Everything you need to know about #hashtags to drive more discovery of your social media posts.
The use of hashtags for social media marketing can be confusing at times so here’s a helpful explanation… plus you’ll discover why you should be hashtaging and some examples of hashtags to include in your strategy.
What does ‘hashtag’ mean?
A hashtag is simply a keyword phrase, spelled out without spaces or punctuation, with a hashtag (sometimes called pound) sign in front of it: #
For example, #barringtoncoast is the hashtag Destination Barrington Coast use on all social media posts. Visit NSW use the hashtag #NewSouthWales.
You can put hashtags anywhere in your social media posts: in the beginning, at the end, or anywhere in between.
Why use hashtags?
Hashtags are not just a way of shortening words. Hashtags are clickable, searchable and are now able to be followed on most major social media networks. Just like someone follows a page, they will also follow a hashtag and those posts that are uploaded using it. An example could be #forster – people follow this hashtag as they want to see the images and video of the Forster area.
In short hashtags are a great way to:
- Reach more people
- Give permission to repost
- Get permission to repost
Reach more people
Hashtags used within a post on social media help those who may be interested in your topic to be able to find it when they search for a keyword or particular hashtag. People can also now follow hashtags on Instagram to keep up to date with certain topics.
Hashtags are a huge driver of discovery on social media and helps to draw attention to your posts and encourage interaction. See an example below of a Barrington Coast Instagram post.
The post used 21 hashtags incorporating the location (#barringtoncoast), marketing campaign tags (HolidayHereThisYear, #EmptyEsky) and various keywords designed to reach potential visitors (#familygetaway #activefamily). The hashtags resulted in 4,250 more people seeing the post than if these were not included. This equated to 34% of the total number of impressions.
Give permission to repost
Using the correct hashtag will often give other social media pages permission to repost your content on their platforms and therefore reach more people. We encourage followers to hashtag #barringtoncoast and will repost our favourite user generated content on our platforms. Visit NSW and Tourism Australia do the same with their hashtags #NewSouthWales #seeaustralia.
Get permission to repost
On the flip side, encouraging the use of your businesses hashtag is a great way to start building a library of User Generated Content (UGC) that you can use on your own channels.
What hashtags to include?
The hashtags you include in a post will vary depending on your business and the content you post. You must come up with a strategy that best suits your content and business. See below some tips on where to start.
- Consistent hashtags – We recommend coming up with 1-3 business specific hashtags to include in all your posts – this could be the name of your business or the service, experience or product you provide. An example using Simple Pleasures Camping Co would be #simplepleasurescampingco (business name) #glamping (service)
- Location – if applicable to your post, we encourage the use of location hashtags. This is hashtagging where the content was captured. If your business is based in Taree then hashtag #taree in all your posts.
- Content specific tags – use what’s in your content to determine your hashtags – a photo of a kangaroo then include #kangaroo. A video of a waterfall then include #waterfall. It’s that simple.
We strongly recommend that you include the region, state and country hashtags in all of your social media content. These are:
- #barringtoncoast (Destination Barrington Coast)
- #NewSouthWales (Destination NSW or Visit NSW)
- #seeaustralia (Tourism Australia)
Update for 14 February 2020 – Campaign-specific hashtags
There are currently three government run domestic tourism marketing campaigns aiming to drive visitation to fire affected areas. We strongly encourage all businesses to support these campaigns by using the following hashtags in their strategy:
Hashtags of other initiatives supporting this movement may also be included: