Social media is a great marketing channel for charities. It offers the potential to reach a huge audience and raise awareness for your charity’s cause and the work you’re doing.
But there’s also a lot of competition on these platforms, and it’s all too easy for your content to get lost amongst the millions of other posts that are published every minute. That’s why your charity needs to be using the right hashtags to ensure your posts are getting in front of the right people.
In our latest post, we take a look at how to find the best charity hashtags to increase the reach of your social.
Why hashtags are beneficial on social
Hashtags are a way of categorising the content you’re posting with a searchable word or phrase so that it appears in relation to specific topics, conversations, or events. People can then find your content on social media by searching for or following hashtags that they’re interested in to see related posts.
Using hashtags with your social media posts will help increase your reach and get your content in front of new audiences. In fact, according to Twitter, hashtags can increase engagement with posts by 50% for brands and organisations, and other social media platforms also suggest higher engagement levels when hashtags are used. So hashtags will mean that more people interact with your content as well.
As a charity, you can also use hashtags to get involved with conversations and topics that are relevant to the cause you’re supporting. This means that your social posts won’t just be reaching the people who are already following and supporting you. You’ll potentially have a lot wider reach if you use the right charity hashtags and it will improve the effectiveness of your social media marketing.
Which charity hashtags should you be using?
These are a few of the most popular charity hashtags that you can use on social media to extend your reach and promote your work:
#Volunteer – This hashtag can be used to acknowledge and share the hard work that your volunteers are doing for your charity. It’s also useful for promoting opportunities for people to support your work and get involved with the charity as a volunteer.
#Causes – This is a fairly general charity hashtag that’s used for a range of different purposes. Use it any time that you want to share stories about the work you’re doing, the causes you support, or any announcements you might be making about the charity.
#Donate – Donate is a popular hashtag that charities use when they’re calling for donations and funds to support their cause and work. It can be used when you’re talking about a specific fundraising event or campaign, or just as a general call out for donations.
#Activism – This isn’t just a charity-specific hashtag; individuals will also use this when speaking about a particular issue or participating in an event. However, it’s a good way for your charity to join in on conversations when these issues are relevant or related to the cause that you’re supporting.
#Change – Another very general hashtag that you can use when posting content about your charity. It’s not very targeted but will help you to reach a broad audience of people, and it’s good to include some less specific hashtags with your posts — you don’t always just want to connect with the people who are already aware of your charity.
#DoGood – This is a fairly new hashtag that is gaining popularity. It’s good to use when you highlight your charity’s work and the impact that it’s having.
#Fundraising – Use this hashtag when you’re posting about fundraising campaigns or upcoming events. You can also use it if you’re sharing other people’s fundraising efforts for your charity.
#Nonprofit – You should use the nonprofit hashtag when posting about your work, your causes, and values.
Other popular charity hashtags that you could use when appropriate or relevant include:
Harnessing the power of these hashtags could make a big difference to your charity’s awareness-raising or fundraising efforts.
How to choose the best charity hashtags for your posts
Extremely popular hashtags will have thousands or millions of new posts every minute — which means that your post will quickly be buried and you may struggle to get any interactions.
That doesn’t mean that you should completely shy away from using popular hashtags. Using a few popular and more general hashtags will help you to expand your reach, and could help you to get your content in front of people who don’t follow you and won’t be aware of your charity.
You should also focus on some more niche hashtags that are relevant to your charity. If you choose hashtags with less than a million posts — something in the thousands or hundreds — then your content is going to be more visible for longer.
To find good hashtags for your charity, start by looking at some similar organisations and see which ones they are using and which ones they are following. When you find ones that are relevant for your charity, you can usually search on each platform for related hashtags that should give you more inspiration.
Double-check the hashtags you use
It’s always important to check out what other posts are using the hashtags you’ve decided on.
While it might seem obvious to you that a certain phrase or word is relevant to your charity or your work, you might find that the other posts for that hashtag are about something completely different.
When you’re doing research and looking at hashtag use by other charities and nonprofits to use yourself, be sure to check that these aren’t their own special hashtags. Sometimes, charities specifically create their own hashtags for fundraising events — you don’t want to accidentally use another charity’s branded hashtag without realising!
However, you can create your own branded hashtag to use yourself.
Create a branded hashtag for your charity
Using popular charity hashtags is a great way to extend your reach, but it’s also worthwhile creating a specific hashtag that’s exclusively for your charity as part of your marketing strategy.
This is a good way for people who are involved with your charity or your followers to show their support for your activities.
It can be used to raise awareness when you’re running a particular fundraising campaign or an event. You can ask people to post to their own social media accounts using your branded hashtag to increase your visibility as a charity over time.
Follow relevant hashtags
Another good way to use hashtags is to find other content from charities, supporters, and other organisations that’s relevant to your work.
Follow a few hashtags that are related to your charity’s cause and you’ll be able to keep up-to-date with the latest conversations and topics linked to it — this will help you to engage with others on social media and give you some inspiration for what to post to your own accounts.
Hashtag best practice
Most of the major social media platforms use hashtags but each of them has slightly different best practice rules that you should be aware of:
Optimum number of hashtags: 10-11 hashtags
While you can use up to 30 hashtags on each post that you publish on Instagram, the recommended number is around 10 or 11. It’s best to test this out to find what works best for your charity — and it’s important to choose your hashtags carefully as using the wrong ones can restrict your reach.
Optimum number of hashtags: 1-3 short hashtags
LinkedIn started using hashtags relatively recently compared to the other major platforms. As it’s a more formal channel, it’s a good idea to be quite targeted and only use a few highly relevant, short hashtags with each post so that it doesn’t seem unprofessional.
Optimum number of hashtags: 1-2 hashtags
It’s recommended that you don’t use any more than two hashtags in each tweet that you publish. Twitter has a fairly tight word limit so you need to be really careful with the hashtags that you choose — ensure that they really add value to your posts.
Where possible, try to include the hashtag within the copy of the tweet to maximise your word count. Using too many hashtags can also make your posts look like spam and will detract from your message.
Optimum number of hashtags: 0-2 hashtags
It’s not clear how effectively hashtags on Facebook increase your reach — people can only find your charity through hashtags if they actively type that hashtag in, and Facebook users tend not to search for hashtags unlike other platform users.
However, it’s worthwhile trying them out and seeing how they work for your charity. Only use one or two hashtags per post, and as with LinkedIn, keep them highly relevant to what you are talking about.
Overall, the best charity hashtags to use are the ones that will get your posts in front of new audiences. By doing some research and then tracking how well your posts do, you can narrow down the ones that are really going to work for your charity.