Hashtag Strategies Manifesto And How To Apply Them.
In this post, I will share with you some of the best Hashtag Strategies, which will help you identify and apply hashtags properly in your social media marketing.
For a few decades now, the Hashtag symbol was mostly known as the pound sign. Others, however, see it as the all-too-familiar crisscross lines synonymous when playing the tic-tac-toe. In the most recent years, this ordinary symbol had paved its way into a greater significance in the online world especially as it dominated the social media and digital marketing industry. The Hashtag Strategy and the use of hashtags had tremendously grown popular over the years and has been associated with social media and trending topics online.
With the use of a hashtag, it is has been possible to group messages together with similar tags, allowing online users the ability to explore or search all messages under a string of queried hashtag search. As the hashtag is continuously growing, most social media networks have chosen to add a hashtag support to their platforms.
Brief History of Hashtags
- Back in 1988, during the good old days of the Internet Relay Chat (IRC), hashtags were already utilized to categorize similar items including messages, images, and videos and also content. It was a lot easier for IRC users to search for relevant content, thanks to the help of the hashtag.
- In 2007, the hashtag continuously grew its popularity as it was first introduced for use in Twitter by Chris Messina. In the same year was the popular #sandiegofire where people were updated in what’s going on in San Diego when Nate Ritter started using the hashtag in his tweets.
- In July 2009, Twitter officially adopted the use of hashtags into their codes, which then automatically hyperlinks terms appended with the # sign.
- By 2010, the terms “trending” and “trending topics” were highly associated with social media platforms when Twitter started to highlight hashtags on their homepage based on the most popular topics online.
The Ultimate Tag to Using the Hashtag
If you are a novice when it comes to social media and hashtag strategies can be a bit confusing for you and you might also deem it as unnecessary. But this is actually important when it comes to communicating online and it’s essential that you know how to use them. In addition, it’s quite fun to use and experiment with.
If you have observed, on Twitter, the hashtag turns a single word or any group of words into a searchable link. This allows users to track content and discussions based on groups topics or keywords.
- For beginners, spaces are the absolute no-no when it comes to using the hashtag.
- It is a must that if you are using a hashtag, you are to group your words altogether.
- If you want to differentiate words, you can instead use capital letters in between.
- Uppercase characters do not affect search queries but will benefit readers.
- Numbers are supported on hashtags so you can tweet as many #50ShadesOfGrey up to your heart’s content.
- Punctuation marks, however, are out of the equation so do away with the commas, exclamation points, periods, apostrophes and commas. Forget about using ampersands & asterisks as well.
Remember that there is no preset list when it comes to hashtags. You can create as many hashtags as you can and if it has never been used before then you have just invented a new hashtag!
Platforms that Support Hashtags
Let’s discuss them here one by one.
Hashtags were born in Twitter. This said the use of hashtags is more versatile in Twitter than any other social media platforms. Hashtags used on Twitter usually represent specific topics. In the Trends section of your Twitter feed, you will see a list of hashtags that are based on your tweets and interests.
These are 7 Hashtag Strategies for Twitter:
- “Top” option gives you a list of the most popular and relevant hashtags, including those you don’t follow.
- “All” displays all tweets with your specific hashtag query – results are in real time.
- The “People you follow” option will display results only from those you are following on Twitter.
- Twitter Hashtags do not support special characters including !, %, ^, -, &, +, $, *, among others.
- They do however support numbers, letters and _ (underscore).
- Hashtags are unlimited as long as your tweet is kept on 140 characters.
- Hashtags in Twitter can increase your social engagement, the most efficient way to utilize these hashtags is by participating and hosting in Twitter chats.
It’s no surprise that event hashtags also work very well on Twitter. The good thing about this is that you don’t even need to be in an event to create a network of the people who are using the official hashtag. You will notice that event organizers usually market the event’s official hashtag quite well – which will only mean additional exposure to you if you are to use it.
Useful Twitter Hashtag Tools
I would gladly recommend two (2) Twitter Hashtag Tools that you can utilize for your Social Media Marketing.
- Hashtagify can track trending hashtags and also has the function of showing related hashtags for any terms that you provide on the search.
- Twchat is another great tool that lets you discover and participate as well as host Twitter chats. With this tool, you can also monitor and archive any hashtag streams.
Hashtag support was just recently added in June 2013 and as of today, the practice of using the hashtag in Facebook has not picked up much fuzz. Nevertheless, hashtags on Facebook usually has the same function as the hashtags in Twitter – it will take you to posts containing the same hashtag. The results are unlimited and not just on the people you know on Facebook.
These are 4 Hashtag Strategies for Facebook you want to keep in mind:
- Applying 2-3 relevant Hashtags on your Facebook post can help you expand your reach to people who are looking at posts with the same hashtags.
- By including hashtags in your post, you can get in front of the people who may not have seen your post otherwise.
- Pay attention to your reach and engagement numbers to understand if your hashtags are making any difference in your posts.
- When Applying Hashtags on your Personal Profile vs Fan Page, make sure your privacy settings will be turned on for “Public view”, so this will be viewed by all and not just selected friends.
Hashtags in Facebook normally supports all set of standard characters that popular social platforms support. The characters and number of hashtags you can add to a Facebook update are unlimited. Hashtag search results on Facebook though is kind of weird. Try searching for #London and it will likely end up landing on a page in Facebook rather than that of the hashtag search results.
