Twitter was the first site to use hashtags but they are now spreading across the web. Almost all social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook and even YouTube, which are used by millions of people, are seeing hashtags. Hashtags can be defined as memes, thoughts, ideas, topics, keywords or themes. They are an important tool necessary for social media communication. The reason why hashtags are so powerful is because they evoke audience participation. They are necessary for every social media user who wants her/his posts/statuses/tweets (or simply his/her voice) to be heard by the masses. Today we will discuss some easy ways to use hashtags on Facebook, Instagram and other platforms effectively.
1. Understand hashtags
Hashtags on Twitter are a group of characters preceded by the # hash sign. They can be allocated to a person, place/s, a company or a group of companies or even events. Such tagging helps you direct your post or tweet to different levels of social media users. For example, you can use #LosAngeles which will target more number of people/audiences than #VillageBelAir. Using the # symbol lets you turn your keyword into a clickable link.
2. Use them to organize your tweets or posts
Hashtags help regular social media posters organize their posts better. For example, if you have a wedding blog, you can categorize your tweets by using specific hashtags per picture or post- #bride, #bridesmaids, #groom, #decor etc. Thus, if you have an image of a bride wearing a designer gown, your hashtags would be #bride, #bridetobe #designername etc.
3. Connect with other Tweeters
Hashtags are very useful in helping bloggers and social media users connect with one-another. Example: #harrypotter, #realweddings #weddingideas #donaldtrump etc are some hashtags that give you an idea. Using these hashtags, you connect your posts to those by other tweeters.
4. Get creative with them
The more creative you are when using hashtags, the better. An example is using hashtag to express your emotions. Examples are: “Standing in a huge line at the ATM #annoyed”, “Can this flight take off already? #bored”. “Taylor Swift’s song is so catchy #loveit” and so on.
5. Use the team tag
Remember when the Twilight books first came out? Everyone was either Team Edward or Team Jacob. The team hashtag has become quite popular ever since for many other ‘teams’. Examples: #teamGod, #teamchevy, #teamKFC etc are some examples. You can also have a #team(yourname) to show confidence in yourself.
6. Search for popular hashtags
An easy way to use hashtags on Instagram is to use the Explore function where you will be shown a list of people to follow. Select one of the popular ones and find out the hashtags s/he is using. You can even search a random hashtag (related to your post) to see what comes up. You can even visit www.hashtags.org to find the most followed hashtags. Tagboard is another site which also lets you search for popular hashtags.
7. Use multiple though relevant hashtags
Using multiple hashtags on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram is an easy way to get people to find your posts and increase your reach. However, make sure the hashtags you use are relevant ones. In general 3-4 hashtags are considered adequate. Do not go beyond this number. However, many popular Instagrammers are known to use nearly 10 hashtags per post. The key again is relevance. Use your discretion and do not hesitate to experiment. Try a set of hashtags one day and try a completely different set the next. See what works and tweak that accordingly.
8. Do not overuse hashtags
Sometimes, unknowingly, you end up overusing hashtags too much. This should be avoided as it becomes spammy. T could result in people un-following you as it can be annoying.
9. Be confident and create your own hashtags
Just make sure you use the best and the most relevant one ones. If luck is on your side, people will like it and start following you.
10. Analyze the hashtags from time to time
If you are using hashtags for your business page, then it makes sense to find out which ones bolster the most positive reactions. Paid tools like Sprout Socials’ Twitter-Analytics can help.
11. Use it on the right media
Hashtags as stated above, can be used on many platforms. Twitter gave birth to this feature-so it is one of the best places to use it. Also, Facebook, Instagram and Google Plus are some more areas. The latter automatically adds a hashtag only if it thinks it is relevant and popular. Instagram hashtagging is easy and intuitive and it allows you to categorize your photos and even see similar images. Pinterest, YouTube, Kickstarter and Vine are some other digital media platforms to use hashtags upon. Tout, App.net, Flickr are some other avenues to explore.
Hashtags are here to stay for a long time to come. Use them wisely, use them well and you will reach a wider audience for your blog or business page.