 3 - 5 is plenty

  • Use professional hashtags, one aimed at the topic, the other at your specific point of view.

  • Capitalize each word within your hashtag, i.e. use #CoreMarketingNow instead of #coremarketingnow, especially when used within the post

  • LinkedIn offers a hashtag generator and analytics tool to find the best hashtags.

Twitter

Twitter is where the # got it's start and it is still going strong. Using hashtags on Twitter are simple: use 1 - 2 top hashtags on every post! This platform is for following news in real time so you don't need a long string of hashtags to invite others into the conversation. Ready for this: experts say to post 3 - 30 times a day on Twitter. If you ain't got time for that, do what works for you.


YouTube

That's right, you can use hashtags on YouTube to improve your rankings. The limit is 15, but again, using 3 - 5 relevant and targeted hashtags is sufficient and will see a significant bump in engagement. Here are some additional tips:

  • Add a hashtag to your title, description (at the end of your summary), or both.

  • Hashtags must adhere to YouTube’s Community Guidelines, please visit their site for the most up-to-date information.

  • Do not add unrelated hashtags or your video may be removed.

  • YouTube has an auto-suggest feature that will automatically suggest currently trending hashtags. All you have to do is start with #.

  • Use hashtags to group your content by type so it makes it easier for your viewers to find relevant content.


Before you create a #hashtagstrategy, you need to have your social media strategy and overall marketing plan in place so you are directing your content to the correct customer. Whether you post a specific topic on each day of the week, i.e. Monday Mood, Tuesday Tips, Throwback Thursday, etc., or preschedule your content on a weekly or monthly basis, being strategic is what will increase your engagement.



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