What comes to applying Hashtags to your Instagram Posts, this is where you can use up to 30 Hashtags per post. However, in March of 2015, Instagram changed it rules on the use of Hashtags:
Your photos will only appear under a certain hashtag at the time you posted your photo. So if you post a picture and 2 hours later add hashtags, Instagram will not boost your picture to the top like it used to.
Here are 7 Hashtag Strategies for Instagram:
- Apply 5-10 Relevant Hashtags on each post.
- Use Hashtags on your Comments.
- Post your hashtags on a comment IMMEDIATELY after your pot your photo or video.
- Save ALL your Hashtags in the “Notes” of your Smart Phone, so you’ll always have them handy.
- Hashtags can help you find people on Instagram with similar interests as you.
- Hashtags can help you do market research to learn about your competitors.
- Start applying relevant hashtags of your niche onto your post, so those who searching for that hashtag/keyword can find yours.
Instagram hashtags are the same with Twitter – they don’t support special characters like !, %, +, ^, *, -, etc. Numbers as well as _ (underscores) are also supported. For a single photo post, you can add up to a maximum of 30 hashtags.
There is even this option to tag a photo even after publishing it by simply listing the hashtags in the comments. Using Instagram Hashtags can dramatically increase your following most especially when you are using hot and trending hashtags.
If you want to effectively utilize the hashtag on Instagram, the best way is to join hashtag games such as #tbt. Location-based hashtags also work dramatically for Instagram. Search results on Instagram are automatically sorted by “most recent” posts. To track trending and hot hashtags on Instagram, you can use Websta.
To Research all your Hashtags or analyze your Instagram Statistics, you can do so with Iconosquare‘s Site.
Pinterest hashtags are used to search and even to mark for content. By clicking on the hashtag in the pin description, you can navigate through search results containing the exact hashtag – including the same pins with the same phrase or word in the description.
Here are 6 Hashtags Strategies for Pinterest:
- Include Hashtags in your Pin’s Description, as they will become clickable.
- Hashtags are used as Keywords to bring all for the pins using the same hashtag together.
- Hashtags on Pinterest are most effective when they’re unique to your brand.
- Don’t solely rely on Hashtags on Pinterest, as your only way to measure your impact, sentiment or analytics.
- Pinterest Search doesn’t support Hashtags. For example, when applying word #DYI, Pins with the word “DYI” in the description will show up in the results, but so do Pins that have the word “DYI” hidden in the URL/Photo name/product page tied to the Pin.
- It’s Important to understand this when giving a description to your pins and images, or linking back to your site’s URL.
Hashtags on Pinterest has been supported for quite some time now. By supported, I mean, the word after the hash (#) is clickable but only in the description area. Pinterest has not set official rules or limitations for using hashtags in their platform. Overall, Pinterest seems to support the same characters as what most social platforms have applied.
Hashtag support on Pinterest, however, remains limited. You would notice that if you search any terms on Pinterest with the use of a Hashtag, the search results will most likely include all word types and phrases related to the Hashtag. Pinterest Hashtags, however, are excellent when it comes to promoting your brand, most especially when you’re doing cross-promotion.
Clicking a hashtag on Google will result in a different way. When you click it in Google+, search results will automatically include the original post with that hashtags as well as the similar keywords and tags. Google search results are usually displayed on the left side of the page while the hashtags results from Google+ can be found on the right side. There is also an option where you can search hashtags within Twitter and Facebook.
I found is best to use up to 3 relevant Hashtags with Google Plus.
There is only one rule when you are using a hashtag on Google Plus:
- There should be no spaces in between.
- It is impossible to create hashtags on Google+ with numbers only (#2015).
- Hashtags in Google+ were perceived differently even from the beginning. Instead of allowing users to monitor and organize their conversations, Google Plus has used hashtags to allow greater platform exploration by both Google and its users.
This is the main reason why Google+ updates are auto-hashtaged. There are no limits when adding hashtags to a post – which is one great thing about Google+ hashtags.
However, adding multiple Hashtags on Google+ posts will look spammy, so don’t over do it.
Tumblr has a different rule when it comes to adding hashtags. Tumblr has a “tag” section where you can add the tags to your posts. The tags functions, similarly like Twitter hashtags which organize posts by topic – the only difference is that the hash symbol is automatically inserted.
Do take note though that hashtags included in the post body are not automatically transformed into clickable links.
Tumblr Hashtags are as simple as how hashtags work on WordPress. They are linked only in the “tags” field. It is impossible to create in-text or body text hashtags by simply adding the hash (#) in front of any word you fathom.
But unlike WordPress, hashtags you create in Tumblr can have a significant improvement in your discoverability across the platform. Any hashtag search on Tumblr will bring up users who had just recently used one of those hashtags and you have the option to follow.
In conclusion, I would like to point out these very important 6 Hashtag Strategies you want to keep in mind when adding them into your posts:
- Hashtags are NOT ownable!
- Use Trendable Hashtags.
- Don’t try to establish one work with what’s Trending.
- Capitalization isn’t important.
- Don’t use any spaces when using hashtags in your posts.
- Don’t #TryTuUseTooManyWordsInOneSentence!
Additionally, check out my Hashtag Strategy tips on Pinterest resource board for more information.
Now that I have provided you with some insight on Hashtags Strategies with your Social Media Marketing, do you plan on using them more, or less in your Social Media Strategy?
Comment below and let me know.
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