Once the symbol for the pound sign as well as used to denote a number, the # symbol is now popularly known as the “Hashtag” and it is here to stay. So much so that it is has even officially featured in The Oxford Dictionary since 2010.
noun. 1A word or phrase preceded by a hash sign (#), used on social media websites and applications, especially Twitter, to identify messages on a specific topic. ‘spammers often broadcast tweets with popular hashtags even if the tweet has nothing to do with them’
You will have seen it used all over Social Media Platforms and its primary use is a way to categorize content. If used correctly they can help you grow your audience, increase your content reach, help grow your social media account following and increase engagement with your posts.
Here are some Do’s and Don’ts when it comes to using Hashtags:
- Use short, punchy and powerful hashtags that create a buzz
- Create your own unique hashtags
- Customize hashtags to help promote a special event you may be hosting
- Use hashtags with a narrower scope to get more reach
- Research popular hashtags used by your competitors and industry
- Use more than 11 Hashtags on Instagram but less than 30
- Pair your hashtags with visual content
- Group your hashtags at the end of your post
- Use unique hashtags for running a campaign – this will make it easier for you to track all connected content for your campaign
- Use very long hashtags – these are difficult to read and at risk of being spelt incorrectly
- Use too many hashtags – this can look spammy
- Use over 30 hashtags on Instagram® – your caption will not be posted and will be blank
- Construct sentences using hashtags e.g. #I #Am #Using #Hashtags – this is annoying to read and looks unprofessional
- Have more hashtags than words in a sentence
- Put hashtags in the #middle of a sentence like this
- Use any banned hashtags such as #IG #instahot #valentinesday. You can find a full list here.
What are the optimal number of hashtags to use on Social Media Platforms?
Use more than 11 hashtags on Instagram.
Use 1 or 2 hashtags on twitter. When you use
more than 2 hashtags on twitter engagement tends to drop by an average of 17%
So what about Facebook?
Don’t use ANY hashtags on Facebook. Through testing both I can confirm that posts WITHOUT hashtags actually do better than posts with hashtags.
Facebook’s news feed does not cater for hashtags and customers will always see new content in their news feed regardless of whether you add a hashtag or not.