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You’ve seen them. Everyone has seen them. Hashtags are everywhere, and they’re picking up pace as a popular way to communicate your message. From small business owners to major corporations, any company with a social media account needs to learn how to master the power of hashtags. How can you do it?

What Are Hashtags?

Hashtags are those little words or phrases with the “#” symbol. That’s called a hashtag. These marketing gems appear on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other social media pages. Sometimes they’re used to draw attention to an important cause or make a statement. Other times they’re helpful for things such as product launches or announcements.

No matter the purpose, these short phrases sum up the idea of your social media posts in an easy-to-digest way. That makes it easier to capture the attention of your audience quickly, which is a must in today’s non-stop digital world.

What Are the Benefits of Using Hashtags Wisely?

If you become a hashtag master, you can increase customer engagement significantly. Whether it’s showing people your business’s core values or giving your company a human face, these social media all-stars work wonders.

They can make boring ad campaigns entertaining and trendy. In fact, the right hashtags make it more likely your followers will provide third-party advertising by sharing the message with their friends. Which is easier? Typing a long message to friends about “Hey guys … there’s a big two-for-one sale going on for shoes at X clothing store” or just sharing #summersale or #promotion?

The conclusion is simple: always use hashtags in your social media posts, especially in announcements, offers and other promotional materials.

How Can You Use Hashtags Correctly?

It’s not difficult to use hashtags, but taking the time to do some research can help you. Instead of stringing together any group of words, see if there are any topics trending related to your target audience. In fact, it can be smart to plan blog posts around trending hashtags for maximum impact.

Check which of your hashtags are performing the best. It makes sense to include these “pillar hashtags” in more posts. Also, make sure the hashtag actually matches the content of the post. This can apply to images or text.

Keep things simple. Make hashtags easy to read by including only one or two words. Don’t use too many hashtags in a post. Usually two or three is plenty.

It’s pretty easy to tell whether someone knows their way around hashtags or not. Done wrong, they’re like a dad trying to fit into his teens’ circle of friends. Done right, hashtags connect you with your customers like never before.