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Hashtags 101: The What, When, Where & How of Using Hashtags

Whether you’ve been confused by hashtags or you’ve been using them but with no plan or reason other than you’re supposed to, this is for you. You’ll learn the what, when, where and how of using hashtags so you can experience the benefits of them in your marketing. (Yep, there are actual benefits to using the right hashtags.)

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Welcome to the show notes! Remember, this is a brief summary from the How to Market Your Horse Business podcast. You'll want to listen to the entire episode for all the good stuff!

As a horse business owner, you’re looking for ways to get the most bang for your buck, right?

That’s why you’re most likely on at least one social media platform. Because it’s free marketing!

And, along with it being free marketing, it’s created its own jargon—stories, reels, and hashtags all have different meanings than they did a decade ago.

When hashtags in social media first started, I remember people actually writing full sentences under the guise of a hashtag. #youknowwhatimtalkingabout

If you’ve seen the classic skit of Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake talking in hashtags, that’s not too far of an exaggeration.

Even though they’ve been around for some time, there’s still often confusion surrounding them—especially for business owners:

Should you use hashtags? How many should you use? How do you know which ones to use? What’s the purpose of hashtags anyways? And on and on.

One simple tool, so many questions surrounding it. Or, maybe you aren’t asking these questions but you should be.

That’s why we’re diving into Hashtags 101. It’s time to start using this not-so-secret tool so your business can reap the benefits!

Answers to the 5 Most Common Hashtag Questions

  1. What’s the purpose of hashtags? The why behind hashtags is discoverability. Meaning, you want to get your social media content in front of the eyes that are most likely to be your best-fit audience.

  2. When should you use hashtags? When you’re posting content, whether it’s on Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, TikTok, etc. There are some specific things to keep in mind for a few of these platforms .. so, listen to the episode for those details!

  3. Which hashtags should you use? Let’s go back to the purpose. If you want your contact to be discovered by your potential customers, also known as your best-fit audience, then you want to use hashtags that those people are most likely to be following or searching for. Here are three simple ways to help you find those: 1. Look at what your ideal customer is using when they post. 2. Look at what your competition is using. 3. Use the explore tab in your IG account. When you find posts/videos relevant to your best-fit audience, check out what hashtags they’re using.

  4. Are there certain hashtags you shouldn’t use? If a hashtag already has 1 million or more posts, you probably don’t want to use. There’s no rule about it, but if you’re trying to get your posts seen, then using a hashtag with a ton of posts just means you’re competing with a lot of other content for eyes.

  5. How many hashtags should you be using?

Instagram recently said no more than 5 is ideal, but then a lot of experts came back saying they’ve been using 10, 15 or 20 and getting great results. So, as with many things on social media, there are no hard and fast rules. Especially since so much of it is dictated by this social engagement that happens on the specific app. So, the best thing to do is test it out and see what works best for your business. Just remember to keep them relevant.

As with all things social media, remember, the name of the game is not just to get high numbers. High reach or lots of followers—none of that matters if you are not nurturing those followers and turning them into customers. You are a business, after all.

Of course, you'll want to listen to the full episode to dig into each answer and discover how you can apply each one to your business! Plus, I threw in a bonus hashtag tip just for fun at the end.

Links Mentioned In This Episode

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‘I’m loving learning how to market my horse business!’ <– If that sounds like you, please consider rating and reviewing my show in Apple Podcasts! This helps me support more people (just like you) to grow their horse business so they can be out in the barn doing what they love. Click here on your iPhone, scroll to the bottom, tap to rate, and select “Write a Review.” Then be sure to let me know what you loved most about the episode!

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