Do Hashtags Still Have Street Cred?
For years, hashtags were arguably the most proven way to ensure your content reached your target audience. But now, there are countless other ways to put your message in front of the people that matter most to your business. So, let’s have a friendly debate – do hashtags still have street cred in 2022?
Social media algorithms become smarter every day, and searchability continues to improve across platforms. Similarly, paid social ads with impressive targeting capabilities have taken off in recent years, meaning hashtags might not be as helpful as they once were. In fact, Forbes reported that hashtag usage on Twitter declined rapidly starting in 2017 after approximately four years of steady growth. If I wanted to search for Knoxville marketing agencies on Instagram, I might not necessarily enter #knoxvillemarketingagency into the search bar. I’d likely search “marketing agencies in Knoxville” and let the app do the rest for me, giving me top results that seem best suited for my query.
So, back to our question. Do hashtags still have street cred? Yes and no. Like most things in life, there is no one-size-fits-all answer.
Can I still use hashtags in a productive way?
Of course! Hashtags can still serve a purpose in your social media strategy. Make sure to only use relevant hashtags, though, and be sure not to overload posts with too many – even if they seem applicable. Using too many hashtags in an individual post can come across as #spam or unauthentic – which is not what you want to look like when connecting with customers. Users can follow specific hashtags on platforms such as Twitter and Instagram, which can provide additional curated posts into their feed – despite not following the account. This can certainly help with your reach, but when irrelevant hashtags are added to posts just because they’re trending, it often looks like clickbait.
Don’t get us wrong, hashtags can still put you in front of the people you want to reach – and we still use them often! But you should no longer rely strictly on them. You must craft engaging, search-friendly content – across platforms – that is relevant to what your customers want and need. As platforms continue to feature more “suggested” posts from accounts you may not follow, using fewer hashtags could be something worth testing. Algorithms are constantly changing, so be sure to stay up to date on best practices while ensuring the type of content you share is useful for your audience.
Due to the dynamic landscape of social media marketing, creating an effective, data-driven approach can seem overwhelming. Luckily, you can take your business to new heights with a highly specialized marketing strategy. Contact our team for more information and a complimentary consultation.