Using Hashtags

I had a number of you ask me about #hashtags. When to use them, how to use them, how many to use and where to use them. Let's talk #hashtags.

When to use #? For anyone who does not know what hashtags are, they are words followed by the # sign. Think of it as a folder. When you search for a word with #, all the content with that word will show up for you. It's the Internet's way of searching for specific keywords and having it all in one place.

How to use #? You can use them for a contest so all the posts for the contest are together (similar to having a hashtag for wedding photos). You can use them for brand awareness by having a hashtag for your brand. You can also use them to reach a wider audience by adding popular/trending hashtags to your content. For example, the Running Man Challenge had taken over Social Media few months back. Few practices created videos and used that hashtag to reach more people. Hashtags are definitely popular, but remember to always have a goal for them so you can track and evaluate its reach.

How many to use and where to use them? These two go hand in hand because all the Social Media platforms have different hashtag visibility. Twitter uses them for categorization while Pinterest categories with or without hashtags. Hashtags on Twitter create 2 times more engagement, however, that engagement drops if you use more than 3 hashtags. Focus on using 1- 2 specific hashtags on twitter and your reach will improve. Facebook was very excited about introducing hashtags on the platform 3 years ago, but that did not work out. Facebook’s growth is based on connecting with family and friends, and therefore the use of hashtags was not as effective as Twitter. In fact, a recent report by BuzzSumo (they analyzed more than a billion Facebook posts and over 30 million brand pages) showed that posts WITHOUT hashtags have better engagement on Facebook! If you are going to use hashtags on Facebook, make them specific to an event or a promotion, use them for trending topics or brand awareness. Now if you LOVE hashtags, get on Instagram! Instagram does not seem to have a saturation point for hashtags, so go crazy with them if you like!

TIP: Many of you may have your Instagram, Facebook and Twitter accounts linked to show the same post. If that post has hashtags, make sure to edit it to match the 3 platforms. Don’t forget to comment below with any questions you have!

Does your company need help in understanding your social media analytics or modifying your social media strategy tactics? Our marketing consultants at Growth Management Marketing can help! Contact us today for a free consultation by calling (732) 501-0955 or emailing info@marketinggmm.com.