Using hashtags to market your business on social media 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 posts, 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.
1. Find out what hashtags influencers are using
Influencers in your niche are already using a bunch of hashtags that are both popular and highly relevant to your audience.
There are a couple of ways you can find these hashtags.
Start by going to Instagram and Twitter and simply scan through influencer posts to see which hashtags they’re using.
On Instagram, here’s an easy way to do this…this is especially useful if you don’t already follow many influencers in your field.
In the search bar, type in a generic keyword related to your niche. For instance, I might type in “marketing”.
Under Tags, click on a hashtag to reveal the most popular posts that use that hashtag. Now scroll through those posts and see what OTHER hashtags those influencers use.
This is a great way to scout out very relevant, but still popular and effective hashtags!
Another way to find hashtags influencers are using is with a tool like Hashtagify.me.
Simply type in a keyword or hashtag, and get a list of top influencers who use that hashtag. You can even sort influencers by how influential they are, their specialization, and their number of followers!
2. Find trending hashtags in your niche
As part of your social media strategy, you will definitely want to identify which topics are trending, both in general and in your industry.
To find general trending hashtags, RiteTag is a fantastic tool.
Simply go to their Hashtag Search page and see a full list of the most popular and trending hashtags currently in use.
Want more info on a particular hashtag? Click on View Stats to see hourly statistics, usage graphs and more.
Another great tool for this is Hashtagify.me (again!).
The beauty of this tool is that you can search for trending hashtags in your niche.
Simply type in a particular hashtag, and find out exactly how popular it is – in general, recently, in the past month and in the past week.
And want to find more popular related hashtags? Scroll down the page to see the most popular related hashtags in an easy-to-understand visual format.
3. Find relevant cross-platform hashtags
Many tools make it difficult to find out which hashtags are popular on individual platforms. And other tools are good ONLY for finding hashtags on a particular platform (e.g., on Twitter, Instagram, etc.).
Because Tagboard aggregates conversations happening across the web, it’s a great tool for finding hashtags that are popular and relevant across all platforms – and the best part is the tool shows you ACTUAL top posts that use that hashtag on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.
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 social web – and this is invaluable.
And because you can see actual posts that use your chosen hashtag, you can easily scout out new and related hashtags…simply by seeing which OTHER hashtags are frequently used on these posts.
4. Find hashtags that help you meet specific goals
What if you want to find and use hashtags that will get your post seen right away? Or what if you want to find one that’s going to work well…but only on Instagram?
There’s a tool for that!
I already mentioned RiteTag above, but this is where it really shines. Type in a keyword and the tool will show you related hashtags broken down by:
- Good only for Instagram
- The Hashtags you can use to get seen now
- Hashtags to get seen over time
- And, the Hashtags you shouldn’t use…because they’re just not popular enough
It’s kind of like your own personal hashtag advisor!
5. Use Twitter’s tailored trends
Twitter Trends gives you a list of topics and hashtags based on a bunch of factors directly related to YOU, including your:
- Your interests
- Who you follow
These factors, combined with which tweets are currently trending (not trending yesterday or last week), mean you see tweets that are extremely relevant and popular – right now.
If you want to see more details on any specific topic or keyword, no problem. Simply click on it and you’ll see all the most recent tweets that use that word or hashtag.
Want to see more general trends…not just those based on your current location? This is easy to do – click on Change and then just adjust your location!
6. Use Hashtags.org to find trending hashtags and more
One of the most popular tools out there is Hashtags.org, and for good reason.
Enter a hashtag into the search box, and you’ll receive a wealth of information including:
- The hashtag definition
- A 24-hour hashtag trend graph
- “Prolific users” of that hashtag
- Recent tweets
- Related hashtags
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.
Fortunately, even if you can’t invest in the paid version, the free version still gives you a great place to start!
7. The low-tech option: brainstorming
These tools are all great, but don’t forget that YOU’RE the expert when it comes to your niche and audience!
Before you jump in and try out the tools above, I’d encourage you to take some time to sit down and brainstorm which keywords will be of interest to your audience.
Once you’ve come up with a list, you can plug them into the tools above to find related hashtags and to see how popular they really are!
I also recommend keeping a spreadsheet or digital file of some sort with your favorite and most effective hashtags. Sort them by topic, popularity, “trendiness” and effectiveness with YOUR audience (in terms of retweets, likes, etc.).
This way you have a detailed repository you can consult each time you post on social media – no more wondering which hashtag to use, and whether or not it will be effective!
What other tools or strategies would you add to the list above? Share below!