Should We Still Use Hashtags in Marketing in 2022?
Hashtags first came to prominence on Twitter in the early 2000s, but now they're used across all social media, and especially on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and LinkedIn.
For universities and colleges, hashtags can be a valuable marketing tool. They can be used to reach prospective new students and new audiences, and also to get the message out across campus to current students.
However, some hashtags can be overused and can look 'spammy', which can reflect badly on your college.
But when they are used thoughtfully and sparingly, hashtags are still a helpful way to reach new students and promote your institution on social media.
Tips for hashtags in your 2022 marketing strategy
Use them alongside engaging imagery Help your posts stand out from others using the same hashtags by creating captivating content, such as Instagram reels to show off your institution's beautiful campus.
'Content-jack' new trends There is much debate over the use of TikTok in higher ed marketing, for example. So if you are hijacking a new trend, make sure you use targeted hashtags to expand your reach beyond your own audience.
Engagement Social media is social, after all. You can search hashtags to find prospective students to engage with. This is as simple as starting a conversation by replying to their Instagram stories, commenting on their posts, or even DM-ing them if appropriate.
When hashtags aren't helpful
Don't use too many A few well-chosen hashtags are better than a long list of irrelevant ones. Stick to 1-3 hashtags per post.
Don't use hashtags that aren't relevant to your brand If a hashtag isn't related to your institution or a specific campaign, don't use it. This will only confuse your audience.
Don't use hashtags that are overused Using hashtags that are too popular can make your content get lost in the noise.
Only use hashtags that add value: If a hashtag doesn't help you reach your goals or engage your audience, don't use it. Hashtags should make your life easier, not harder.
Hashtags can be a helpful way to reach new audiences and promote your brand on social media. However, they should be used thoughtfully and sparingly, and only if they add value to your strategy.
When in doubt, err on the side of caution and don't use hashtags that could damage your credibility or reflect badly on your brand.
You can find out more tips about using social media in higher education in our October webinar. We dissected which social media strategies resonated with students and what information higher ed institutions should focus on with our panel of social media experts. Watch the webinar back and read our full report here.