Introducing The Hashtag
As with any new invention, there are always niche factors that make it unique. For social media, one of these qualities is the hashtag. More commonly known as the “#” sign, the hashtag is indexed on a social media platform, where it can be searched and discovered. It’s always one word and doesn’t use punctuation. This nifty tool is also a great way to categorize and start a movement. Once this keyword generates enough searches and gains more discoveries, it soon becomes trending.
If you’re unfamiliar with how to use the hashtags, here are some basic tips.
- If you’re going to use a hashtag for any purpose, make sure you don’t string together too many words. If you do, it will be difficult to read, and even harder to look at.
- Don’t spam hashtags like it’s expendable. Depending on which social media platform you are using, limit yourself to a solid number, and keep them fresh and relevant.
- On Twitter, using a hashtag doubles the engagement and results in 55% more retweets than tweets which do not use them.
We should also take into consideration that hashtags aren’t just meant to be created, but also shared and joined by the community. As opposed to starting your own hashtag, join one that’s relevant to your following or your brand. Some hashtags to look out for include events or conferences, holidays, pop culture topics, and popular days-of-the-week hashtags.
Looking At The Platforms
For each media platform, there are different factors that play into how many hashtags you should be using.
Twitter is one of the most viable ways for anyone to communicate with the world. It’s used by so many people that sometimes the abundance of hashtags render them meaningless. To avoid being drowned by all the noise, keep your hashtags to one or two in order to make it easy and accessible for everyone to see. In using more than two, you risk looking desperate, or even worse, fall under the assumption that you’re a twitter bot spamming all the relevant hashtags of the day.
If there was ever a paradise for hashtags, Instagram would be the place. In this image-intensive platform, hashtags are essentially the bread and butter. On Instagram, hashtags serve as a way for users to discover and find new users to follow, which opens doors to more exposure. There really isn’t a set number on Instagram since the amount is dependent on what you post. In most cases, once you go over 10, you’re likely to see a dip in engagement.
Contrary to Instagram and Twitter, Facebook has private profiles, leaving public hashtags to brands and influencers. If you’re looking to use hashtags, keep it short and precise. Make sure to limit yourself to one or two hashtags at most.