Ah, the humble hashtag, once a funny looking thing on your mobile that you hardly ever used or knew what its function was. Now, they’re everywhere you look, whether that’s for personal or business use (unless you have been living under a rock!). The explosion of social media has given the hashtag a new lease of life and our Junior Social Media Executive Tom (aka Thom) is going to talk you through best practice and how best to use the little blighters on Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.
What is a hashtag?
The hashtag original use was that of a hash mark or another way to indicate the pound sign, e.g. ‘#3.00′. It was Twitter that instigated the use of the hashtag in 2007, as a way for users to communicate with each other about subjects that they had a mutual interest in.
To give a current example, if you wanted to discuss the hit BBC show, Peaky Blinders you would start, include or end the tweet with ‘#PeakyBlinders’. When other users, use and click the same hashtag, the tweet you have published will then be seen (as long as your Twitter account visibility is public) far and wide by other Peaky fans allowing you to join the conversation!
Other social channels of the back of the success of its new-found use, started using the hashtag, so much so, that after years in the doldrums the humble hashtag found its place in the Oxford English Dictionary in 2010! The definition is:
‘hashtag n. (on social media web sites and applications): a word or phrase preceded by a hash and used to identify messages relating to a specific topic; (also) the hash symbol itself when used in this way’.
How to use hashtags on Twitter –
As stated earlier, this is where the rebirth of the hashtag began. The following are tips to help you get the most out of them on Twitter:
- Tweets with hashtags have a 40% chance of being retweeted compared to those that do not include hashtags (25%)
- The golden number of hashtags appears to be 1 or 2 – tweets with this number have a 21% higher engagement rate compared to those with three or more.
- Conversely, tweets with 3 or more see an average 17% drop in engagement
- Keep an eye on the ‘Trends’ sidebar – that’s where the top hashtags of the day, in your region are kept. There may be one that is relevant to your tweet that you can jump on below:
- If your hashtag is more than one word, it’s recommended to write it as such, eg. You have a radio show on a Wednesday and your show is called ‘Wake Up Wednesdays’ so you could use the hashtag #WakeupWednesdays – this is predominantly for a simple reason, it’s easier to read for the user!
(Stats and figures used from https://louisem.com/72927/how-to-use-hashtags-guide-2)
How to use hashtags on Instagram –
This is where if you looove a hashtag you can go wild (but not too wild!). It seems that the magic number for hashtags on Instagram is 11 or more (see photo below), but if you’re looking to start a group around your brand, use lots of hashtags! Here are some tips on how to maximise your hashtags on Instagram:
- Make sure your hashtags are related – When you’ve written your catchy caption for your sparkly new post, you can then add your hashtags. Try to include all the hashtags you think are relevant to your post, relevant being the keyword!
So for example if you bake cakes, tag your photo with hashtags related to baking and cakes, it’s really that simple!
- Hashtags can also be added into the comments – If you feel as though adding hashtags into a post may look a bit messy, you can declutter by adding them into the comments of your post, after it’s been posted, instead.
- The maximum of hashtags on Instagram is 30! – As good as this may be, excessive hashtags may look messy and also can come across annoying; so stick to that magic number of 11 or more!
Although if you are a new profile or business are looking to gain followers quickly or build a group around a new product, then hashtag away!
(Image used courtesy of https://louisem.com/72927/how-to-use-hashtags-guide-2))
How to use hashtags on LinkedIn –
Hashtags were introduced to LinkedIn in 2018, to connect members with relevant careers, blogs, news and other members.
You can also follow hashtags through your member profile, so some examples for Mosaic Digital Media could be, ‘digital media’, ‘social media’, ‘web design’ etc. This allows members to keep up to date with content that is relevant to their chosen career.
Here are some tips for hashtags on LinkedIn:
- Choose your hashtags wisely – It’s simple. Relevancy is always key with hashtags.
- Keep it professional – LinkedIn is for professionals so keep the funny stuff back.
- If you’re struggling, go with the recommended hashtags – This handy little feature will pop up when you go to write a hashtag, so take LinkedIn’s advice!
- Don’t forget, add to articles too! – Just before you are about to publish an article you can add hashtags in the ‘tell your network what your article is about’ field. This will allow members to find your article when they search the word or phrase you’ve hashtagged. The only downside is you can’t edit hashtags once they’ve been published so choose wisely!
We hope this has satisfied your hashtag needs. If you’re curious about Facebook and whether it’s a yes or a no to hashtags, stay tuned for our future blog! Still struggling? Get in touch with our in-house social media whizz-kids here.