How to use Hashtags #socialmedia
The Power of Hashtags

Do you use Hashtags with you social media marketing posts?  Today we’re going to discuss where and how to use Hashtags, but before we do, let’s start off with explaining what a Hashtag actually is (for some of the newer social media users).

Wikipedia defines a Hashtag as a type of label or metadata tag used on social network and microblogging services which makes it easier for users to find messages with a specific theme or content. Users create and use hashtags by placing the hash character (or number sign) # in front of a word or unspaced phrase, either in the main text of a message or at the end. Searching for that hashtag will then present each message that has been tagged with it.

Hashtags first became the social media phenomenon with Twitter, then Instagram and Google+ and eventually Facebook and Google search.  Hashtags are a very valuable tool for online marketers!  It’s important to use them, but it’s more important to know where and how to use them.

Why is it so important to use Hashtags?  First and for most, Hashtags extend the reach of your post.  Instead of a post only being seen by your followers, it’s a search phrase that extends to anyone searching for that Hashtag.  Not only do Hashtags extend you reach, it expends your reach to an audience that is relevant to your niche.

Twitter:  it’s proven that a Hashtag used in a 140 character tweet is twice as likely to receive engagement.  So instead of getting 5 retweets, you’re now looking at 10 retweets.  It’s that powerful!  The ideal number of hashtags to use per tweet is two.  In a study conducted by Buddy’s Media Research, they actually prove that your engagement will drop by 17% if you use more than two Hashtags per tweet.  So don’t over use Hashtags on Twitter.  Besides the obvious, less engagement, too many Hashtags can seem annoying if over used and your followers may eventually stop following you!  Not cool.  So keep it at one or two Hahtags per tweet.

Instagram: Instagram, unlike Twitter is not limited to 140 characters.  Instagram engagement tends to increase when you use more Hashtags.  According to Buddy’s Media Research, the ideal number of Hashtags to use with an Instagram post is eleven!  #like4like has been used almost 300 million time!  With #Fashion being the number 2 used Hashtag on Twitter!  So when it comes to Instagram, don’t be afraid of using an extra hashtag.   #instagood #followme

Facebook: With a Facebook post, although Hashtags are searchable using Facebook’s graph search, Hashtags really have not caught on.  Hashtags are not commonly used and when used, engagement actually decreases as per the study by Buddy’s Media Research.

If you find Hashtags annoying, imagine if we used them in our every day conversations.  Check out Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake’s #Hashtag video.

Please comment below and share your successes or failures using Hashtags!  Thanks for reading!