I often get questions about hashtags. We see them all of the time on social media, but what are they, really, and why do we want to use them?
Think of using hashtags as a search function.
It’s really not a difficult concept, yet a lot of people have a hard time grasping the idea. Hashtags started out on Twitter, but now they are used on almost all social media platforms, even LinkedIn.
So, how does one create a hashtag? It’s simple.
Put the # symbol in front of a word or phrase (with no spaces between the words) and there you have it! For example, #socialmedia #nutrition
Now, comes the tricky part – creating useful and relevant hashtags and best practices for using them on social media platforms.
Best practices for using hashtags:
- Use keywords related to your brand or business
- If you use a hashtag on a public account, anyone who does a search for that hashtag may find your Tweet or post.
- Choose hashtags that are easy to spell and remember.
- Use the same hashtag on multiple social media channels.
- Research a possible hashtag before using it just in case it’s related to something graphic or doesn’t support your brand. Check an urban dictionary or use a tool like https://ritetag.com. See my blog post for 7 Tips for Researching Hashtags.
- Don’t #spam #with #hashtags. Choose unique hashtags with keywords that are relevant to the topic.
3 Types of hashtags:
- Branded hashtags – #SimplificationServices #justdoit
- Functional for SEO purposes – #socialmedia #blogging
- Just for fun (creative or funny) – #MondayMotivation #DogsofInstagram
Recommended Number of Hashtags and Use by Social Media Platform
- Recommended number: 1 or 2 hashtags
- Hashtags are clickable links on Facebook.
- Use hashtags that make sense and are relevant to your brand.
- Facebook creates a unique URL for the hashtag. If you encourage people to use a certain hashtag, a conversation can be created around the topic. For example, if I use the hashtag #socialmediatools, I can start a conversation around this topic.
- Use industry specific hashtags or create your own.
- Hashtags help expand reach on Facebook and help users discover content, products and offers.
- Recommended number: 1 or 2 hashtags
- Hashtags appear as clickable links on Twitter.
- When a hashtag is clicked, Twitter displays a live feed of every other tweet with the same hashtag.
- Tweets with hashtags get 2x more engagement than tweets without hashtags.
- Recommended number: 3-11, 30 is maximum
- Hashtags appear as clickable links on Instagram.
- You can now “follow” a hashtag on Instagram.
- Where to use hashtags:
- In the post
- In the first comment
- Recommended number: 1 or 2
- Hashtags appear as clickable links on LinkedIn.
- Using hashtags increases your reach to people outside of your connections.
- You can enter a hashtag in the search bar, you will get a list of relevant people, companies, groups, and posts.
- Recommended number: up to 5 relevant hashtags
- Hashtags are clickable links on Google+.
- If you don’t add your own hashtags to a Google+ post, Google will populate up to 3 based on the text in your post.
- Recommended number: 5 or 6 hashtags that are relevant to the video, no more than 14
- Hashtags appear as clickable links on YouTube.
- When someone clicks on a hashtag, they will get a display of other videos with the same hashtag.There are lots of different places on YouTube where you will want to put hashtags:
- Title of video
- Description of video
- Digital signature
As you can see from these examples, hashtags can be very useful for branding your business, finding relevant topics, and generating engagement. Don’t be afraid to use hashtags in your social media posts and status updates! If you still have questions about using hashtags, feel free to Contact Us.
Jean Kidd says
Great article about the mysterious hastags (for those of us that didn’t grow up in the digital age)!
Even better yet is the actionable breakdown regarding the use of hashtags within the different social media platforms. Thanks, Kelly for a very informative article!