Hashtags Explained

A hashtag (#) has become an important part of social media and impacts the visibility of a post. Here we discuss what a hashtag is and how a business can use them successfully as part of their social media marketing strategy.

What is a hashtag?

Hashtags are another term for labels. They are used to categorize content on social media. It allows people to search for a hashtag and it will show all the posts that relate to that topic. They can also relate to ANY topic you can think of from #cleaningtips or #digitalmarketing to #EurovisionAgain or #outfitoftheday. They are a way of connecting social media content and organizing it by theme. This makes it easier for people to discover posts around topics they are interested in.

A hashtag (#) has become an important part of social media and impacts the visibility of a post. Here we discuss what a hashtag is and how a business can use them successfully as part of their social media marketing strategy.

What is a hashtag?

Hashtags are another term for labels. They are used to categorize content on social media. It allows people to search for a hashtag and it will show all the posts that relate to that topic. They can also relate to ANY topic you can think of from #cleaningtips or #digitalmarketing to #EurovisionAgain or #outfitoftheday. They are a way of connecting social media content and organizing it by theme. This makes it easier for people to discover posts around topics they are interested in.

The Basic rules to Hashtags

Getting started with using hashtags is simple and something that will become more natural overtime. Here are a few things to get you started

  • Always starts with this symbol #.
  • Spaces are not allowed. If the message you want to use is a phrase, simply merge the words together.
  • No punctuation- No punctuation or symbols can be used apart from the # symbol at the front.
  • Use numbers carefully- numbers can be used but only alongside text
  • Creating your own hashtag- If you want you can create your own hashtag. All you have to do is think of one and continue to use it. There are many brands that create successful hashtags to run throughout a particular marketing campaign. Just make sure it is easy for people to read. If you want to, you can check online directories to see if a hashtag is taken however these are often out of date.
  • Alternatively, you can use existing hashtags but make sure they are relevant to your content. Otherwise, it can cause confusion or look like you are trying to interrupt another brands conversation.
  • Use a mixture of general and more niche hashtags- It takes a while to learn which hashtags work best. Try and avoid only using really generic terms e.g. #love. This is because there will be so many posts with this that yours will probably just get missed. You can quickly check how common a hashtag is used by searching for it in the search bar on the social media channel you are using.

When to use Hashtags

There are many scenarios where hashtags have been proven really successful for companies of all sizes. For example:

  • When you attend events- Many events now have a hashtag associated with them. This allows people to take photos and share them on social media using this hashtag. It keeps all the photos in one place and can be a great brand awareness tool
  • To get user generated content- Hashtags are great for your customers to use. Once they have used your service or bought your product, kindly ask them to use a particular hashtag in their post or better yet tag your business in the picture itself as well. This can help spread your business message effective through real life happy customers.
  • Run a contest- You can run competitions on social media easily with the use of hashtags. Just get people to use this hashtag when entering. The good news about this method is that the same hashtags can be used across all your social media channels for consistency. Just make sure you read up on the rules of running competitions on social media as the rules can vary between platforms.
  • Use it for networking- There are loads of generic hashtags that you can use to network with others. A popular one is #FollowFriday where you give shout outs to other people or local businesses. By tagging people in your posts or stories, you will grab their attention and they will probably return the favour.

How many hashtags should you use?

There is debate on what the ideal number of hashtags you should use. For example, on Instagram, you can use up to 30 hashtags on each post. This is not possible for twitter however because of the smaller character limit. The importance of this is not the number of hashtags you use but the quality of them.

Hashtags are a great way to increase your visibility and join conversations. You can use them across all social media channels with some like Instagram using them more regularly than other channels such as Facebook.

 

Sign up to our newsletter

Get regular hints, tips and updates on internet marketing and web design.

Related Articles