Throughout the office this past week, our main topic of discussion has been on the use of #hashtags and how businesses both big and small can benefit from joining in on the online conversation.
They might seem #silly, and they most definitely look silly, but the importance behind them can make a significant impact on your online social presence. #Hashtags made their mark on the world wide web in late 2007, making the online conversation more accessible on Twitter. Although initially rejected from the team over at Twitter, hashtagging has since taken off and is still one of the most effective ways to get more eyes on your content, follow lead conversations online, expand your content reach, amplify your brand, target your audience and easily and effectively search products, places, events and even people! #amazing
But #hashtags aren’t just for the use of Twitter. All main social media platforms use #hashtags and have become ever so popular with social networks such as Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and even LinkedIn.
Each having their own sets of benefits, #hashtags are shaping the way we use social networks and are building the way we connect with clients, businesses, friends and family all around the globe.
#Hashtags categorise your posts, linking them to conversations and topics, they provide industry-specific keywords, increase post visibility and help your target audience discover your brand. When we are hard at work creating social posts for your businesses, we are also relating to #relevant and #trending hashtags. You’re probably thinking, but how do you know what’s relevant or trending? #Hashtags are tailored to your business so that your posts reach more customers who are already seeking your products or services. Plus, they will also have an impact on your website SEO when we link to your website from social media posts.
So here’s a little insight into how you can use and benefit from #hashtags.
- A post with at least one Instagram #hashtag averages 12.6% more engagement than posts without a single #hashtag.
- On Twitter, #hashtags turn any words or group of words that directly follow it into a searchable link. This allows you to organize content and track discussion topics based on those keywords in real time.
- On Facebook, each hashtag has its own URL and they provide searchable keywords for your posts.
- Understanding the different types of hashtags and their corresponding audiences is key to developing an effective hashtag strategy. This can be used for brands and also specifically for campaigns.
So although they seem a little silly, they really are worth creating in order to see your account grow. And learning how to use them effectively is #important
- Spaces are a no-go – Although your hashtag may contain multiple words, it’s super important to group them all together. The use of uppercase letters will not affect the search in any way but may make it easier for your readers to understand #YourLongPostAhead
- You CAN use numbers! – If you’re wanting to make a specific #hashtag because it’s your 40th Birthday (#therightsideof40) or maybe your business is holding an up to 50% off sale (50offsale) this can easily be archived. But keep in mind punctuation marks are not user friendly, so commas, periods, exclamation points, question marks and apostrophes are out.
- The difference between # and @ symbols – It’s time to get tagging! From what we’ve learnt so far, we can add a #hashtag to the front of any word or collection of words to start following a conversation topic, we often see this a lot on Twitter when it comes to #Celebritygossip but we can also tag specific people by using handles eg: @socialmediatribe but be sure to use the correct handle or you may end up tagging someone unknown!
There are also a few unspoken rules when it comes to the use of #hashtags
- Be specific. If you’re using a hashtag to add to a conversation make sure you are specific! Vague or generic hashtags, unfortunately, don’t add to the conversation.
- Keep it simple. Finding the perfect amount of #hashtags is key! Depending on what platform you are posting on, whether it be an image on Instagram or a comment on Facebook, it’s important to keep it simple in order to maximise your post.
- Context is key. When it comes to Facebook or Twitter it’s important to add a little context to the conversation. The overuse of hashtags is not going to make you any friends and no one is going to understand who you are trying to connect with.
The online world can seem a little #strange but that’s why we are here to break it down just as Jimmy Fallen and Justin Timberlake did with their rendition of #Hashtags