How To Use Hashtags On Social Media
There have been a lot of words added to the dictionary this decade, but none is so influential as the former pound sign, also known as: hashtags (#).
Spelled without spaces, hashtags were first found on Twitter before they were picked up by other social media platforms, and knowing how to use hashtags is a crucial skill for any digital marketer in 2019.
But why should you use them in your digital marketing campaigns?
- A powerful way to engage with your audience – Twitter reports that those who use hashtags see a 50 percent increase in engagement compared to those who don’t.
- Increases your social impact with no cost except time and attention to trends.
- Makes your content discoverable to the right audience looking for you, regardless of posting time.
- Brand building – through promotional material or announcing a new product/service, hashtags can help generate excitement and enthusiasm for launches and events.
- Finding the right audience – hashtags do more than just engage with your audience, they help find you find them (and them find you), too. This works especially well for platforms like Instagram. For example, if you type in #nobelpeaceprize or #food, you’ll see the most recent posts that have that hashtag.
If you’re not sure where the line between complicated hashtags and too general ones is, it’s a good practice to look at what hashtags influencers and personalities in your business or niche are regularly using. Buzzsumo is a great tool to help you find influential people in your field if you’re starting out.
A successful strategy means choosing specific hashtags wherever possible, and knowing your audience well enough to understand what they like on each platform. Here’s a breakdown of how to use hashtags on the biggest social media platforms:
Twitter hashtags tie conversations of two users into one stream. As long as your account is public, people can find your hashtags based on their location (and who else they follow). Twitter Chats is a great way to meet new people with similar interests, and as Buffer explains, they’re live Q&A sessions around a hashtag.
Stick to using 1-2 hashtags per tweet.
Just like Twitter, Instagram ties conversations between unrelated people based on shared hashtag usage. Here, more hashtags = more engagement. You can use a wide variety to experiment and see what works best for you. While you can go up to 30 hashtags, we suggest sticking to between 8-15.
If you’re trying to get more exposure on your posts (while making sure your posts are public), hashtags can help you here. However, it’s important not to use too many hashtags on Facebook, lest the post appear unprofessional or irritate the reader. Stay with 1-2 hashtags per post on this handle.
While hashtags aren’t emphasised on LinkedIn, they work just as well as on any other platform. A recent addition, it helps users follow keywords using hashtags – this means it’ll be more effective to use hashtags in your posts and articles as long as you keep them professional, and stick to using 1-3.
Hashtags are the key to greater engagement on this platform. If you don’t add them yourself, Google will make suggestions to naturally add them for you, and you can use hashtags while responding to posts. Consistency is important here, and you can use upto 3 per post.
The best way to help people find your content based on keywords is through hashtags on Pinterest. Broad terms won’t help you here, you’ll want to stick to using 1-2 hashtags that are unique and particular to your topic.
A major tool for communicating with your customers, increasing engagement and drawing attention, here are some things to keep in mind when you start “hashtagging”:
- Keep It Relevant To Your Content.
People look for things that are easy to remember. Help them find you by giving a clear idea to the topic and your brand.
- Use Trending Hashtags.
Trending = popular. These hashtags change often, sometimes centering around major crises (#cyclonebelna), popular culture (#missuniverse), general (#motivationmonday), and more. When you see a trend that relates to your business, engage with it by using a hashtag. However, it’s important to remember that just because a topic is trending, doesn’t mean its hashtag is too.
- Work On Multiple Social Media Handles.
Hashtags may have started on Twitter, but all platforms support them. Using hashtags on multiple platforms gives you a wider audience and people remember it better.
- Search Before You Use.
Checking to make sure your hashtag isn’t being wrongly used on any platform is a good idea, because you don’t want it interpreted in a different way or have another brand using it for their promotion too.
- Hold Back On The Overuse.
We know the temptation of using just one more #travel hashtag. However, your followers won’t appreciate the spam, or even you using the same hashtags for every post. Remember them as just organisational tools with a limit of two-three.
- Stay Unique.
You can engage with your community using your hashtags, but if you want others to join in on the conversation, you’ll want to create a more unique hashtag to gain re-tweets, one that reflects both your business ethos and objective.
It can be confusing to figure out what the most recent hashtags are for your niche, but Digital Odyssey can help you stay on top of trends to effectively navigate the complex waters of the internet. Our marketing agency can help you with further ideas on how to design world-class websites, seamless user journeys, and digital marketing campaigns.
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