Hashtags are still a great way to be discovered on social media – especially Instagram and Twitter.

Although it may look like people are just throwing up whatever word pops in their mind with a # sign in front of it, to use hashtags effectively in your marketing you need to be deliberate in your choices.

Here are the most common types of hashtags and how you can use them.

1. Branded or Campaign

These are “your” hashtags. You can have a hashtag for your organization in general, and then more specific hashtags for individual campaigns.

Make a Wish uses #WishesAreWaiting for their latest campaign asking people to post messages of hope to the Make a Wish kids.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CAFr4Vtpi02/

KIF1A.ORG used their regular brand hashtag (#KIF1A – which is also the disease they are fighting) and a specific campaign hashtag (#WeNeedAMouse).

2. Descriptive/Topical

These are hashtags that are related to the content you are posting.

For example, Defenders of Wildlife uses hashtags for keywords in their tweets like #habitat and #endangeredspecies.

Pencils of Promise uses several topical hashtags related to their mission like #teaching, #covidresponse, and #education (as well as a location hashtag).

https://www.instagram.com/p/B_5RZY5A3Df/

3. Community/Groups

These are hashtags used by a specific group of people that would relate to your message.

The Human Rights Campaign uses #LGBTQ and #LGBT as well as their brand hashtag and the topical hashtags of #MothersDay and #FamilyLeave

https://www.instagram.com/tv/CABEE1HinRu

The Canadian Cancer Survivorship Research Consortium used #CancerSurvivors .

4. Locations

Use the most common hashtags for your location for client services, tours, volunteer asks, events, etc.

L.A. Works organizes community service projects throughout the Los Angeles area and often uses the hashtags #LosAngeles and #LA.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B_3JwIVgFGB/

And this news story about the Food Bank of Contra Costa & Solano used #solanocounty

5. Funny

These can be created by you or you may be hijacking a popular hashtag for comedic effect.

The biggest surprise from the pandemic marketing arena has to be the National Cowboy Museum and Tim the Security Guard who started literally typing out the words “Hashtag John Wayne” before “correcting it to #HashtagJohnWayne.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B97MiejFyi3/

But you can also hijack another trending hashtag to be funny or cute like the Denver Zoo did when the Presidential Alert test was issued.

Remember, never use hashtags that do not relate to your cause or the content you are sharing and make sure if you are using a trending hashtag that you check why it is trending first.

You want the right people to find you for the right reasons!

Published On: May 13, 2020|Categories: Nonprofit Social Media|

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