hashtag: n. 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. Oxford English Dictionary
In the world of social media, the hashtag is likely the most popular means of categorising content on social media. It makes your own content discoverable and allows you to find relevant content from other people and businesses. The hashtag also allows you to connect with and engage other social media users based on a common theme or interest.
Knowing how to use hashtags is fundamental to your success on social media.
Here are some #toptips to help you achieve success.
- A hashtag used on a public account is discoverable by anyone who does a search for that hashtag. If you’re using hashtags for discovery, keep it short don’t string too many words together under a single hashtag as this is not how they are designed to work. Be specific, the more specific you can get with your hashtag, the more targeted your audience will be—and a targeted audience generally means better engagement.
- Users can now follow hashtags, and in turn they can also unfollow them. Don’t use irrelevant hashtags although it’s not a known fact it’s a reasonable assumption that this will have a negative impact on your organic content. For example, using a well-known travel tag such as #wanderlust on your new product release will have a negative impact on your ranking.
- Don’t #spam #with #hashtags. Avoid using too many within a single post. Don’t have more hashtags than words. Just because Instagram allows up to 30 on any single post this does not mean you have to add 30! Try to limit this to under ten for Instagram & LinkedIn and approx. 1-2 for Facebook and Twitter.
- Format your hashtags. No spaces are allowed but #YouCanCapitaliseToImproveReadability, do not use punctuation marks or this will break the tagging.
- Branding. Don’t go too long or too clever, in general, if you’re creating a branded hashtag you should try to keep it short and simple or else it will never be found or used by your target audience.
- Post Ideas. For upcoming hashtag holidays and to look through daily trends the Hashtag Holiday Calendar Here Is a very handy tool to have to hand.
- Cater hashtags to the social network you’re using, see Hootsuite’s Blog on this for more info about:
- Do your research. To try to calculate the popularity of a hash tag you can use hashtagify.me. They will also suggest alternatives and accompanying hashtags. For current trending hashtags pop over to Twitter where there is a top trending of the day list.
- Track your success. If you have an Instagram business account, you can now see the insights for each for your post as well as the number of views that came directly from the hashtag.
- Keep an eye on your competitors. As within all elements of business it’s always smart to keep an eye on what the competitor is doing, and social media is no exception. Check out some of their hashtags for popularity and if they are relevant to your business too.