The hash (#) has never been so important till Twitter came in! Now, on every social media, you will invariably find a new hashtag every day. But the novice users may find its usage quite confusing. Let us see what hashtags are and why they are so popular.
Hashtags essentially mark your content or post with the phrase or word used and make it visible to other people who are interested in them. An easy way to explain this is using a specific hashtag, say #Moana or #DisneyMoana. When you hashtag your posts with these specific tags, everyone searching for Moana or DisneyMoana will be able to see your post on facebook too. Your hashtagged post will be listed in the news feed search result. The best feature of the hashtag is that people don’t have to search using the same hashtag. Even if they do a plain text search for Moana, they will still find your post that’s hashtagged #Moana.
Now that the use of the hashtag is clear, you may very well realize why people, especially social media marketers, use them extensively. Now you may ask how to use the hashtags? That’s the simplest part of all! There’s no hard and fast rule on how the Hashtags must be used. You can use them anywhere in your post. You can summarize all your hashtags in the beginning or end of the post or use it within the text too. While a long list of hashtags may look irritating to the reader, using them in the text, mixing with the normal text, may reduce the readability.
For example, ‘Have you watched the movie #Moana #DisneyMoana, which is a beautiful movie from #Disney?’ is one way of using the hashtags. Another way is to use plain text ‘Have you watched the movie Moana, which is a beautiful movie from Disney? #Moana #Disney #DisneyMoana’ is another way. Anyway, you use them, shorter hashtags are more desirable than longer ones.
It is also important to use relevant hashtags in your posts. If you are talking about Spiderman, using the #Moana hashtag makes it irrelevant. Another turndown is using too many hashtags that make your post cluttered. In fact, most of the social media networks recommend a different number of hashtags that work optimally. They have come up with these numbers after careful analysis and it may keep changing with changing trends and technologies.
Unique hashtags may get you more visibility as there will very few posts using it and hence your post will be ranked higher up in the news feed for that hashtag. But make sure it is relevant to the topic being discussed.
So next time you post on the social media network, don’t forget to add the relevant hashtags which will provide your post the much-needed #visibility. Content hashtags such as #lunch, #dinner, and #christmas add your content to the news feed for wider searches on these topics. Brands use their own hashtags such as #SamsungJ7 or #iPhone6S that are specific to their brands. You can also use trending hashtags to support a cause such as #backtowork or #beboldtochange provided your posts add value to these trending topics.