You see them all the time before small phrases on social media. The hashtag, formerly known to old-school, landline phone users as the “pound sign” or that grid for tic-tac-toe, is an iconic symbol of today’s social media age. The symbol appears before words or short phrases to indicate a keyword and make it easier to organize like-minded topics. Using hashtags will contribute to making your business’ social media presence standout from the rest, but are you doing it the right way?
Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Vine, and Google Plus all use hashtags, but not all use them in the same way. Twitter started the hashtag trend nearly ten years ago, and it’s become a part of our everyday vocabulary. On Twitter, using one or two tags per post is ideal. Not only does it leave you room for more of what you have to say, but users can click on the hashtag to find similar hashtags. Twitter will also begin to offer suggestions for a tag as soon as you start typing. The same goes for Vine which is owned by Twitter.
Instagram is the other big user of hashtags but, unlike Twitter, the more tags, the merrier. Instagram is centered around posting images with typically only a small caption along with a picture. Clicking on a tag on Instagram will take you to a feed of images with the same tag. On Instagram, using 10 to 12 hashtags is what has been shown to garner the best attention from users.
For Pinterest, another image-centric social media platform, a handful of tags (3-5) will put your post in the right place. However, there are a couple of things to remember when tagging on Pinterest. First, tags are not clickable unless they are in the description of the photo. Second, tags aren’t searchable, so you must search by keyword instead.
Hashtags on Facebook are searchable and will take you to a new page with details about all the public profiles using the same tag. Private profiles will not be listed on this page unless you are ‘friends’ with the person or ‘like’ the page. Facebook’s use of tags is a little different too since a post is sometimes a re-post from Instagram or Twitter. In general, two to three tags will suffice, but if it’s an Instagram post, it’s common to see a lot of hashtags.
Google+ uses hashtags in the same way as Facebook, and unless it’s an Instagram re-post, a few hashtags will suffice. But Google+ will also add it’s own hashtags based on your content and keywords that it defines as relevant.
Posting on YouTube isn’t directly helped by a hashtag in the same way posts are on other platforms, but the hashtag still serves a purpose. Comments on a video can use hashtags and be clicked on in the same way as Google+, Facebook, or Twitter; this may lead to similar videos using the same hashtag.
Tumblr, above all other platforms, wholly embraces the hashtag and encourages the use of it. At the end of any post on Tumblr, there is a section for adding hashtags. Like Twitter, once you start to type a hashtag, it’ll suggest some for you. On Tumblr, you don’t need to use the hashtag icon either, just type and hit tab, and it’ll add the symbol for you.
The bottom line, USE HASHTAGS. While there’s always the gossip of the “end of hashtags” It’s been ten years, and they’re still going strong. Not to mention, people are using “hashtag” in ordinary conversation now. So, it’s fair to say the useful little former pound sign is here to stay around for a while. Knowing how to use hashtags will help keep your business around for a long time too.
Source: Pace Feed