Updated: Apr 26
You've probably noticed a rise in the number of hashtags on your social media feeds unless of course your name is Patrick Star and you've been living under a rock. Hashtags have become a common platform in digital marketing, and they're a surefire way to increase traffic to your Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook handles.
Hashtags, when used correctly, can bring a ton of benefits. They can be used to, among other things, get your content in front of a larger audience, raise brand awareness, target a very specific set of people, improve SEO, and take advantage of popular trends and themes.
What Exactly Are Hashtags?
The "#" was once just known as the pound sign, but thanks to Twitter, it now has completely other meanings.
A hashtag is a meaningful phrase or keyword that comes after the '#' sign and is used to categorize online content. Hashtags are indexed on social media sites, making topics more discoverable for those who are interested.
Types of Hashtags Used in Social Media Platforms
Branded hashtags are unique to your company and allow you to build an online community where you can track users who love your brand. Branded hashtags should be catchy, concise, and easy to remember.
Example: Shake Shack brand uses #shakeshack in all their posts, and they're thriving on social media!
Using common hashtags that are linked to the content you provide, content hashtags are an excellent approach to reaching out to a target audience. Content hashtags can help your brand in terms of SEO if you don't hashtag every word in a post.
If you don't look like you're just hopping on a bandwagon, trending hashtags can help you gain a lot of favorable attention. Before you include a hashtag in your post, make sure you understand why it's trending and that you can tie it to your brand in a way that makes sense.
How Many Hashtags?
To avoid your content appearing as spam or blatant advertisement, you should use hashtags carefully and purposefully.
Multiple hashtags are beneficial to Instagram content. Not so much on Facebook and Twitter. When in doubt, a good rule of thumb on Twitter and Facebook is to use no more than two hashtags per post.
Hashtag Etiquette: Do's and Don'ts
Following appropriate hashtags, etiquette is vital for ensuring that your hashtags are used. Here are a few dos and don'ts to keep in mind:
Use the pound sign (#) rather than the "at" sign (@).
Within a hashtag, don't use spaces between words.
Make sure your hashtags aren't too long (especially on Twitter, where characters are limited)
To make hashtags more readable, capitalize the first letter of each word (for example, #FollowFriday).
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