We are all familiar with hashtags on Social Media. But have you ever wondered exactly what is the purpose of using them and if there really are any benefits to using them?
Read the article below to discover the ins and outs of hashtags!
1. What are Hashtags?
A word or phrase preceded by a hash sign (#), used on social media websites and applications, especially Twitter, to identify messages on a specific topic.
‘Spammers often broadcast tweets with popular hashtags even if the tweet has nothing to do with them’
The hash or pound sign (#) ‘Hunt mistook an @ for a hashtag while tweeting derogatory thoughts about him’
Hashtags are used to highlight keywords or topics and can be placed anywhere in a post and are indicated by # before the keyword or topic. This helps to group posts with the same keywords together in user searches.
When using them, always start with # and do not use spaces, punctuation, or symbols. Non-followers can only see content on accounts that is public. The best practice is to keep them short and memorable. Make sure that they are relevant and specific otherwise it will not be found by social media users. Limit the amount you use, because if you use too many you will only look like a spammer.
2. The benefits and downsides of using Hashtags
Hashtags can be used to send powerful messages, categorize posts, increase engagement, attract followers, strengthen your brand image, and help to reach a target audience.
The other side of the coin: Overusing them can hinder the progress a business can make on social media. Without a clear strategy, messages can become pointless and make no impact.
3. Hashtags on different social platforms
Hashtags should be used in different ways on the various social media platforms, based on their individual requirements for the use of hashtags.
The optimal number to use per post is a maximum of two. It can be used in any part of your post or in the comments. You can search for them in the Facebook search bar and find it in groups by selecting search this group under the group’s menu.
Use facebook.com/hashtag/_____ and insert the keyword at the end to see public profiles joining the conversation.
Twitter recommends not using more than two per post. You can use them at the start of your tweet for emphasis, at the end for context or in the middle of your post to highlight a keyword. Add one or two when you retweet, in replies, or in your bio. Use the search bar to find them and discover what is trending with Twitter’s Trending Topics.
Using hashtags on Linkedin helps to expand your reach and get your updates in front of people outside your immediate Linkedin network without the need for them to be connected, get comments, or get your status updates.
3.3.1 Where can you use them on Linkedin?
- Your profile, especially your summary and/or headline
- Start using them in your status updates, but do not go overboard. Put them at the bottom of your post and put a few spaces to move them further away from your post. This is more visually pleasing.
- Use them in the body of your Linkedin Pulse articles or add them as keywords at the bottom.
- Keywords can be used to highlight your specialties by adding them to the bottom of your About section.
- When commenting on others’ posts you are building a stronger network. Adding hashtags to your comments helps to categorize status updates and helps to get your name associated with specific keywords.
- You can use them anywhere in your Linkedin post or article but limit them to no more than two.
3.3.2 How can you use them on Linkedin?
You can search for them in the search bar and see what is trending in the News and Views section on the Home Page. Linkedin will suggest possible hashtags when you write an update. Since Linkedin is a professional platform, make sure that you always use them in a professional manner. You can follow them to stay updated with everything related to that key phrase.
The best way to use them effectively for your business is to research what others are doing and see how you can apply this in your own marketing. By looking at what your competition is using, inspirational posts, and personal profiles, you will quickly get an idea of how to generate better hashtags. Also, find out what key influencers in your industry are using.
Using them correctly will help your target audience to find you and can improve your click-through-rate (CTR). People doing research about certain topics or industries can find you easier through the hashtags you use.
A clever way to humanize your brand and for people to see you as empathetic is by using a hashtag to indicate you support a trending or important social issue for example #EachforEqual on International Women’s Day. Using them for humour will help to show your personality and engage your audience.
Small business should find and use the hashtags popular to their specific industry. Make it a part of your regular post. Use a scheduling tool to plan and schedule your posts once a week. Make sure that you only use those appropriate and relevant to the specific platform you are posting on.
