Marketing Social Media Marketing Hashtag Research: How to Apply This to Your Business

Hashtag Research: How to Apply This to Your Business

Hashtag research is a crucial aspect of effective social media marketing. It involves identifying popular and relevant hashtags to help your content reach a larger audience. By performing comprehensive hashtag research, your business can tap into existing conversations, attract more followers, and increase engagement rates.

Different platforms require unique approaches, so understanding the nuances is critical. By applying hashtag research strategically, businesses can significantly amplify their online presence and effectively engage with their target audience.

Understanding the Basics: What is Hashtag Research?

Hashtag search, similar to hashtag research, is essential to social media marketing strategy. This practice allows businesses to elevate their social media presence and better interact with their target audience. But what exactly is a hashtag search?

Hashtag Search

Hashtag search refers to using or creating specific hashtags—phrases or words preceded by the pound (#) sign—and searching for them on social media platforms. These platforms may include Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and LinkedIn. This search aims to track conversations, trends, and audience behavior associated with these tags.

Like keyword search in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), hashtag search aims to identify terms and phrases that potential customers or followers use to seek content. It helps businesses determine which hashtags could drive significant traffic to their posts, enhancing the probability of interactions, conversions, and brand exposure.

However, the success of a hashtag search isn’t determined solely by popularity. A successful hashtag search also considers hashtags’ relevancy to your content. Sometimes, a less famous but highly relevant hashtag could be more beneficial than a loosely related but widely used one. This strategy helps businesses to target a specific audience, which could result in higher engagement rates.

Hashtag Search Strategy

An effective hashtag search strategy also encompasses tracking and analyzing the performance of utilized hashtags. This involves monitoring key metrics such as likes, shares, comments, and saves associated with specific hashtags. The data from these actions enables businesses to fine-tune their hashtag strategy and optimize their social media marketing efforts.

Hashtag search is a methodical process of finding, assessing, and implementing hashtags to enhance visibility and interaction on social media platforms. It plays a pivotal role in aligning your brand with the right audience, facilitating content discovery, and, in the long run, fostering business growth. A solid understanding of hashtag search and how to effectively carry it out enables businesses to strengthen their social media strategy and augment audience engagement.

The Importance of Hashtag Research for Your Business

The effective use of hashtags has revolutionized the world of social media marketing. The benefits of hashtag research for your business can be transformative, leading to increased visibility, engagement, and sales.

Benefits of Hashtag Research

One of the primary benefits of hashtag research is increased visibility. By using relevant and trending hashtags, you increase the likelihood of your content being discovered by new audiences. Hashtags categorize posts on social media platforms, and users often search for specific hashtags that align with their interests. Using the right hashtags, your content can reach beyond your followers to a broader audience.

Another significant benefit of hashtag research is the opportunity to engage with your audience better. A well-chosen hashtag can spur conversations and interactions around your brand. It encourages followers to share their thoughts and experiences, creating a more vibrant and interactive social media community.

Hashtag research also aids in understanding market trends and consumer behavior. By monitoring popular hashtags within your industry, you can gain valuable insights into what is currently resonating with your audience. This can inform product development, marketing strategies, and customer service initiatives, among other things.

Moreover, hashtag research helps in competitor analysis. Tracking the hashtags used by your competitors can provide insights into their marketing strategies and audience interests. This knowledge can be leveraged to refine your strategy and identify untapped opportunities.

Also, hashtag research contributes to the creation of targeted marketing campaigns. By identifying the hashtags most relevant to your products or services, you can tailor your campaigns to reach the most interested and engaged users, increasing the return on your marketing investment.

In summary, the benefits of hashtag research are multifaceted. From increasing visibility and engagement to gaining market insights and optimizing marketing strategies, hashtag research is critical for any business aiming to flourish in the digital age. Understanding and leveraging the power of hashtag research can significantly enhance your business’s online presence and success.

