How and When to Use Hashtags?

Hashtags are used a lot in social media engagement. But what are hashtags and should you be using them?

In 2007 the very first tweet was sent by Chris Messina. According to him, using hashtag is a simple way to lead a conversation. The pound key or was chosen as a symbol to signal keywords and conversations. Soon many other Twitter users adopted the practice of using hashtags and  it spread over to other sites such as Facebook and Instagram. The use of hashtags became so popular that the word “Hashtag” was added to the Oxford dictionary in 2010.
Let’s talk about the basics on how to use a Hashtag.

HASHTAG BASICS:

  • You can either use an existing hashtag in your adverting or you can create a new hashtag. The advantage of using an existing hash is you can find out how many people are using it and are likely to see your post. So for example if you sell ice cream and have just created a new flavour  you would probably want to use #icecream  and or or #ice-cream.  This would attract people who also use these hashtags.  Having a string of hastags #icecream #newflavour is better than using a long hashtag #icecreamnewflavour  as more people will be searching for the shorter phrases
  • Hashtags are used in a public account, so anyone who knows how to use it, can find your post.
  • Don’t #over #use #hashtags. Try not to overuse them in each word of your post or else someone may have a hard time reading your message
  • Using it them on  Twitter will double the engagement of your post

How to use Twitter Hashtags.

The world of tweets is massive and with so many tweets being publishes it can be a little hard to navigate. You can use hashtags (#) before a keyword or a topic in your post to classify your tweets; doing that will make it easier for others to locate your tweets. Clicking on a the hyperlink will bring you to other tweets that will have the same hashtags. You can also use the search bar to locate more articles and posts that have used the same hashtag. This is a great way to find contacts with similar interests.

How to use Instagram Hashtags

You can upload a photo or a video on Instagram and then type your hashtags on the caption field.  Clicking on the hashtags will bring you to a page where there may be other post of pictures, or videos that have the same hashtag. Use the hashtags for places and people as well as products

How to use Facebook Hashtags

Facebook use their hashtags the same way as Twitter and Instagram. You can use it in your in Facebook for promotion or engagement but they should be used in moderation. Adding a single word on a hashtag will spread your facebook posts to a wider audience: it is one way to get organic (free) traffic

When to use hashtags?

  • If you’re using it for business and you need a Highly specific target market.
  • Hashtags for promotional purposes. A Social Marketing strategy today is all about engagement and sharing so hashtags should be part of that strategy.
  • You can monitor your reputation by checking out your hashtags. Using hashtags will allow you to monitor your competitors.
  • You can also follow whats on trend to give you more ideas for your business.
  • A Hashtag can be your way of promoting your events.

Be creative in how and when you use hashtags. It will be up to you how to use them and when to apply them.

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