The use of hashtags is not new in social media networks. However, if you have just started using social media, then you must learn the use of them. You might think that a pound sign is used just to check my voicemail. However, in social media, it comes with a different meaning.
Let us explore what are hashtags, why to use them, and why everyone is talking about them.
What is a hashtag?
A pound symbol was first used to mark numbers. However, in 2007 Chris Messina came up with a new idea. He asked Twitter about the potential to use this sign to group related tweets. And this is how it all started.
After Twitter integrated it, its use became widely popular. It groups all messages with the same hashtags. Thus, you can easily locate between topics, events, or any kind of convo. Its use is now widespread in almost all social media apps.
What are the basics of Hashtag?
The hashtags will start working with a # sign. However, if you use space, symbols, or any other punctuation, them won’t work.
- You need to keep your account public. It won’t group messages from private accounts.
- Strong hashtags are easy to make and easy to replicate.
- The hashtag should be relevant to the topic. If not, no one will notice it.
- Use a limited number of hashtags at a time. It may look spammy.
Why use Hashtags?
Hashtags have a lot of uses. Some common ones are.
- Increase engagement with your followers
When you include hashtags in social media posts, you invite more people to interact on the same topic. Your message becomes visible in that genre. More engagement means your message gets attention easily.
- An opportunity to build your brand
It is one of the most effective ways to brand your message. A lot of businesses use hashtags as a brand. Followers can copy it easily.
- A way to show support for social issues
The widest use of hashtags is on social issues. You will find a list of top trendy topics every day. These are all related to social issues. People use them to support a common issue and raise their voices.
- Add context to a social media post
You have limited characters on many platforms. People focus well on short messages. In this way, hashtags speak a lot of stuff in fewer words. Like in July 2019, NASA just tweeted with two of them i.e. #Apollo50th and #WorldEmojiDay.
They were taking part in the emoji event as well as celebrating the Apollo mission. Even these two words were enough to tell the whole story they were talking of.
What Hashtags to use?
Now, as you know its importance, let’s see what kind of hashtags you should use.
Monitor what social media influencers are using. Search your competitors. See the top hashtags in the field and use similar.
Using trendy hashtags increases your chances of getting visible. Use them and enjoy the fame.
If you know what hashtags performs well, it is better to search for related ones too. They have a better chance of getting noticed.
How to use hashtags of Twitter?
Hashtags have a large impact on your followers in the Twitter world. Even the general one increase your chances to get viral. Thus, small and specific have more reach.
If you use hashtags on Twitter, you invite other people to talk on the same topic. Even if two people don’t follow each other, they can interact on the same topic with hashtags.
Although hashtags are the perfect way to get started, you need to be careful. Always use the simplest and easy ones. Words that are too long go unnoticed. Hashtags are meant to ease things. When you use large hashtags, no one will be able to type it correctly. Thus, your reach will get reduced.
You should also limit the use of hashtags in a single post cause these two issues:
- number one is that no one will understand the message you are trying to convey. So, instead of using a dozen hashtags, 2 to 3 related to the same topic may help better.
- Number two is that it may look spammy. The system will think you are desperate to get a lot of followers and reach. Thus, instead of giving you more space, it will dilute your reach.
So, you need to be careful in its usage. Short, to the point and 2 or 3 should be enough.
How to use hashtags on Instagram?
Hashtags on Instagram has also the same use. It lets you interact with a lot of people even if they are not your followers. A lot of people use paid campaigns to reach to other people. However, a hashtag is an organic way to reach as many people as you wish.
When you keep engaged with the community, you increase your chance to get noticed. Hashtags make your account easy to discover. When you use relevant ones, you will actually get more and more followers over time. This organic way to get followers is more natural.
Unlike Twitter, you should aim for the more specific hashtags on Instagram. It will help you to develop a bigger and stable audience for your business. A good tip for business on Instagram is to use the hashtags that the audience is already using. This increases your chance of getting noticed.
A lot of people use general hashtags in their photos. This increases the reach of their photo. For example: using #morning will visible your photo to anyone searching the same hashtag.
Why hashtags are not so famous on Facebook and LinkedIn?
Hashtags are very famous on Twitter and Instagram. The reason is that many people have public accounts. We already stated that hashtags need to be from a public account to get noticed. Since there is a very limited public account on Facebook and LinkedIn, they are not popular there.
I hope you learned something from this article. You if have something to say, please use the comments box below.