What are Hashtags and How to Use Them
Hashtags are so easy to use, and they also make your social media posting discoverable and sharable given that you are using them the right way.
There are certain guides to follow for every social platform that will help you maximize your social media traffic in general.
What is a hashtag?
The hashtag is a way of adding metadata to your content you share on social media so it gets easier to be discovered, known, or followed by users of social media websites.
A hashtag begins with the # symbol and followed by words without including any space between words or the symbol.
For instance, here are some famous hashtags in the industry of SEO: #googleseo, #seotips, #digitalmarketing, #SEO.
Keep it doesn’t matter if the letters are capitalized or not. So, #hashtag is just like #HashTag. You may use numbers in your hashtag as well. So, #10SEOtips is the right hashtag. There is only one exception, Google+ hashtags can’t start with numbers.
Why use hashtags?
There are a lot of reasons why you have to use hashtags in your social campaigns. The most important reasons are:
- Users who are following specific hashtag can see your content even if they are not following you. So, by using common hashtags in your content to maximize the potential audience.
- This is a way you use to add your own content to a story. For example, there is a trending story on Twitter and you need to add a reply, you may use hashtags so people who follow the story will see your update as well.
- Hashtags are useful for social platforms to create categories and updates and make them more discoverable and researchable. For instance, by including hashtags on your tweets, you give an indication for Twitter that the tweet is about this subject you mentioned on the hashtag. This means that it will be displayed in the results of the search when users search for the same topic on Twitter.
- Studies indicated that hashtags maximize engagement (see full information below)
How to create your own hashtags?
To create your own hashtag, add the sign #, and the words you want without any space. For instance, the hashtag can be #myhashtag.
When a lot of people start using the hashtag in their content, it becomes trending.
This is a powerful means for companies to connect with their customers and keep the conversation going.
For instance, open Twitter and write in the search, #justdoit to know how Nike is putting hashtags for promotions and brand awareness.
How to use hashtags on Twitter
The first platform to use hashtags was Twitter, the very first tweet wrote with a hashtag was published by a previous Google employee in 2007, and since that day, hashtags became so popular in Twitter and even other social media networks.
Studies indicated that tweets that include hashtags get double the engagement (clicks, replies, tweets, and retweets) than tweets that don’t include hashtags.
The suggested number of hashtags for a tweet for maximum display is 2.
This doesn’t mean that if you use 1 or 3 is not good, it is just a suggestion based on studies.
There are three things to understand about hashtags on twitter.
View Trending hashtags:
When you open your Twitter account, you see the trending hashtags on the left side of the website. The results are based on your region yet you may click “Change” to know what is trending for other regions too if you want.
If you want to view the tweets for a specific hashtag, only click on the link of the hashtag.
Follow a hashtag:
If you want to follow all tweets of a specific hashtag, you just need to write the hashtag in the search box and click enter. The feed now will display the top tweets including your hashtag or all tweets of it.
Click on the “Save” to actually save the search you have made in order to click on the Twitter search box next time to choose to see your saved search.
Create a tweet with a hashtag: When you start a new tweet and add the # sign and begin writing, Twitter will recommend the hashtags you have to use. You can also choose one from the list or make your own hashtag.
Using hashtags on Facebook
Facebook began to support hashtags in 2013 and even though it has been several years since that happened, Facebook users do not use hashtags as much.
Hashtags on Facebook have a page on the help center that is explaining what are they and how to use them properly yet there’s not a lot of data there.
You have to know that before using hashtags on Facebook:
There are rules similar to twitter
- if you want to follow a hashtag just search for it using # in the search bar.
- no spaces
- if a hashtag doesn’t exist will be created
The suggested number of hashtags on a facebook post is one or two.
After using five hashtags, the post will start to decline.
If you make a post using a hashtag and share it publicly with everyone, your post is going to appear when users search for a specific hashtag, given that you permit people to follow you.
When you use hashtags without overdoing it, it will also be a great way to maximize your Facebook followers.
How to use hashtags on Instagram
Instagram is mainly about visuals and hashtags. If you like using hashtags, then, make an Instagram account and start using hashtags.
The suggested number of hashtags for a post on Instagram is 11!
Engagement with a post jumps higher when more than ten hashtags are used in a post. However, Instagram is allowing 30 hashtags as a maximum number in each post.
You may use numbers yet, as usual, you can’t use spaces or other characters like $ or %. Also, you may click on a hashtag so you can see other posts using the same hashtag.
Read the official guidelines of Instagram here.
How to use hashtags on Pinterest
Pinterest supports hashtags as well. You can read Pinterest’s full guid for hashtags here.
Use the # symbol with the letters without spaces to create a hashtag for your pins. When you do that, they turn into links and when you click on them, they show pins that have the same subject.
Pins with the biggest number of engagements of re-pin, comments and likes, will be displayed first when you search for a specific hashtag on Pinterest.
The best number of hashtags for a Pin is three.
This is just a suggestion but not official guide from Pinterest.
How to use hashtags on LinkedIn
Hashtags are back again to be supported by LinkedIn. The same rules of the platforms above have to be done on Facebook. And we recommend you use two hashtags for each post on LinkedIn.
Hashtags in Google Search Results
This would be a surprise to some of you, yet you can use hashtags while you are searching on google. For example, if you wrote #SEO in the box of Google search, you will find links to the pages of #SEO on Google+ and Twitter.
It depends on the term you use in your search, Google will show you results from social media platforms.
Hashtags are very easy and simple to use, and they have a lot of advantages to provide. To use hashtags properly, you have to consider it as a form of spam and that’s why it is good to follow the easy rules highlighted above when using hashtags on your social media platforms.
And finally, these are the recommended number of hashtags on every platform.
- Facebook: 2
- Instagram: 11
- Twitter: 2
- Linkedin: 2
- Pinterest: 3
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