Friday, August 9, 2019

Optimizing Your Hashtag Use For Social Media Platforms

Hashtagging is nothing new. But let's talk about using them. When should you use them, how many to use, where to find trending hashtags and what kind of exposure hashtags can give you across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and more.

Hashtag History

The hashtag came to life sometime around the 14th century. Before it was used on telephones and Twitter, it came from "lb," the Latin abbreviation for "pound." We in the U.S. called it the pound sign for a long time. 

According to, the official name for the hashtag is the 'octothorpe', a name invented by telephone technicians when they added the symbol to telephone keypads. It wasn't called the hashtag until it became popular on social media. 

Hashtags began with a tweet in 2007 suggesting that people use hashtags to create groups on Twitter. 

Use Of The Hashtag

Hashtags are used as a way to find post about a common topic. 

You can use hashtags on Facebook to get your posts more exposure- but you need to use them in the correct way. 

Here are some Facebook Hashtag Tips:

  • Do not use too many hashtags- this will make your business look annoying and/or spammy. Instead, try 1-2 hashtags per post for the best engagement. Research suggests that if you use more than two hashtags in a Facebook post, you will see less engagement.
  • Make your Facebook post public- also allow other people to follow you- otherwise, only friends and followers will see your posts with hashtags. Making your post public enables anyone to see the post if they search for a hashtag that you've included in that post.
Tweets with hashtags tend to see significantly more engagements than tweets without, but as with Facebook, there are rules about using hashtags on Twitter, including Twitter ads.

Twitter tips:

  • Tweets with 1-2 hashtags see, on average, around 21% more engagement- The key tip is again, do not go overboard. Merely a couple of hashtags in your tweet would be enough to do the trick.
  • See more retweets when you use hashtags- also, asking people to retweet your tweet will get you even more engagement.
  • Hashtags OR Ads-You will probably get more ad clicks if you do NOT use a hashtag.
  • Research trending hashtags-Time put in to research trending hashtags will give you maximum impact. 

Although the sweet spot across all social media platforms seems to be 1-2 hashtags, this is NOT the case on INSTAGRAM. Maybe that is why so many Instagram posts have seemingly endless hashtags.

Instagram Tips:

  • Always use hashtags on Instagram- It pays to use relevant hashtags. In fact, you can expect to see 12.6% more engagement on average using hashtags.
  • More is better on IG- Reports show that IG posts with 11+ hashtags generate the highest levels of engagement.
  • 30 per post seems to be maximum recommended-You can add up to 30 hashtags to your post to see maximum benefit. You may not need all 30, but you will surely see the benefits.

LinkedIn hashtags are back. They haven't always supported them, but you can use them in pretty much the same way you'd use them anywhere else.

LinkedIn Tips:

  • Use hashtags on your business profile- Using hashtags in your business profile can give you more visibility across the site.
  • Publisher posts benefit from hashtags as well- Adding relevant hashtags to the body of your article or any long-form content on LinkedIn helps LinkedIn categorize your content and show it to interested users.
  • No specific number for optimal ability- There isn't much research on LinkedIn's hashtags because it is a new feature. For now, it is best to stick to the 1-2 rule. That should give you more exposure without making you look like spam. LinkedIn is one of the last places you want to appear to be spamming. It is a business networking site. 

More Tips:

  • It would be best to do a little more research on hashtags before you go throwing them into every social media post you publish. Especially for your business. 
  • Check out your competition. Do they use hashtags? Do they bombard their users with them? Is their strategy driving customer engagement?
  • If your competition is doing good, try to mimic what they are doing for a while to see if it will work for you. While doing so, you should be getting the hang of it and you can build your own hashtag strategy off the back of that. 
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1 comment:

  1. I love the hashtag post. It was very informative. I had no idea that the hashtag symbol had been in use for so long.