If you’ve been using social media for any amount of time, there’s no doubt in my mind that you’ve stumbled across a hashtag.
But, if you’re new to social, you may have just ignored these BA lil social turbochargers.
What Is A Hashtag
In its most simple form, a hashtag is a word with the pound sign (#) in front of it. To social media managers and users worldwide, it’s so much more than that. 🙌
What Does A Hashtag Do
Hashtags allow your content to be categorized, stored, grouped, and searched. When you use a hashtag, your social post is grouped in with other posts using the same tag. The use of hashtags allows your content to become discoverable by people who have otherwise may never have seen your post. 😯
What Does A Hashtag Mean
You’ve likely seen hashtags used ironically and strategically. While it can be a ton of fun to use hashtags in a joking way, they provide the most value when used strategically.
Hashtags are basically internet dinosaurs. They’ve been around since wayyyyy back in 2007. The first documented use of hashtags was on Twitter, and was a concept proposed by a member of their development team. Although Twitter was not initially all about the tag, the practice eventually took off. Today, hashtags are used on almost every social network.
Hashtags By The Social Network
Although hashtags are commonly accepted on most social networks, there are a few nuances to each network. Here’s a quick overview of how to use hashtags on the big-dog social networks.
Hashtags are most definitely still supported on Twitter and can be included anywhere in your Tweet. You’ll commonly see words hashtagged throughout the Tweet and hashtags added to the end. Twitter recommends using 1-2 hashtags per Tweet.
While hashtags are accepted on Facebook and will categorize your posts, hashtags are not widely used on Facebook. If you decide to include a hashtag in your post, use 1-2 tags per post.
IG is all about that hashtag life, so the more, the merrier! Note that Instagram does cap your hashtag use, and you’re limited to 30 per post. Shucks.
Hashtags in profiles are now searchable on Instagram, so be sure to include one or two in your bio as well.
Pinterest supports the use of hashtags and should be included in your pin descriptions. Posts with too many hashtags may rank lower, so aim to use 3-6 hashtags per pin. Pinterest does not support more than 20 hashtags per pin.
Like Facebook, LinkedIn supports the use of hashtags, but the practice isn’t widely used. Your articles and posts can be categorized with hashtags. When posting, use 1-2 tags.
Hashtag Dos and Don’ts
A few quick hashtag tips so you don’t look like a total #noob.
- Do group all your words together, e.g., #livelife
- Do use a branded hashtag
- Do follow hashtags on Instagram
- Do not include spaces
- Case does not matter
- Do not include punctuation
- Do not include special characters
- Do not make ridiculously long hashtags, e.g., #liveyourlifeeverydaybecauseitsawesomeandyoudeserveit
Your Strategic Hashtag Plan
Now that you’re a hashtag goddess let’s get strategic with it. #strategyrules
Now, I know it can be tempting just to start adding tags, pat yourself on the back, and pour a glass of wine, but lil lady we are talking about marketing with purpose not being completely ineffective. Start by doing a bit of research. You can use a site like hashtagify.me to search hashtags, or work directly on the social network you are researching for. Create a list of hashtags for your content niche and analyze the tags others are using with similar content. Write ALL OF THIS down. Personally, I keep my hashtags right in my Google sheet content calendar.
Next, narrow down your hashtags. Although you can get a ton of volume from commonly used hashtags, sometimes the more specific, niche tags are the most effective. Using these tags will allow you to be found by a different pool of individuals and potentially even make new connections. Broad, generic hashtags are often flooded with posts and competition.
With your list created, your next strategic move is to look tags that your target audience uses. For example, although I post content about marketing, I love working specifically with interior designers. To help my business become discoverable by more interior designers, I would use some of the tags they are using in their content as well.
With your research completed and your bada** lists created, the next thing you want to do is put on that lab coat and get to testing. Change out the hashtags your using and see if certain hashtags help you reach a different audience. Oh and of course, don’t forget to take notes!
You are now a strategic hashtag sorceress! 🔮