This quick guide will get you started with how and when to use hashtags on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Youtube. After reading this article, you will have the knowledge to develop your own hashtag strategy.
What are hashtags?A hashtag is a word or phrase within a social media post that is prefixed with a hash # symbol. Social media users add hashtags to posts to highlight a keyword or topic and allow other users to search for it. Examples you may know: #instagood #love #fbf #nofilter The primary use of hashtags is to collate related content. For example, if a user clicks a particular hashtag such as #imlovinit from McDonalds, all related content will be collected in a stream and shown to that user. Usually, the freshest content with the most engagement is shown first. If a particular hashtag topic gets enough engagement it can become a “trending” topic and even go viral. But why are hashtags so important for social media marketers?
Why are hashtags important for an effective social media strategy?Hashtags were invented in 2007 by former Google employee Chris Messina. While widespread adoption took a few years, social media agency RadiumOne estimates that nowadays 75% of people on social media use hashtags. More importantly, social media posts with hashtags get more engagement than those without: Tweets with hashtags had 2 times more engagement than those without, and 55% more Retweets; A post with at least one Instagram hashtag gets on average 12.6% more engagement than posts without. While using hashtags is as simple as adding a “#” sign to a word or phrase with no punctuation, there are some tricks and tips should be aware of. Used correctly, hashtags will boost your social engagement and make your content more relevant and findable.
Hashtag best practicesHere are a few best practices for using hashtags on social media:
- Research has found that posts with between one and two hashtags perform best on Facebook and Twitter.
- But on Instagram things work a little differently: The same study found that around 10 or 11 hashtags seems to be the magic number before engagement drops.