If you’re on social media, chances are that you’ve come across a hashtag at least once in your life. You know those blue keywords prefixed by a hash? #WhoAmIKidding.
We all know what hashtags are, but if for some reason you’ve been living under the rock for the past few years hashtags are those short links preceded by the hash (#) sign. They may look irrelevant or unnecessary but they are an integral way of communicating your posts to a specified target audience nowadays.
The widespread use of hashtags started from Twitter where adding a hashtag to your post meant turning a word into a searchable link which allowed users to organize content and track particular discussion topics. Today, this feature is supported by various social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram but it still remains heavily overlooked by many and people still don’t know how to use hashtags properly.
- To start with hashtags you must first know all the characters which are supported by hashtags and the ones which are not. For starters, spaces between words, punctuation marks like commas and periods are an absolute no-no. However, alphabets (capital and small) and numbers are fully supported. Just start with “#” followed by your words for example #ThisIsMyFirstHashtag
- Spaces inside the hashtags are not allowed but on some social media the spaces between separate hashtags are allowed and are even necessary like Facebook. For example, #Bright#Sunny won’t show up as two different hashtags in your posts.
- Don’t use hashtags that are too long. Remember the no spaces rule we talked about a while ago? Yeah, that makes reading long hashtags difficult. Capitalizing the first letter might help in that case. For example: #ThisIsMuchEasier to read #thanthishashtag.
- Don’t go overboard with hashtags. Never use more hashtags that the actual text in your post or don’t use bazillion hashtags in a single post. In fact, most of the social media platforms have a limit on the number of hashtags you can use.
Now that we know how to write hashtags, we need to find out what hashtags to use. Not everyone knows how to use hashtags but if done properly it can lead to a considerable rise in reach, likes, and shares.
- The best way to use hashtags is to cater to a specific audience. Different hashtags trend on different social media for each category of post that people upload. There are food related hashtags, photography related hashtags, hashtags for artists and so on. Basically, there are hashtags for everything nowadays. But you should be careful while using hashtags as irrelevant hashtags might make you look stupid. For example, #Foodie does not make any sense on a sunset landscape, does it?
- Right hashtags will increase the discoverability of your posts eventually leading to an increase in your audience. This might be very useful for social media marketers and People who want to showcase their talent online. For companies, startups and professionals using hashtags can be very effective, especially on LinkedIn as it’ll get your updates to your immediate network and people outside it even if they aren’t connected with you.
- You can research the trending hashtags to use them in your posts but if you’re an avid social media user, finding new hashtags every day for different social mediums can be quite redundant and time-consuming. So, to our rescue, there are certain tools that we can use to search trending hashtags. Twitonomy can be used for Twitter, What the trend can be used for both Facebook and Twitter, Focalmark is a brilliant tool for Instagram and Hashtagify for LinkedIn.
Using hashtags can lead up to 20-40% rise in your engagement especially on sites like Twitter and Instagram, Certain sites like Facebook has recently started supporting Hash tags so the engagement increase is not that high as compared to Twitter, Instagram or Tumblr.
We hope that these tips will help you get started with hashtags on various social media like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Linkedin or up your existing hashtag game.
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