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Social Media Series Part I: The Hashtag

I once saw a tweet about how a user saw an old flip-phone cell phone that had a pound key on the keypad. They wondered why they would ever need a hashtag back then because Twitter was not a thing yet.

As mindless as this tweet sounds, this is a prime example of how prominent the hashtag has become in our world today. No longer do we view a pound sign as a part of a numeric keypad. Instead, we view it as a crucial part of our social media presence.

The hashtag may have begun as a Twitter-exclusive, but now it has migrated to almost every platform in the social world. But, does each hashtag means something different on social media? And how can you use this to benefit your business on social media? Or should you even use them in your professional field? Here are the answers to your questions.

 

Yes, you should most definitely be using hashtags

The hashtag is a means of categorization. It increases search optimization, increases engagement, and aids in potential retweets. The science behind the hashtag proves that using the correct hashtags will benefit your online presence for the better, however there is a bit of science to the method. What is appropriate and how many to use could be the indicators.

Use no more than two per update

Research has shown that tweets, updates, and statuses perform better through the use of hashtags, but excessive use will hinder them. Research suggests sticking to two extremely relevant and beneficial hashtags to increase the potential for your media.

How to determine hashtag relevance

Your hashtags need to be tailored to your content. For example, if you are a business tweeting about a flash sale promotion you are having, you would probably include a hashtag such as #flashsale in your tweet.

Having trouble figuring out what hashtag to use? Look at the What’s Trending tab for inspiration on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, or other social platforms for ideas. Still knee-deep in uncertainty? Check out Hashtagify.me for ideas on relevant and related hashtags and how you can best incorporate them in your statuses.

 

Hashtags on Social Media

There is a level on appropriateness when it comes to hashtags on different media platforms. Since just about everyone is using them, it’s up to you to understand what works and what doesn’t when it comes to hashtags based on the social media platform.

Twitter

This is where it all began. Twitter has a great system for hashtags, using them to categorize tweets on its site. Tweets with hashtags get two times more engagement than those that do not have hashtags, making them 55 percent more likely to be retweeted. But excessive hashtags tanked engagement. Stick to the 1-2 hashtag rule and you should be good to go.

Instagram

There seems to be no true rule of thumb here. The more the merrier, at least what studies show. Hashtags on Instagram are utilized to help build community and distinguish uniqueness and detailed information. Interactions are highest on posts with 11 or more hashtags. They may also be your best bet for growing your follower count on Instagram, as well.

Facebook

It seems as though Facebook users are less likely to hop on the hashtag train. With the studies performed, statuses without hashtags performed better than those that included them. But be mindful to tailor your strategy to your audience. Perhaps try including them in your content if your page is more business-minded by Twitter standards and see how your posts perform before continuing the use of hashtags on your Facebook account.

Google+

What Google+ has going for it here is that it already creates the hashtags for you, taking one less step out of the challenging marketing strategy online. You can always add more through comments and your posts to increase your search opportunities.

Pinterest

Pinterest uses hashtags to brand and specify. You can actually click on hashtags to find more relevant information to your linked content. There also seems to be no limit on how many you can include here. The more you have, the more engaged your content might be.

 

 

The hashtag is nothing to fear, and Maximize recognizes its great potential. Let Maximize help you understand how to best utilize hashtags on all your social media platforms today.