Whether you’re a social media maven (like the team here at Dental Soiree) or you’re just getting started on your dental marketing strategy, you probably know hashtags are those few words preceded by the pound sign (#). But if you’re not that familiar with them, it may seem confusing and you may not want to use them. After all, what do they actually do? Well, the answer is they do A LOT! They are a great way to find like-minded people online, and on many platforms, it’s one of the only ways you have to grow your following.

The hard part isn’t how to use them. We could teach that in a minute or two (and there’s plenty of resources out there already on this topic). We want to help you find the RIGHT hashtags for your dental marketing strategy because that’s 99% of the battle right there.

So here’s our favorite techniques when we need to find the right hashtags for our latest social media post:

#1 – Research in the app

The easiest way to find new hashtags is just to search right in the Instagram app. You can see what hashtags other people in your industry are using and if you tap on a hashtag, Instagram will tell you how many times it’s being used. You don’t want to use too many hashtags that are under 10,000 uses, but you also don’t want to use hashtags that are all in the millions because your post will easily get lost in the shuffle.

Spend some time tapping on hashtags you like to see how they’re performing and make a list. Once you have a good list to pull from, you can use a hashtag tool (see below) to help you make the most of your research!

#2 – Use a hashtag tool

Yes, there are (many) tools out there that exist specifically to help you find the right hashtags for your posts. Our favorite right now is called Display Purposes. We love it because it actually filters out any banned or spammy hashtags so you won’t accidentally use them.

All you have to do is put in a hashtag or two that you know you want to use in the search bar and it will give you up to 30 hashtags that are related to the one(s) you entered. All you have to do is copy and paste the hashtag list into your posts and you’re good to go! It’s best to do this for every post so you have a unique list of hashtags, but if you repeat a list a few times, that’s okay!

#3 – Get creative

At the end of the day, social media is a creative pursuit. If you come up with a clever or witty hashtag, but no one is really using it, who cares? Use it anyway! It will show your followers that you are a creative person with a sense of humor and playfulness. It will make you more human and relatable and that’s what we’re all striving for on social media, anyway!

Likewise, if you come up with a good hashtag that includes your name or your branding, use that and try to use it on every post, too. It’s a great way to make yourself and your posts more searchable since when someone clicks on that hashtag, they’ll easily be able to see more of your great content.

Have questions about hashtags? We can help! We made a course all about Instagram (including an entire section on hashtags) over at The Soiree Suite! This is our little digital classroom where we teach everything we know about marketing and social media. You can check it out here!