Round Up—The Hashtags Best Practices Edition

Why would I devote an entire round-up to one little thing like a #?

Couple of reasons.

  1. If you’re on social media and not using them you’re missing opportunities to connect.

  2. If you’re using them wrongly — that’s from the grammar school that gave us “bigly” your engagement will go down.

  3. The debate on how many to use was making me nuts so I dug around and want to share what I found, in case you are also not sure.

If you’re using them wrongly — that’s from the grammar school that gave us “bigly” your engagement will go down.

The debate on how many to use was making me nuts so I dug around and want to share what I found, in case you are also not sure.

For those of you not using them, here’s a primer. Hashtags make it easy for people to find content they want to read or view or interact with in some way. You use the hash mark (#) before the keyword or phrase you want to be found for. When a social user clicks on a hashtag, all of the posts using that hashtag are collected and listed on one page.

I found this tidbit thanks to Sproutsocial.com:

“The first use of a hashtag in social media can be traced back to one man. Chris Messina is a former Google employee who worked in developer relations and as a designer on Google+. He’s been officially credited as the first person who tweeted using a hashtag. This famous tweet happened back in 2007, so it took awhile for the practice to catch on.”

But catch on it did, as you know. How to use them, how many to use, and the rules to follow for different social platforms, not so much.

Here are the best articles I could find on how to use #hashtags in different situations. Those of you swearing at me that 30+ hashtags for Instagram is the winning strategy, I hope you are reading this.

  • But let’s start with Twitter. In case you are plagued by TL;DR — and we all are sometimes — the bottom line is, tweets with 1 or more hashtags increase engagement, but those with 2 or more will see less engagement. This comes compliments of LifeWire.com and includes how to join in the trending trend to boost exposure.

  • Hubspot has an army of people writing for them so they can put out long, comprehensive, super-helpful articles like this one on hashtagging and #Instagram. According to Hubspot, my hashtagging the word Instagram is not a good use of one because it’s too broad a subject. And unlike Twitter where fewer #s is definitely more, with Insta you have to find the right number for you. They tested and found that their posts — depending on the topic, what else was trending, etc — did well with anywhere from 7 – 30 #s. As with all things marketing and conversion, you must test.

  • Here’s a round-up within a round-up. Facebook is a bit of a different beast when it comes to hashtags. PostPlanner.com, an online social scheduling tool, said the takeaway from a study by Social Bakers, which examined how FB engagement correlates to hashtag use, found:Too many hashtags lowers engagement — and won’t help you get more likes.”

    This article is mostly to be about Facebook, but some of the 13 experts they consulted with included other platforms so you get more for your time.

Engagement is the name of the game, so if you aren’t using #s, now you know how to start. If your strategy is #onemillionhashtagsorbust you need help. And will look like spam or a bot has taken over your account. Experiment with what happens when you take one idea from one of the articles here and try it for 30 days. #TestingGood. #Beingfoundgood #BeMoreMarketable

Write a comment