Woman on laptop doing hashtag research

Tools and Techniques: Doing Effective Hashtag Research

Using appropriate hashtags can significantly boost the triumph of your social media initiatives, and a hashtag generator can be an invaluable tool in this process. Hashtag generators are one of many tools and techniques available to assist you in conducting effective hashtag research.

How to Use a Hashtag Generator

A hashtag generator is a tool capable of creating hashtags based on a keyword or a series of keywords you input. These tools use algorithms to list popular and relevant hashtags, saving you considerable time and helping you find hidden gems you might not have discovered.

When using a hashtag generator, you input a keyword relevant to your content or industry. The tool will then present you with a list of suggested hashtags, usually ranked by popularity or relevance. Some tools even provide additional data, such as the frequency with which a hashtag has been utilized, giving you a better idea of its potential reach.

One of the optimal strategies while employing a hashtag generator is to use a mix of popular and niche hashtags. Popular hashtags can get your content in front of a large audience. In contrast, niche hashtags can help you connect with a more targeted group of users likely to be interested in your content.

In addition to using a hashtag generator, other valuable techniques for effective hashtag research include:

  • Monitoring popular and trending hashtags on different platforms.
  • Observing the hashtags used by competitors and industry influencers.
  • Engaging with your audience to understand the hashtags they follow or use.

Experimentation is also a key component of effective hashtag research. You can refine your hashtag strategy over time by testing different hashtags and observing the impact on engagement.

Tools like hashtag generators, practical techniques, and continuous experimentation can significantly enhance your hashtag research process. They can help you discover and utilize the most impactful hashtags for your content, leading to improved visibility, engagement, and success in your social media marketing efforts.

Case Study: Successful Businesses That Have Used Hashtag Research

Effective hashtag research has been a critical strategy for many successful businesses on social media. Let’s delve into a few hashtag examples from brands that have excelled.

Case Study 1

One particular case is Coca-Cola’s #ShareACoke campaign. This hashtag was used as part of a personalized marketing strategy, where the company replaced its logo on bottles with people’s names and encouraged them to share their experiences online using the hashtag. This strategy led to massive user-generated content, significantly enhancing Coca-Cola’s online presence and engagement. The success of this campaign underlines the power of using custom hashtags that resonate with your audience and encourage participation.

Case Study 2

Another significant example is the hashtag #LikeAGirl by Always, a brand of feminine hygiene products. This hashtag was used as part of a campaign to change the perception of the phrase “like a girl” and associate it with strength and empowerment instead of weakness. This hashtag was widely used and sparked meaningful conversations about gender stereotypes, helping the brand connect with its audience on a deeper level.

Case Study 3

The #ChooseBeautiful hashtag used by Dove is another successful instance. Dove’s campaign aimed to challenge women’s self-perception of beauty. By encouraging women to share their stories using this hashtag, Dove was able to foster a supportive online community and promote their brand values of self-love and body positivity.

Case Study 4

Lastly, the #WantAnR8 campaign by Audi provides an excellent example of how listening to your audience can lead to an impactful hashtag. When a fan of the brand tweeted about wanting an R8, Audi turned it into a full-blown marketing campaign, even loaning the fan an R8 for a day. The hashtag quickly took off, showing the effectiveness of using organic, user-generated content in your hashtag strategy.

These examples demonstrate the potential power of effective hashtag research and strategic use. Each of these successful campaigns didn’t just choose popular hashtags; they carefully selected or created hashtags relevant to their brand and resonated with their audience. Their unique strategies boosted engagement, promoted brand values, and cultivated robust camaraderie among their followers.

Computer on desk used to do hashtag research

Hashtag Research Best Practices: Do’s and Don’ts

When effectively applied, hashtags can increase visibility, spark conversations, and foster community engagement. However, understanding how to use hashtags appropriately is critical to maximizing their potential benefits. Here are some optimal strategies for employing hashtags.

Do’s of Hashtag Usage

Do Research Relevant Hashtags: Use tools such as hashtag generators and trend analyzers to find the most effective hashtags for your content. The relevance of the hashtag to your post is as important as its popularity.

