Unleash the Power of the Hashtag
Your hashtag can make or break your posts. We all know how important each element is to the success of a social media post. The visuals and the text get the most attention, but none of that matters if the post isn’t going to be seen. Other than Google searches, how does the average person search for relatable and relevant content?
Twitter is responsible for the popularity of the hashtag. The tag allows a word or phrase followed by a pound sign (#) to become clickable. Facebook, Instagram, and Linked In, are just a few of the social media giants that have followed in Twitter’s footsteps and now use clickable hashtags.
This is where the power of the hashtag comes into play. Although hashtags are used on multiple platforms, they are used and seen differently by viewers depending on the media outlet in use. The most common outlets are Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Using these tips will help to optimize your posts and increase your reach and engagement.
General Hashtag Etiquette
- Correctly spelled
- To the point
- Be specific to the topic being posted
- Use one hashtag
- Put text first, hashtag #Last
In 2017 Twitter increased its character limit from 140 letters to 280. That’s a lot of room for more hashtags! However, it has been proven that less is more when using them. Hashtags are intended to filter information so someone can find people talking about a specific topic by searching that trending hashtag. When someone uses more than 1 or 2 hashtags on Twitter, it can be assumed that the poster is trying too hard for engagement. Also, be sure to keep the hashtag at the end of your post.
Facebook follows similar hashtag etiquette as Twitter. Results show the best engagement comes from using only one hashtag. When someone is searching hashtags on Facebook, often the person is looking for someone else that is talking about the same article or story as the poster.
As an example, right now in Arizona a hot topic is #RedForEd. Searching that hashtag will bring up thousands of people sharing articles and telling stories about their support of Arizona teachers deserving a salary increase. There is no need for them to post different hashtags like #TeachersRock or #AZschools because #RedForEd is specific and straight to the point.
- Be creative
- Be specific
- Create a hashtag for your brand
- Stay relevant
Anyone can post however many hashtags they want on a post, except on Instagram. Instagram will not show the description on a post if there are more than 30 hashtags. Posts are more likely to be seen when using 8-12 hashtags, unlike with Facebook and Twitter. This gives you more freedom to be creative and use tags that are more broad, unique, and specific to the post.
In the beginning of 2018, Instagram updated how hashtags work on their platform. You can now add hashtags to your story and follow hashtags. Instagram discourages the use of the hashtag just to gain engagement or impressions. If you are posting something about clothing and using the popular hashtag #Foodie to be seen, users following #Foodie now have the power to mark your content to not be seen, and your posts could end up being marked as spam. It is important to keep your tags creative, relevant, and specific to your post.
- Keep it clean
- Be professional
- Use hashtags in comments
- Use hashtags in profile
Hashtags are still pretty new to LinkedIn as they were just introduced in 2016. They help your content and your page to be seen. Hashtags on LinkedIn work in your profile headline, description, posts, and comments. Given the professional nature of the platform, it’s important to avoid the use of profanity or slang terms. In other words, keep your hashtags clean and professional. The more you use your own hashtag, the more it may start to gain in popularity.