Article

Rick Barron
Rick Barron 16 October 2019

Making Your Mark

Hashtags play a crucial role in developing interest in your social media accounts and are used on a number of social media platforms, most commonly, Twitter and Instagram.

Hashtags play a crucial role in developing an interest in your social media accounts and are used on a number of social media platforms, most commonly, Twitter and Instagram. Including a hashtag with your posts helps to categorize content for your audience.

From a user perspective, hashtags allow people to find posts that are relevant to their interests and interact with other social media users who share those interests by joining the conversation about hashtag XY. From a business perspective, it is your chance to be noticed in such conversation and establish your company as a voice for certain topics.
 

6 Best Practices For Using Hashtags

So relevance, branding, content discovery, tracking, and personality are some of the advantages of using hashtags. But how do you get these benefits? Here are some best practices for using hashtags.

1. Be Unique

If you're going to start a new hashtag and plan to use it regularly, then make sure it's unique. The last thing you need is to invest in promoting a hashtag that someone else is already using.

Use Hashtags.org to see if your chosen hashtag is in use. If someone is already using it, then it's clearly not the right choice for you.

2. Avoid "Bashtags"

You can also use the dictionary on Hashtags.org to see what your chosen hashtag means. This might help you avoid hashtags that turn into bashtags because they have a totally different meaning from what you intended. And even if the meaning is OK, you can still lose out if people don't see your brand the way you do.

4. Keep It Short

If you look at various hashtags across Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and other social channels, you'll see a mix of lengths, but the best practice is to keep hashtags short. Brevity makes them easier to remember [that’s the holy grail] and for the platforms where space for your updates is limited, using short hashtags means you have more space for commentary and links.

5. Use Trends Wisely

Trending hashtags can make you seem more relevant to your audience so it's a good idea to see what's trending on individual social sites or via cross-platform search engines. However, tread carefully. Be sure that trending topics are relevant to your brand. If you can't integrate a trending topic into your overall brand identity, then forget it. Check out All#hashtag for help on what’s trending. 

6. Know Hashtag Use On Different Sites

Every social media site uses hashtags slightly differently, so it's important to know what the conventions are on each platform. Here's a guide:

  • Until Twitter's 140-character limit is history, then using two or three short hashtags maximum is the best approach, because you need to leave room for links, commentary, and @mentions. Helpful tips
     
  • On Pinterest hashtags in the pin description are clickable. You can use a few, but if you have linked your Pinterest account to Twitter, then keep them short. Pinterest has said that hashtag overuse can result in your content being demoted in search results. Here’s a good tip site on using hashtags on Pinterest.
     
  • Use only a couple of hashtags on Facebook, says the latest research.
     
  • Instagram is a hashtagger's paradise. It’s no secret that Instagram thrives on the use of hashtags. In fact, oftentimes people and businesses don’t even add a caption; they just list out a series of hashtags instead. Check it out

6. Do Your Homework

Finally, keep track of how your hashtags are doing online to see if they are working for you. You can also track trending hashtags in case you can use them for your brand. To do this successfully, you'll need some tools. Here's a list to get you started:

  • RiteTag covers millions of hashtags and lets you see what's happening with the hashtags you're following. It's a great tool for finding trending hashtags and monitoring hashtag engagement. It also works well with a variety of social media analytics tools including Hootsuite, Buffer, and Sendible
     
  • Hashtracking provides analytics on Twitter and Instagram hashtags. You'll need to link your account for access to the tool, which also includes influencer hashtag analysis
     
  • Hashtagify lets you see the top hashtags related to particular topics, and provides data on their popularity so you know which hashtags make the most sense for your brand
     
  • Keyhole examines hashtags on Twitter and Instagram, allowing you to see real-time analysis, including conversations, influencers, and media
     
  • Tagboard tracks hashtags across Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, and Instagram
     
  • Talkwalker provides hashtag brand monitoring, showing reach, engagement, type of content and much more
  • Your favorite social media dashboard. No matter what social media dashboard you use, you can monitor activity around a particular hashtag so that you can use them more effectively. Here are some examples from Sprout Social as inspiration.

Used correctly, hashtags can strengthen your connections on social media and help you to promote your content and campaigns more effectively. 

 

About the author

Hi, my name is Rick and I thank you for reading this article!

I explore to learn new stuff every day and here I will share all my experiences and thoughts with you.

You can also find me on Twitter and Instagram. :)

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