Hashtag 101: How to Hashtag Correctly on Social Media
In this day and age, hashtags are everywhere. Since their introduction to social media way back in 2007, they have exploded in popularity and are now fixed in our culture. However, many people still get hashtags wrong, and a badly-used hashtag is a big social faux-pas.
When used properly, hashtags can help individuals and brands join conversations, make their posts more visible and increase engagement.
We’re going to give a quick rundown of how to use hashtags across the big four social platforms, with some handy tips on how to maximise your success.
As the platform that made the hashtag what it is today, Twitter is a great place to use hashtags. A tweet with a hashtag allows users who aren’t otherwise connected to talk about the same topic and join conversations.
By clicking onto a hashtag, you can view all the conversations surrounding that topic. Toggle the view at the top to switch between the most popular and most recent tweets, along with other options.
It’s really simple to hashtag on Twitter, whether you want to join a conversation or start your own. Simply include a hashtag in any Tweet. We recommend that beginners start by following trending hashtags, which you can find to the left hand side of your Twitter homepage.
It’s widely debated whether you really need to use hashtags on Facebook. Our rule of thumb is to only use them for trending topics – otherwise they really aren’t necessary and can be very damaging to user experience if over used.
Once you publish a post with a hashtag in, the tag will become a clickable link, which clicks through to that hashtag page. You can also find hashtags by typing them into the main search bar, or also by typing it straight into a URL, ie: facebook.com/hashtag/mentalhealthawarenessweek.
Remember, a hashtag is always a key topic and should be used to spark conversation. Hashtagging words such as ‘the’ or ‘and’ (yes, we’ve seen it done…), is completely pointless, and will simply put your readers off as it looks unprofessional and can make posts hard to decipher. #After #all, #it’s #not #easy #to #read #posts #like #this!! See?
In 2017, Instagram is king of hashtags. It’s very difficult to gain engagement on the platform without using hashtags, and, uniquely, the more tags you use the better (nine is believed to be the magic number). In fact, posts with at least one hashtag gain on average 12.6% more engagement than those without.
Using the right hashtags can help your brand get in front of new and targeted audiences, helping you get more engagement and attract new followers.
When trying to find the best hashtags for you, it’s best to do your research. Do some digging to find out what hashtags your audience are engaging with, and also scope out which hashtags your competitors are using.
LinkedIn has always fallen behind the other platforms when it comes to hashtags, and many users became frustrated with the lack of hashtag search functionality. However, in 2016 LinkedIn introduced a similar search function to the other main platforms, making it easier to find and join conversations. We’d keep hashtag use to a minimum however – you don’t want your posts to look unprofessional on such a business-like platform.
In conclusion, as long as you remember the three golden rules, you shouldn’t go too far wrong. Here are our three key rules:
1. Don’t use too many
This is the big one. With the exception of Instagram, little and often is the way to go.
2. Don’t use more hashtags than words
Following on from point number one, if you use more hashtags than words, you’re likely to come off as spammy and even desperate.
3. Use trending topics to get noticed
Be sensible though, only jump onto a trending topic if it’s relevant to your business.
If you need help with your business’ social media, get in touch with Digital Media Team today on 0800 808 9980 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.