The Hunt For Hashtags

© 2019 Vinny Ribas

Hashtags are a tool. The reason you want to use them in your social media posts is so your posts will be discovered. This requires some serious thought and research. Here are some of the ways you can maximize the power of hashtags.

  • Use hashtags that your potential fans use to discover new artists or music. You may be inclined to try to show how clever or creative you can be. The problem with this is that chances are no one anywhere is searching for your hashtag invention.
  • Use hashtags that have a decent but not overwhelming number of posts under them. For example, if you search #artist, you’ll find that it has over 140 million posts. That means that your post will be the 100th post in that category within 5 minutes. You will easily get lost in the shuffle. Using a more specific hashtag such as #neosoul, with 600,000 posts, might keep you in the top 50 posts for hours if not an entire day.
  • Research the hashtag you’re thinking of using for relevance and appropriateness. Using the hashtag #artist might still sound like a good idea to you. But if you look at the posts under that hashtag, you’ll find that very few of them are related to music. That means very few people are searching that to discover music.
  • Reinforce your brand. This is the one exception to the ‘creativity’ rule. If you have a tag line, or a clever way to describe your music, you can and should use it on every post. It will help people associate that tag with you or your act. In addition, they might forget your name but remember the hashtag. It gives new fans another way to find you.
  • Watch for alternative meanings or slang! Any time you think of a hashtag that sounds perfect. Be sure to check it for content. Often words or phrases take on completely different connotations online than they do in normal conversation.
  • Be sure to put in the hashtags for the people, places and things that are directly related to your post. The name of the venue where the picture was shot is great. The title of one of your popular songs is great. Calling out band members by name is great. Use full names, not just first names.
  • You can ride the waves of a trending hashtag if it’s appropriate. Just know that your post will come and go quickly unless it is sticky enough to be shared often.
  • Try to find acts that are very similar to yours. What hashtags will you use? THOSE are what you want in your posts. Chances are they are exactly the hashtags people who like your style of music will search.

Using the right hashtags can put your posts in front of a lot of potential fans and keep you fresh in the minds of your current fans. Using the wrong ones will not only do nothing for you, it can actually hurt your branding.

About The Author

Vinny Ribas

Vinny Ribas is the founder and CEO of Indie Connect, an artist management, consulting and training company. The company also hosts networking and educational events and has published an app that connects people to the Nashville Music Industry. During his 40+ year career, Vinny has been a full time musician, artist manager, booking agent, songwriter, studio owner, producer and the Entertainment Director for the NV State Fair. He has also coached over 1000 artists and songwriters. He is a sought after speaker and has authored over 400 music industry articles. Vinny is also the CEO of Top 4M Entertainment, an independent film and television production company.