Do Use a Mix of Broad and Niche Hashtags: Broad hashtags can expose your content to a large audience. In contrast, niche hashtags help you connect with a specific group interested in your brand or product.

Do Engage with Your Hashtags: After using a hashtag, follow it, engage with users using it, and respond to comments or questions. This shows your interest in the community and can help build relationships.

Do Test and Analyze Hashtag Performance: Review your posts’ performance regularly to understand which hashtags drive engagement. This helps you refine your hashtag strategy over time.

Don’ts of Hashtag Usage

Don’t Overuse Hashtags: Overloading your posts with hashtags can make them look spammy and may deter engagement. The optimal number of hashtags varies by platform, so research best practices for each.

Don’t Use Irrelevant Hashtags: Using popular but irrelevant hashtags can confuse your audience and harm your credibility. Make sure your hashtags align with your content.

Remember Custom Hashtags: While using popular hashtags is essential, creating unique hashtags for your brand or campaign can boost recognition and trackability.

Remember Platform-Specific Practices: Different social media platforms have different best practices for using hashtags. For example, hashtags are commonly used in Instagram posts but less in LinkedIn.

Strategically using hashtags requires understanding their purpose, performing thorough research, engaging with your audience, and continuous refinement. Following these best practices can maximize your content’s reach and engagement.

Mastering Social Media Platforms: Platform-Specific Hashtag Research

Each social media platform possesses distinct features that influence how to use hashtags effectively. Here’s a look at how to conduct platform-specific hashtag research and use hashtags on various social media platforms:

How to Use Hashtags on Social Media

Twitter: Twitter is where the hashtag originated. Using one to two hashtags per tweet is best for maximum engagement. Hashtags on Twitter are used to categorize posts, join trending conversations, or create a thread around a specific topic or event. Monitor trending hashtags on Twitter and incorporate relevant ones in your posts.

Instagram: On Instagram, posts with several hashtags tend to get more engagement. You can include up to 30 hashtags per post. However, a range of 5-10 is typically recommended. Employ a combination of widely used and specialized hashtags to maximize reach and relevance. Also, consider using hashtags in your Stories to make them discoverable to a broader audience.

Facebook: Unlike Instagram and Twitter, using fewer hashtags on Facebook is best. One to two relevant hashtags per post are sufficient. Research has shown that excessive use of hashtags on Facebook can decrease engagement.

LinkedIn: On LinkedIn, hashtags are used to categorize content by topic. You can incorporate them in your posts and articles to reach a broader audience. Similar to Facebook, limiting the use of hashtags on LinkedIn to about five per post is recommended.

TikTok: Hashtags are integral to TikTok, helping users find trending challenges or themes to participate in. Using relevant trending hashtags can significantly increase the visibility of your content.

Pinterest: Pinterest uses hashtags to highlight the main themes of a Pin. Including relevant hashtags in your Pin descriptions can help users discover your content.

Remember, a good hashtag strategy on any platform involves a combination of popular, trending, and unique hashtags. Also, monitor your engagement rates when experimenting with different hashtags and adjust your strategy based on what works best for your brand. Conducting platform-specific hashtag research and strategically applying these insights is crucial for maximizing the effectiveness of your social media marketing efforts.

Woman using tablet to do hashtag research

Boosting Engagement and Reach: The Impact of Hashtag Research on Your Content

Hashtag research can profoundly impact the reach and engagement of your business’s content on social media platforms. Using hashtags to promote your business effectively can significantly increase your brand’s visibility and engagement with your target audience.

How to Use Hashtags to Promote Your Business

One of the primary benefits of hashtag research is improved content discoverability. Using popular and relevant hashtags in your posts makes your content more accessible to users interested in those topics. This can attract a broader audience beyond your existing followers, improving your brand’s visibility and potentially attracting new customers.

Additionally, hashtags can be used to foster and promote engagement. Hashtags are not just for categorizing content but encourage discussions and interactions. Including a call-to-action hashtag, like asking followers to share their experiences using a unique branded hashtag, can promote user-generated content, foster a sense of community, and improve engagement rates.

