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May 17, 2024

Hashtags & Handles: Their role and importance in your social media strategy

Hashtags and handles have become big pieces of added content across all social media platforms. They have become important tools for businesses in order to increase engagement, attract new customers, and reach your target audience. 

However, an integral aspect of being able to use hashtags is knowing how to use them. You can flood every content post on your social channels with hashtags, but if there are too many and they fail to correlate with your post it inevitably becomes spam and looks messy. 

This post helps businesses understand the basics of hashtags and handles, how to use them, and the importance of what they can do for your business. 

Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • What a hashtag is
  • What hashtags can do for your business
  • The importance of trending hashtags & how many are too many
  • Why incorporating unique and specific hashtags works better
  • What are handles and why do they matter

What Exactly Is a Hashtag?

A hashtag is a pound sign (#) that is followed by a key phrase or word to label a piece of content. Hashtags are an easy-to-use and efficient way to allow people to quickly find the specific type of content they may be looking for on social media. Hashtags connect pieces of content to particular topics, events and discussions. This allows for the ease of discoverability. While many people believe hashtags are only relevant or user friendly on one platform (Twitter, where they originated), they are relevant in all social media channels including Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

What Can Hashtags Do For My Business?

Hashtags play an important role in helping your social content grow and become discoverable. Not only do they give you the benefit of categorizing your posts, they increase engagement, attract new followers to what they may be looking for, and they can help you reach your target audience. 

Branded hashtags are also important. In keeping up with the newest trends on social media, you always want to build your brand in the newest and most creative ways so as to top over your competitors. Branded hashtags can help you do this. So what are branded hashtags exactly? These are hashtags specific to your brand. A good example of this would be Coca-Cola. Their branded hashtag is #ShareACoke. When people see this online or hear about this hashtag it immediately drives their minds to thinking about Coca-Cola. This is an effective way to drive conversation and keep your brand relevant.

Why Is Hashtag Research So Important?

Hashtag research isn’t something you can just shrug off and assume the generic hashtags you’ve chosen will work. This is a way for you to fully understand the type of content people are sharing and how to connect with your target audience.

One of the best practices in researching hashtags is to create a list of popular hashtags with maximum reach. From this list you can extract a number of hashtags most relevant to your target audience and the potential customers you want to reach. 

By researching your audience (what they follow, what they like, what they’re viewing), your competition (what they’re using and what is working versus what isn’t working), and searching for what is trending now can help you fulfil your hashtag research. 

What Are Trending Hashtags And Why Should I Use Them?

Social media is rapidly changing and continuously reinventing itself. Being able to keep up with the constant growth and adapting to the changes can help keep you on top of the game and in front of your competitors. 

Trending hashtags are often overlooked as they may seem irrelevant to your business. While it is true that not all trending hashtags may relate to your business or what you’re posting, keeping up with the constant trends and using them for your content are what will increase your engagement and following.  

Use Unique and Specific Hashtags

When it comes to hashtags there are a wide range and variety to use, virtually anything can be turned into a hashtag. If you are creating a post and you’re adding hashtags, using a generic hashtag such as #cars can be extremely broad and not as effective. Chances are that your audience isn’t going to be searching “#cars”, but instead for the specific car that they are looking for. This is why you want to use more specific and unique hashtags that are relevant to your brand and your product or service. For any business it is important to get creative and do your research so your hashtags can help you stand out. 

When it comes to hashtags, just like keywords, you want to be focused, do your research and spend the time working out what will work best for your business and how you will attract your target audience. Hashtags are a crucial part of your social presence and will help you stay up to trend with what is going on and where your audience is online.  

What are Handles and Why Do They Matter?

Social media handles are public usernames directed to specific social media accounts. On most social platforms, it’s usually the @ symbol followed by the username, for example you can find our social handle as @GetRTOWN. 

When you have a business it’s important to understand that the consistency of handles is extremely important. You want your audience to be able to find you easily on all channels – you don’t want to send them on a wild chase just to track down your social accounts. That’s why keeping your handles all the same can convey professionalism and consistency, allowing your audience to find your business effectively and engage. 

Social handles can be used not only for identification purposes, but for tagging as well. If your audience, or another business perhaps, mentions your organization online you want to make sure that you are being tagged in the post. This is where your social handle plays a significant role. Not only will tagging allow your audience and potential customers to find you, but consistency also plays a key role here. When it’s easier to locate your handle because it’s the same across all channels, it eases the process of getting the attention your business deserves.

RTOWN is here to help you with all of your hashtag and social handles understanding and collection. Our team can help you research, collect, and analyze hashtags specific to your brand and your audience. Social handles are an important step in online marketing, RTOWN can also help you optimize your social channels to reflect professionalism and to stand out. Contact us today to set up a meeting to discuss your brand and how to get the most out of hashtags. 

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