If you come across the term ‘octothorpe’ the first thing that comes to your mind would probably be a deep-sea creature. But you would be surprised to know how often you use one in your daily life. A simple search in the dictionary would reveal that it is nothing other than your beloved Hashtag (#). The term octothorpe was first coined by telephone technicians when the symbol was first added to the telephone keypads.
But that is not where the journey of the hash tag begins. The origin of the symbol can be traced back to as far back as the 14th century long before the invention of telephones, twitter and social media. The very popular symbol comes from the Latin abbreviation “lb’ which means pound.
The actual term came much later with the immense popularity of the symbol on the internet after a specific tweet made out in 2007 which first introduced the idea of using it to form specific groups on the social media platform. And now almost 15 years later it is all over the internet!
How to use hashtags on social Media
The symbol which once used to lie around, neglected in a corner of your keypad has become a very powerful tool on various social media platforms today. Each platform has its own unique format and there is no golden plan which will work for all of the platforms. But in any platform, you should properly use them and ensure not to overuse it. With proper usage it can fetch you more exposure on the internet.
Facebook is one of the most recent social media platforms to join the hashtag fever. But there are a few very specific points you need to remember.
- Do not overuse the hashtags. Too many hashtags make your post look unprofessional and may be seen as a spam. As per the norm, you should have 1 to 2 hashtags. Anything you use more than that will only cause less hits on your post.
- People often forget to make change the privacy status for their posts before sharing them. If your posts are not public, they would only be visible to the people in your friend list, Once you make your privacy settings public the hashtags would make your posts visible to anyone.
For Twitter, hashtags are one of the most popular features. However, it is often seen that most posts with at most 1 to 2 of them or sometimes even none, get considerably more engagement than the ones with tons of hashtags.
- This is one key rule while using a hashtag, do not overuse it. As mentioned earlier, use a maximum of 1 to 2 of them, not more than that.
- A very clever trick is to add retweet as one of your hashtags. According to studies posts with this hashtag gets more retweets meaning more engagement for your posts.
- When it comes to twitter ads it has been observed that posts with no hashtags get more interaction.
- You must do a lot of research on twitter analytics before you can start understanding how all of it works. Twitonomy is among one of the most popular resources that provides you insights on the most trending hashtags.
Hashtags for Instagram makes your post more discoverable. Every time it is not needed to use 30 hashtags. The best way is to make use of best and relevant hashtags.
- When it comes to Instagram you need a completely different formula. You can use as many hashtags as you want however there are limitations and consequences.
- According to a survey you will get at least 12.6% more interaction upon using relevant tags on your post. So, using more tags is always a good thing as long as they are relevant to the topic.
- As per several researches it has been identified that 11 is the optimum number of hashtags when it comes to getting the best results.
- You can use as many as 30 unique hashtags in your post, but you probably will not need that many.
LinkedIn has recently started supporting hashtags opening a whole new way to get more traffic to your posts. You can now pretty much use them same way as you would on any other plat form. People can search for hashtags and this allows the users to see relevant content.
- As a publisher or a business account holder adding a few hashtags will benefit the visibility of your posts.
- Although there is no fixed or optimum number of hashtags that can be used, it is advisable to stick with 1 or 2 of them. That would bring you the right amount of exposure without the risk of being seen as a spam.
How to efficiently use hashtags for social media marketing
Digital marketing is one of Web’s biggest gift to the world. And now with the inclusion of the hashtag metadata structure, marketing has become easier and more expansive. To utilize this feature properly, you must first do some research and find out which hashtags are relevant to your post or business, before posting an ad on the social media.
A smart way to do this is to check out for the tags your competitors are using. Each market has their own needs. Your competition would give you an idea about the number of tags you can use, if at all any, and how to use them to get maximum exposure. Taking their approach as a base model build your own set of hashtags along those lines and place them efficiently in your posts.
How to choose your hashtags
A simple Google search would fetch you several tools which would tactically help you choose your keywords. A little research on the subject and you would be hash tagging like a pro in no time.