Hashtag research can also help you understand your target audience better. By tracking which hashtags your audience engages with the most, you can gain insights into their interests and preferences, enabling you to customize your content more effectively.

Similarly, hashtags can be used to keep a pulse on trends within your industry. Following relevant hashtags can alert you to emerging trends or conversations you can leverage in your content strategy.

Monitoring your competitors’ hashtag usage can provide insights into their marketing strategies and highlight opportunities for your brand. By identifying the successful hashtags for your competitors, you can incorporate similar themes or topics into your strategy.

Lastly, using unique, branded hashtags can help increase brand awareness. When users share your branded hashtags, they help promote your business to their followers, expanding your reach.

Hashtag research is a powerful tool for promoting your business on social media. By enhancing content discoverability, promoting engagement, providing audience insights, tracking trends, and increasing brand awareness, the strategic use of hashtags can significantly amplify the impact of your content, helping you reach your marketing goals.

Future Perspectives: The Evolving Role of Hashtag Research in Business Strategy

The evolving digital landscape has reinforced the significance of hashtag research in business strategy. As social media platforms refine their algorithms and users become more sophisticated, it’s essential to understand how to use hashtags efficiently to remain competitive.

How to Use Hashtags Efficiently

One evolving trend is the increasing emphasis on hashtag relevancy. While popular hashtags can expose your content to a large audience, the rise of personalized feeds means that the relevance of a hashtag to the audience’s interests and behavior may be more critical. As such, businesses must use popular hashtags that align with their content and audience.

Moreover, there is an increasing need for real-time monitoring and responsiveness. Trends on social media can rise and fall within hours. Hence, businesses need to be ready to adapt their hashtag strategies at a moment’s notice. Real-time monitoring tools that allow businesses to identify and leverage trending hashtags quickly are becoming increasingly important.

Custom, branded hashtags will likely be more significant in business strategies. Creating a unique hashtag for your brand or campaign can help increase brand recognition, foster a sense of community, and make tracking the impact of your marketing efforts easier.

Finally, the cross-platform use of hashtags may become more prevalent. As social media platforms continue to integrate and cross-promote content, businesses may need to consider how their hashtags can work across different platforms.

The future of hashtag research in business strategy lies in adapting to changing trends, focusing on relevancy, and leveraging the power of custom and cross-platform hashtags. By understanding how to use hashtags efficiently and keeping pace with the evolving digital landscape, businesses can continue to harness the power of hashtags to strengthen their social media strategy and accomplish their marketing objectives.


What is hashtag research?

Hashtag research discovers and analyzes relevant and beneficial hashtags for your brand’s social media content. It involves using tools and techniques to find trending and industry-specific hashtags to increase the visibility and engagement of your posts.

Why is hashtag research important for my business?

Hashtag research is vital for increasing your content‘s visibility, sparking conversations around your brand, understanding market trends and competitor analysis, and creating targeted marketing campaigns. It can help your content reach beyond your existing followers to new, potential customers.

How can I conduct effective hashtag research?

You can conduct effective hashtag research using tools like hashtag generators, monitoring popular and trending hashtags, observing the hashtags used by your competitors and industry influencers, and engaging with your audience to understand the hashtags they follow or use. Regularly testing and analyzing your hashtags’ performance will also help refine your strategy.

How can using hashtags promote my business?

Using hashtags can promote your business by improving your content’s discoverability, promoting engagement, providing audience insights, tracking industry trends, and increasing brand awareness. Incorporating a mix of popular, trending, and unique hashtags in your posts can help you reach your marketing goals.

How is the role of hashtag research evolving in business strategy?

The evolving role of hashtag research in business strategy is increasing emphasis on hashtag relevancy, real-time monitoring, use of custom branded hashtags, and consideration of cross-platform hashtag usage. Businesses need to adapt to these trends to remain competitive and maximize the benefits of their hashtag strategy.