On social media today, a hashtag can be used on several platforms including, but not limited to: Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. The purpose of a hashtag is to connect people to conversations that are happening on the Internet. The original hashtag was created to mark keywords or topics within a tweet. Putting the “#” symbol in front of a word or phrase turns it into a link that makes it easier for people to find. Hashtags are easy to create and easy to find, but what are the best practices for using hashtags? Below, I have complied a list of the top 5 best hashtag practices for social media use.
Hashtag Fact: One of the first hashtags ever, #sandiegofire was created by a California resident to describe the San Diego wildfires in 2007.
- Limit the number of hashtags used in a post
Per Twitter’s recommendations, no more than two hashtags should be used in a post on all social media channels. Too many hashtags can evoke confusion for users and can seem just plain spammy. On the other hand, some sources claim a maximum of 7 hashtags creates the most engagement on Instagram, but more than 8 is perceived has spam. When creating your hashtag, remember to only use hashtags if they will add value to your message, not increase your following number.
- Exclude punctuation and spaces
In case you haven’t found out for yourself (the hard way), hashtags will cease the hyperlink if punctuation is used. A majority of the time this happens when people use the ampersand (&) symbol. For example, #Ben&Jerry’s will translate to #Ben &Jerry’s in a post with no hyperlink to click and follow.
- Use targeted, keyword driven hashtags
One targeted keyword related to your brand will help you get farther than 5 unrelated “trending” hashtags. Quality certainly exceeds quantity in the hashtag game. Think outside the box and really take a look at your brand’s most unique opportunities to brand a hashtag. More than often using hashtags like #love and #outdoors will just get lost in the shuffle.
- Use resources to find relevant hashtags and find the meaning behind existing tags
Try these tools to help find hashtags that are relevant your brand:
- Tag Def
- Twitter Search
- Don’t get it twisted
When it comes to using and creating hashtags make sure yours are easy to remember and easy to spell. Overly complicated hashtags can lead to less engagement as well as the potential for wrong spellings. As my hero Don Draper said, “Make it simple, but significant.”
Happy Hashtagging! If you’d like to learn more about hashtags or social media in general, we’d love to speak with you! Call us at 317-207-0195 or click here to fill out a brief form to contact us online!