Hashtags Best Practices: Make Social Media Work For You
Oh the hashtag, the simple pound sign (or number sign, whatever you want to call it) that made search and discovery on social media so much easier. While they’re usable on Facebook, they haven’t quite caught on the way most marketers had hoped. But on Twitter and Instagram, hashtags thrive, and if you’re not using them, you’re missing out—big time!
What is a hashtag?
Hopefully you’re aware of what a hashtag is by now, but just in case: a hashtag is a keyword or phrase with a # symbol in front of it. For example: #SocialMedia or #CatsOfInstagram You can turn any keyword into a hashtag!
Hashtag Best Practices
Research Your Hashtags
If you want to create a unique hashtag for your brand or for a campaign, check to make sure no one is using the hashtag you’re planning to use.
If you want to use hashtags to help customers discover your brand, research which hashtags are being used in your industry. And most importantly, which ones you’re customers are also using. If you’re sharing posts using a popular hashtag, but the only other people using it are businesses within the industry, then you’re less likely to reach actual customers!
You can also use tools like Hashtagify to help you research popular related hashtags.
Keep it Short and Simple
If you want people to use the hashtag, then make it something short and simple. We’re basically typing a long word with no spaces on our smartphones—that leaves a lot of room for error!
Don’t Steal Another Brand’s Hashtag
This goes back to the first things we talked about… you have to do your research! If a bunch of other people are using that hashtag, that’s fine! But if it’s clearly a hashtag created and used by one specific brand, avoid it! You wouldn’t want someone does the same thing to you, right?
Use the Right Number of Hashtags for the Platform
Hashtag usage varies on each platform. When you’re on Twitter you have a character limit, you don’t want to use it all up on hashtags—that just looks spammy!
When posting on Twitter try to stick with 1 or 2 hashtags, 3 maximum!
On the other hand, when you’re on Instagram you can get a little more hashtag-crazy. You can use up to 30 hashtags on Instagram. If you add your hashtags below your caption, or even in a separate comment on the photo after posting it will clean up “spammy” look. Don’t go over 30 though, because Instagram literally doesn’t allow it. If you have over 30 hashtags, your image will be posted, but your caption will not, so be careful!
Are you using Hashtags?
If not, it’s something you need to start taking advantage of! And if you’re already using them, make sure following each of these best practices so you’re getting the most out of your social media account!