We all know what hashtags are by now, but there’s an art form to using them effectively. From what’s trending to branded hashtags, we take a look at four ways you can best leverage them for your brand.


1. Trending Hashtags: If you want to get more eyes on your content, tap into the larger social conversation. Whether it’s a national food holiday or a global event like the Solar Eclipse, it’s important to look at what’s trending on social. We suggest putting together a monthly calendar of events and holidays that will most likely be trending, and adding in a few last-minute ones if you see them trending on the day-of. If you’re unsure of what the hashtag is referring to always investigate. There are some hashtags that are tied to political events or scandel that you may not want associated with your brand.


2. Branded Hashtags: While this hashtag probably won’t gain you more awareness, it can be helpful in curating your content. Create a unique, branded hashtag for your company that you can use for each post, and tell fans to use when they share posts about your brand. Whether it’s simply your company’s name or something a little more creative, this allows all posts about your brand to be collected in one spot on each social platform. It’s also a great way to keep track of contest entries or specific promotional efforts.


3. Niche Hashtags: Finding the hashtags that other people and brands are using in your niche area is a great way to join the conversation in a very targeted way.  For example, if you’re a restaurant in Louisville, appeal to the foodies in the area using #502Foodie or #LouisvilleFoodie or if you want to tap into a specific audience - like the thoroughbred community - try #SaddleBagSunday or #FoalFriday.


4. Choose a Platform: When it comes to hashtags, not all platforms are created equal. On Facebook, choosing one to two relevant hashtags tends to play better, whereas creating a list of hashtags that you use on each Instagram post can increase engagement. Consider putting the hashtags in the first comment of the Instagram post as to not clutter the initial post text.


What hashtag strategies work best for your brand? Share them with us in the comments below!