a word or phrase preceded by a hash sign (#), used on social media websites and applications, especially Twitter, to identify messages on a specific topic.
“spammers often broadcast tweets with popular hashtags even if the tweet has nothing to do with them”
Whilst hashtags may have originated on Twitter, they’ve become a main part of many social media platforms. They are essentially a keyword phrase, similar to those used in SEO but for social media as a way of connecting conversations. Many people still don’t know how to use hashtags, so here is our top 5 tips to using them effectively.
We’ve all seen that person post a picture and then add random hashtag to it, that doesn’t relate to the image. Most of the time they are trying to use popular hashtags to simply gain followers.
It’s better to be specific with your hashtags to target the people you want to follow you and engage with you.
Instagram has a limit of 30 hashtags for each post, but don’t use them all. There seems to be this phenomenon lately of people simply wanting to have the most amount of followers possible, but forgetting that engagement and having targeted follows is actually better than have thousands of followers that don’t engage with your content.
Don’t fall into the trap of hash tagging the crap out of everything. You will simply just be getting spammy followers or those that are just interested in having people follow back.
When using them on Twitter, opt for 1 -2 hashtags only.
The confusion here is that hashtags are actually active on Facebook and they’ve tried to make it part of their search process.
Facebook in essence is a closed platform as opposed to something like Twitter that’s quite open. Most profiles on Facebook are private and hashtags are only searchable on public profiles, so when you do search for hashtags on Facebook nearly all of them are by brands or influencers.
Facebook posts without a hashtag fare better than those with a hashtag. A 2016 report from BuzzSumo, which analysed more than a billion Facebook posts from over 30 million brand Pages, came to this conclusion – posts without hashtags generated more reach than those with tags added.
This includes branded ones for your business, and when we mean branded these aren’t necessarily your name, think ones that represent your brand and what you’re about. Brand hashtags are great for user generated campaigns and for businesses where user generated content forms a large part of their social media strategy. Like a restaurant, where diners upload photos of what they’re eating, you want to encourage them to use your branded hashtag.
Don’t forget popular hashtags as well.
Research the hashtags initially that will work best with your content on the different social media platforms. Don’t assume because one works well on Twitter that it’s going to be effective on Instagram.
You want to look at related hashtags for your industry, locations specific and popular hashtags such as #instagood
Keep a list and continue to build on them or retire the ones that aren’t working for you.
Using hashtags correctly is extremely beneficial to your overall social media strategy, make sure you get it right from the start.