Hashtags are the open secret of social media – everyone knows what they are but no one knows what they actually do. Yet, Returnonnow.com says that “businesses which use hashtags on Twitter and Instagram are improving their engagement rates up to 12.6%.” Few people don’t use hashtags on their posts. But the fact of the matter is that few people actually use them correctly. So the question remains: what is a hashtag? And how do you make it work for you?

The point of hashtags are simple; they categorize similar posts so users can access specific content in one easy place. If you’ve ever accidentally clicked on one, you’ll soon find yourself in an endless scroll of posts or tweets, not unlike the one you were just viewing. For example, the hashtag #digitalmarketing has 3,503,953 posts attached to it. Yes. 3.5 MILLION. It may seem like a lot, but a popular hashtag also comes with a large, passionate community attached to it too; and more posts = more eyes that could potentially land on your page.

The real key to effective hashtag marketing is knowing what hashtags work for your business. There is no formula or secret trick to figuring that out. It’s simply trial and error. Brainstorm 10-15 hashtags that you feel accurately represent the voice, message, or tone of your brand and rotate them throughout your upcoming posts. See which hashtags garner the most interaction and engagement – those are the ones you’re going to want to stick with.

Don’t underestimate the importance of hashtagging. It will increase engagement on your page and connect your content with the wider audience it may need to take your business to the next level. Besides, you never know who could accidentally stumble upon your brand’s page. They may just be your next customer. #happyposting!

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