Are Hashtags effective for Social media Marketing? – A Pinterest, LinkedIn and Instagram Case Study
Man, I was just as confused. I mean when do you hashtag when do you not. What do hashtags do if at all for your content as a business owner? I have seen hashtags a mile long and those that are rude, funny self-effacing, congratulatory, etc. My Question thus was: are hashtags effective for Social media marketing?
It has become the new norm, the one thing most people do now like having a cuppa at tea time…
But what if you don’t do it when you visit your favorite platform?
I am talking about #hashtags for your content marketing. But…
What is a hashtag?
A Hashtag is a word/phrase preceded by the # sign to emphasize a sentence. A hashtag is also a clickable link and can be used to identify a specific brand.
It works like a Keyword, especially on Instagram. And On LinkedIn, you can trend for a specific hashtag… But I jump the boat here. ?
You cannot use special characters like dashes, punctuation, or space in a hashtag.
You must be asking yourself; do I need 30 hashtags on Instagram?
Do you need hashtags on Pinterest? How about your Facebook post? And where does LinkedIn stand on hashtags?
Today allow me to share with you my experience as a Social media manager and answer your question… To hashtag or Not to hashtag.
I will unpack it for you; when to use hashtags and which platform gives you the most traffic and desired results when you use them.
This means I’ll go platform by platform, starting with my best one for traffic, Pinterest, then Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
Before I do, don’t you wish to have stats like the ones below?
Traffic on tap and you don’t have to spend hours on social media?
You deserve to spend your time with your loved ones, so gift yourself your time back.
Do I believe this?
You deserve to spend your time with your loved ones, so gift yourself your time back.
So, let’s do it
Are Hashtags effective on Pinterest?
By the way, follow me on Pinterest here: www.pinterest.co.uk/kalungigroup
And on our lifestyle brand Here: www.pinterest.co.uk/pkjulesworld
Now, did you know that hashtags on Pinterest have been a controversial subject for years?
With a: “Will, they won’t they” kinda vibe.
For a while, Pinterest frowned on the use of hashtags. That’s why I suggested minimum hashtags inside “The Art of Pinterest Profits”.
This is a book I published on Amazon. It gives you the essential foundations of creating Pinterest assets that sell.
In 2017, Pinterest announced that the use of hashtags was very much welcome.
Prior to that, they only encouraged the use of branded hashtags, ours are:
Go on, use them on Social media, we will support your content when you do. More eyeballs, higher reach.
Now, frankly speaking, hashtags work on Pinterest as searchable keywords i.e. as clickable word/s to find related content.
On Pinterest, this would be related pins that have used the same hashtag.
For instance, when I type #winningentrepreneursnation in the Pinterest search box, I get all pins that have used that hashtag. Including our own pins
Today, Pinterest says to add a maximum of 20 hashtags per Pin image.
My recommendation is to add 5-8 maximum hashtags at the end of your pin description.
This allows your audience to understand your Pin aim and call to action. If they do click on the hashtags, they will be taken to other content so ensure you use at least one hashtag on all your content to be able to identify it.
If you pin using the mobile app, you are given hashtag suggestions as you type. Cool isn’t it?
I highly recommend that you create great images, related content, and use your branded hashtag as the first one so there is a higher chance of your viewers clicking it to more of your content. My marker #YPE.
And hopefully, not many of your pins will be stolen by spammers. A major problem with Pinterest. Pin image thieves, redirect people’s pin images due to popularity in the hope they will divert your traffic.
And this brings us to…
The New Pinterest Updates
Are Hashtags Effective on Instagram?
FOLLOW US ON Instagram Here: www.instagram.com/juliesylkalungi
And on our Social enterprise here: www.instagram.com/wodinliverpool
First of all, I mentioned over hashtagging as one of the 12 mistakes to avoid on Instagram. Yet Instagram allows up to 30 Hashtags, and it is allegedly the one platform that’s most effective for hashtags?
It is though?
I beg to differ. Don’t get me wrong, yet that’s a story for another day.
So, what is considered essential hashtagging, and is it effective on IG? Only if you know exactly which hashtags to use.
So do your research.
Hashtag research for Instagram success is very much a manual task unless you pay for a tool. And it takes time to understand why you need to check the effectiveness of your hashtags.
It is also why I believe IG may have started the hashtag trend, but it missed the boat on how effective they are.
And both Pinterest and LinkedIn stole the show. But I jump the gun.
IG may have started the hashtag trend, but it missed the boat on how effective they are.
Below is how you manually search for hashtags on Instagram.
Start with the hashtag sign # followed by a keyword in the search box, like in the image above (No Spaces). A dropdown of hashtags with the words you are typing shows up.
Scroll down to a hashtag with just under 500k posts.
Write down every hashtag between 500k and 30k posts. You just got your very own list of hashtags to randomly add to your posts on IG including inside stories.
If more than 500k posts for that hashtag, you have no chance of ranking for it i.e. showing up pretty high for searches of that term on IG.
Under 10k and not many people are searching for that term and so you need to find a better hashtag.
Use a maximum of 10-15 hashtags.
And you’ll be surprised how many people actually find your content via hashtags. See the example below of 2 IG accounts we tested our hashtag strategy on.
In one account 45% of the accounts reached weren’t following. And on the other over 69% reached weren’t following account, rather from hashtag searches.
See how powerful Hashtags can be for your business/brand on social media?
I never max out the 30 and this was confirmed by @PaulaJones. And if you are ready to master Instagram for your business, Paula is your Go-To, period.
Despite what old-style IG coaches teach you, DO NOT add 30 hashtags in your posts.
You could also hire a social media manager to help build your Instagram presence, create a Strategy for you or simply do the Hashtag research for you.
