If hashtags are still a mystery for you, it’s important to know that there is a strategy behind hashtags. It’s a new form of digital language, that if understood, can help with your online business growth. This blog post discusses the “rules” that you didn’t know existed when it comes to learning about hashtags.
1.You can’t just hashtag any word you want.
Although you have the ability to make any word into a hashtag (by simply putting one in front of a word) it doesn’t quite work that way. Stringing together a phrase and using a hashtag in front of it is funny but usually ineffective.
Many hashtag and hashtag phrases already exist. A bit of hashtag research will tell you which ones are worth using (see number 4 below).
2. Brand hashtags are important
Your brand hashtag is most likely your business name or something related. You don’t own these or have control over how people use the brand hashtag, but you should use it on every image or post you shared. The positive is, if people post something related to your business, you can find that post through the hashtag (if they use it).
3. Different social networks, have different hashtag “rules”
Certain social networking platforms have limits or preferences for hashtags and it’s important to know when to pack the max hashtags and when to keep it light.
Instagram lends itself well to using hashtags, you can use up to 30 hashtags per post. (Do not just copy-paste the same hashtags every post – tailor them to the content you are sharing).
Twitter has limited space but lends itself well also to hashtags….also its the social network where hashtags were first used.
Facebook is less about using hashtags – use a few here or there but don’t get crazy with the tags. You were not able to use hashtags on Facebook until 2013 and using hashtags on the network really hasn’t caught on like it has for Twitter or Instagram.
4. The number of times the has been hashtag is used is important
This is the key to understanding hashtag research and knowing whether or not you are using effective hashtags. The higher number of people using that hashtag, the more likely people won’t see your image. For example: using #art won’t be effective on your posts because almost 500 million other posts use that hashtag.
The lower the number people using that hashtag the less likely people will see it.
Instagram is great for hashtag research and knowing if you have chosen an effective hashtag because they provide the numbers when you’re writing in your hashtags. It’s important to use a hashtag that’s in-between these huge numbers.
5. It’s time to really understand hashtags
If you don’t understand hashtags and you run a small business it would be worth your time to learn so you can be more effective.
Spend some time reading articles, looking at posts, and doing some research to understand what they are. But in short here are some ways you use them:
Identification: use hashtags to identify or associate a post with your brand. You can use a certain hashtag for a new product or launch. You can also use it for a special project, exhibit, or grant project.
Categorizing: Hashtags are also used for labeling and categorizing your content. It helps users of the platform find related content. This is why it’s so important to spend time figuring out hashtags for each bit of content you post rather than copy-paste your hashtags.
Commentary: self-referential statements, humor and sarcasm are other ways you can use hashtags.
Audience Development: you can use hashtags that are from a popular brand or company to try to turn their audience over to something similar you offer. Again, nobody owns a hashtag.