Using hashtags in your social media marketing is one of the quickest and easiest ways to expand your influence beyond your current pool of followers.
When you use relevant hashtags (#) in your social media posts, people who are searching for those keywords can find your tweets and updates, and can potentially follow you.
Unfortunately, if you use the WRONG hashtags, your marketing won’t be nearly as effective. This post will outline some of the ways you can research and discover relevant hashtags that people in your niche are actually looking for.
For more tips on using hashtags in your business, see my posts 7 Reasons Why Hashtags are a MUST in Your Marketing and How to Use Hashtags to Grow Your Business.
1. Find out which hashtags influencers are using.
There are many tools you can use to figure out which hashtags influencers in your niche are using. One such tool is Twitonomy, and it will provide you with a list of the top 10 hashtags of any Twitter user.
Simply type in the Twitter handle of any leader in your industry, and see which hashtags they have found effective with their audience.
2. Find trending hashtags in your niche.
As part of your social media strategy, you will definitely want to identify which topics are trending in your industry. A great tool for this is Hashtagify.me, as it shows you the top 10 hashtags related to a particular keyword.
If I wanted to find all the most popular hashtags related to ‘social media’, I would simply plug that term into the search box, and voila! A list of trending hashtags related to social media would appear.
3. Find relevant cross-platform hashtags.
If you are looking to find relevant hashtags for Facebook, Instagram, Google+ and other popular networks, Tagboard is a great option. It aggregates conversations happening across the web, and organizes them by hashtags; you can even create your own boards if you have come up with a new hashtag.
While Tagboard doesn’t provide a way to find new hashtags (you need to come in with an idea of which hashtags you want to search for), it will keep you in the loop in terms of what’s relevant in your niche across the whole of the social web – and this is invaluable.
4. Drill down to find more specific hashtags.
You probably already have an idea of general hashtags or keywords people are using in your niche. But to find new, more specific hashtags, you will need to drill down a bit.
One tool that can help in this process is Tweet Binder. Simply type in a general hashtag (like #socialmedia, for instance), and, among other info, you will receive a list of hashtags related to your query. If you want to see what’s being tweeted about the suggested terms, simply click on the hashtag to see the most recent tweets.
5. Use Twitter’s tailored trends.
Introduced back in 2012, tailored trends gives you a list of topics and hashtags based both on your location and on whom you follow on Twitter. While it only provides a very limited list of topics at any given point, it can be helpful to keep an eye on trending topics of interest to your followers. If you want to see a more general list of trends, simply click on ‘Change’, and you have the option of changing your location.
6. Use Hashtags.org to find trending hashtags and more.
One of the most popular hashtag tools is Hashtags.org, and for good reason. Enter a hashtag into the search box, and you will receive a wealth of information including a 24-hour graph trend, and the most prolific users for that hashtag.
Since this post is about finding NEW hashtags though, I must mention that the ability to find related hashtags is limited to paid members. They do provide some related hashtags, but to see the full list you will need to upgrade your account.
7. The low-tech option: brainstorming
These tools are all great, but don’t forget that YOU ARE the expert when it comes to your niche and audience. Before you jump in and try out the tools above, I would encourage you to take some time to sit down and brainstorm which keywords will be of interest to your audience.
Once you have come up with a list of possible hashtags, you can plug them into the tools above to find related hashtags and to see how popular they really are!
What other tools or strategies would you add to the list above? Share below!