Simply because every blessed month new hashtags show up and your once top hashtag may become oversubscribed.
See how powerful Hashtags can be for your business/brans on social media.
Do hashtags work on Facebook?
Follow Us on Facebook here: www.facebook.com/RisewithJulie.Paul.Kalungi
And the answer to your question is NO. Hashtags don’t work particularly well on Facebook.
Primarily because it’s not a Search-centric platform. Its more like a CNN-type social platform. You want current news from it, and so people don’t go searching for stuff from Facebook.
It could be an exercise in futility.
Oftentimes, people who use hashtags on FB have cross-promoted their content from Instagram. Or they use a funny, really non-searchable term to give emphasis to their post that’s all.
Marketers may use hashtags in their ads, esp. if they wish their ad to be exposed on the Facebook wider network, which includes Instagram.
Frankly speaking, I only use hashtags on FB for emphasis, fun and to identify my Livestreams. I name them #JulieSylLive plus a number e.g. #JuliSylLive10
Who knows the situation may change with a Facebook Algorithm update… in the future.
Are Hashtags effective for LinkedIn Marketing?
Connect with me on LinkedIn here: www.linkedin.com/posts/juliesylviakalungi
And Follow Our Company Page here: www.linkedin.com/company/kalungigroup
And the answer is; Yes and Yes, wanna know how and why?
There is no clear LinkedIn set process on the use of hashtags, and if you use a lame hashtag you don’t get to see much change. Plus I know from experience that you don’t get that many people falling over themselves to connect with you from a hashtag.
That said, some hashtags on Linkedin have millions of followers.
Yes, you can follow a hashtag lol. It is a thing on both LinkedIn and Instagram.
In fact, one of our secret strategies is finding hashtag galleries and engage in real conversations with our target audience.
So, imagine your post Trending for a hashtag with millions of followers. WHO ALL get a notification that your Post is Trending for that hashtag.
They get to VIEW your content, LinkedIn likes that shows it to even more people… The domino effect is, More Searches for YOU on Linkedin and Ultimately you will get people seeking your help, services, offers.
Below are some of our most recent trending hashtags on Linkedin
The image below is a slide deck I shared regarding content creation on LinkedIn. It is one of my trending posts with over 1000 views in the feed and growing daily.
What’s so special about the above post?
It’s about content creation for busy parents in business. Nothing super special to the normal user, right? Then, you too can create something similar inside your PowerPoint app, right now!
With more of your content trending, you may get mentioned by people who like it and share it too. And of course, what you are looking for are Inquiries about what you do in the inbox.
We get no less than 30 inquiries a day more or less.
What would your business be like if you could get more and more inquiries and results from your LinkedIn efforts?
All this took years of practice, investing in the right tasks and actions, building community, and our network. You can do it too.
So How do you use hashtags on LinkedIn?
First, I have saved you some research. Below are 21 of the most popular hashtags on LinkedIn 2020:
#innovation – 38,600,000
#management – 36,000,000
#digitalmarketing – 27,500,000
#technology – 26,100,000
#entrepreneurship – 22,700,000
#marketing – 19,900,000
#Socialmedia – 19,700,000
#socialnetworking – 19,319,169
#leanstartups – 19,282,198
#economy – 18,910,898
#marketing – 18,884,304
#economics – 18,322,393
#professionalwomen – 18,104,864
#branding – 18,022,702
#advertisingandmarketing – 17,441,142
#branding – 18,100,000
#personaldevelopment – 14,700,000
#sustainability – 13,200,000
#travel – 7,000,000
#fundraising – 5,800,000
Simply type your message and add an Image, Video or Slide deck. Despite what is taught by some coaches, LinkedIn states that it doesn’t favor any particular format.
In fact, I find my posts with no visuals don’t get that much reach. Try to use your own original visuals, pictures and if someone is in that image, tag them. Share the post link with them too. They surely will respond.
Add a maximum of 3 relevant hashtags. If you must add more, no more than 5.
Try to use one of the popular ones unless they are completely incongruent with your message.
I suggest you follow the Instagram strategy of picking a hashtag that’s not that popular, but for LinkedIn make sure it has no less than 100,000 followers.
Make sure you share your post with those you feel will find it most useful via a Private message.
Ask your friends to engage with your post to trigger the LinkedIn Algorithm. engage with anyone who likes and comments on your post i.e. thank them, respond to comments.
See your post increase in views and your profile searches too.
You do want views and inquiries Dontcha? According to LinkedIn experts, the first hour of posting is extremely essential for your post reach, and the possibility of “Trending”.
So, get to work, mate.
Well, your content could reach up to 5x more eyeballs if they trend, than your regular posts.
You do need a hashtag strategy and that’s one of the things we do inside LinkedIn Influence.
You do need a hashtag strategy and that's one of the things we highly recommend and teach.
Final Say – Effectiveness of Hashtags on Social Media
And there you have it. If anything changes, be sure we do update our content and WILL update where necessary.
So what is your say? Do you have a Social media Hashtag strategy? As you can see, each platform has a fairly different approach to hashtag usage and how many to use. What you get from them
can we agree that ultimately all we want from any strategy are our desired results? So ensure that whatever you do, it leads to your desired Canaan, transformation, benefit, and that of others.
Live. Learn. Love.
Julie Syl Kalungi
I am a Business Transformational Strategist. The International Best Selling Author of three books, including The Art of Pinterest Profits and The Winning Planner. Each week, I send out a free newsletter with my best tips on Social media and Digital Marketing, Personal Branding, and a Winning or Leadership mindset to help your business or enterprise succeed.
Considering Coaching? Check out our Work with Us tab where we Help People Daily.
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