The benefits of #hashtags

Woman holding her phone

The benefits of #hashtags

Hashtags are everywhere these days. We all know what they are, but what is their purpose?

Do you know which ones best suit your audience? And just how important are hashtags in your social media anyway?

Why hashtags?

Hashtags expand your reach outside your network, engage with your followers, open new ways of communicating and increase brand recognition and awareness.

Hashtags are a great way for people to search for topics on social networks that have a common theme. They are also used to signpost a conversation topic. For example, your favourite TV shows most likely have a hashtag they use, such as #TheBachelorAU, to generate conversations about the show with live updates as the show progresses. A popular hashtag used on twitter is #auspol which signals conversations about Australian politics. Hashtags like #quoteoftheday and #throwbackthursday give people an opportunity to share quotes and photos from their childhoods respectively, and are quite popular on most social networks.

Woman using her phone

How hashtags are used across social networks

Each social network is a little different in regard to how hashtags are used, and what works on one may not work as well on another.

Twitter was the first social network to allow the use of hashtags. When someone clicks on a hashtag, it leads them to a list of other tweets that include that same hashtag. Hashtags soon became very popular, allowing users to engage in conversations and follow topics and stories. It wasn’t long before other social networks jumped on the hashtag bandwagon such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Google+.

The social aspect

Incorporating hashtags into events and marketing campaigns has become hugely popular as well, and something people have come to expect. This means that at an event, you could be updating your social media live, using an event themed hashtag, and engaging with other people at the event who are doing the same.

Where to begin?

To find out where to start, it’s good to have a look at what others are doing, what hashtags are trending, and tweak them where needed. Depending on your business type and location, you also may need to narrow your reach. For example, a local store may try to keep their hashtags relevant to within their town, city or state, rather than nationwide. It all depends on your end goal.

How many is too many?

Be mindful that you don’t overdo it though. Too many hashtags can make you come across as spammy and just out for likes or attention. However, there is data that suggests that having 11 hashtags on an Instagram post gives it a higher percentage of views, whereas on Twitter, you don’t want to have any more that two hashtags per post. It’s a balancing act!

Talk to us if you want to increase your #reach with hashtags.

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