4. How can you track their performance?
According to a Brand 24 article, tracking hashtags is handy to:
Measure social media reach of your hashtags and mentions
Measure the engagement around your hashtag
Spot the most influential and active sources that mention your hashtag
Learn who share and where your content gets shared
Measure the performance of a hashtag marketing campaignThe Best Free Tools to Monitor Hashtag Performance
You can track them using various free tools. The most important criteria you should look at are the number of mentions, estimated social media reach, and the number of interactions.
Brand24 monitors and analyses mentions across social media, websites, blogs, discussion forums, and other resources that are publicly available online.
Unfortunately, it only gives you a 14-day free trial period.
Rite Tag is a great tool to see what is currently trending. It supplies Estimated Hourly Statistics, Daily Averages, and Popular Accounts using them. It also shows what gets seen over time and which are becoming less popular. Using their browser extension, you can see if hashtags you planning to use are trending, have some potential, or not at all.
Rite Tag can be used free but with limited options.
Keyhole can monitor their use on Twitter and Instagram. It returns data like reach, number of posts and users, impressions, and more. The Optimization feature suggests improvements for your post strategy, timing, or post length. You can embed the graphics directly on your website or access through our API.
With the free trial, you get access to all the features of the Corporate Plan with a 1000 post limit. You do not require a credit card to start your free trial.
Hashtagify helps you find trending and other hashtags relevant to them. The tool display data about popularity and correlation from the main hashtag. Using the Advanced mode, you can dig deeper into popularity, weekly trends, or correlation.
These features are all available on the free plan, but a paid subscription provides many more features.
Twubs allows you to track and join Twitter chats. Its directories let you aggregate them according to relevant topics, register your hashtag and create a relevant landing page displaying conversations from the Twitter chat.
This tool is completely FREE!
5. Why should you track your Hashtags?
- It helps you to identify and engage with people using it in real-time. You can find participants that need assistance, gather feedback, measure social media reach and it is great for networking.
- If you have a dedicated hashtag for your brand you can monitor its performance, helping you get an idea of how your company is performing online. You need to track criteria like how many people mention it, where does it appear frequently, and your social media reach and engagement.
- They will help to track and analyse your marketing campaigns through metrics like the number of mentions, engagement, and influential sources who mentioned your hashtag.
- Analysing their use by influencers you can identify potential brand advocates for your business.
- You can get insight into the broader context by analysing the context of discussions that accompanies the use of your hashtag. It shows the words most often used in relation to your hashtag.
- It provides a language filter that shows the sentiment – positive, negative, or neutral.
6. How can I create a Hashtag for my business?
You can create hashtags for your business to use in promotions, events, contests, product launches, career opportunities, cross-channel discussions, and targeting your audience.
6.1 Follow these steps to create your hashtag:
- First, you need to determine what goals do you want to reach. This will enable you to establish the necessary metrics to measure its performance. These goals should tie in with your social media marketing strategy.
- Make sure that it will be effective on all the platforms you intend to use it.
- Be creative. It needs to be unique and memorable, and relevant to your business. To be successful it should be shorter, consistent, and exclusive to your brand. Be simple and straightforward with your message.
- Call-to-action phrases help to make your message actionable by asking questions, inciting urgency, displaying an emotion, or by requiring engagement.
- Double-check it on every major network. Look for hidden meanings and make sure there are no double meanings. Be aware of all current events to ensure that using your hashtag at the wrong time does not put you in a bad spot.
We can see that using hashtags have many advantages for your business. It can help to create brand awareness, increase visibility and engagement, and help you to reach your marketing goals.
Using it for humour helps to show your personality. Likewise, you can also show your support for certain causes and establish your brand as being empathetic and human.
Are you using hashtag in your marketing and tracking your performance?
Bragging day! Showcase your most popular hashtag(s) in the comments!
- Lexico English and Spanish Dictionary, Thesaurus, and Spanish to English Translator
- Hashtags and their benefits
- The Best Free Tools to Monitor Hashtag Performance
- How to Use Hashtags: A Quick and Simple Guide for Every Network
- Hashtags Explained: The Complete Guide to Hashtags in Social Media
- How to Effectively Use Hashtags on Linkedin
- How to Effectively Use Hashtags on Linkedin
- How to Create a Hashtag for your Brand