#Hashtags seem to be everywhere these days! If you’ve had any experience with social media then you’re probably very familiar with this trend and that means you’ve also witnessed some not so great #hashtag habits too!
But first, what is a #hashtag? It’s simple a word or a grouping of words that follow at “#” symbol. They began on Twitter, but have since extended to other social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. The idea is that #hashtags group every post, tweet or image on a specific subject under one category. That means that users are able to quickly find everything that is being published on social media about a certain topic quickly.
As you may have guessed, there is a correct way to use #hashtags, and then there are not-so-correct ways to use them. To avoid irritating your fans and followers, here are some key points you should know about using #hastags in your posts.
Proper Spelling, No Spaces or Fancy Features
It would be kind of difficult for your #hashtag to be searched if it’s not spelt correctly, right? Seems obvious but it’s not uncommon to see posts with typos and misspelt #hashtags. #dundaytunday is probably not a very popular post. I guess you meant #Sundayfunday right?
Same goes for spaces and any fancy features! Including a “&” sign or dash will break up your #hashtag and only the first part will create the actual tag or link. Capital letters aren’t always a good technique either! Capital letters just makes it more difficult for users to search your #hashtag which brings us to the next point….
Keep it Short, Simple and Specific
To increase the effectiveness of your #hashtag and get it trending you’ll want to keep it short, simple and specific. #Pleasenolongneverendinghashtags!
Just like everything else, people want simple and easy so keep your #hashtag to maybe one or two words to make it easier to search. Oh and we can’t forget about the being specific part! It is important that your #hashtags are specific so they don’t get lost in a world where there are plenty of them.
For example, if you are talking about an event, tagging #event would work but it would also bring up a long list of other events. So instead use #hashtags specific to the event, #Grandprix anyone?
Don’t Have More #Hashtags than Words and Don’t #Hashtag Everything
Yes #hashtags are great and will help increase reach and likes because they can be searched and therefore can lead people to your post. That’s the goal right? Well yes, but please don’t overload your post with endless #hashtags!
In other words, its #Not a #smart #idea, #people #will #get #annoyed!
Adding a #hashtag to every word in your sentence is not helpful as posts with fewer #hashtags are actually more effective than those with too many. As a rule of thumb, try to limit yourself to 3 or 4 at the very maximum.
Make it Relevant and Follow Trends
Finally, when using #hashtags you want to make it relevant to what you are posting. Talking about a new car model? So then no, #puppy is not going to work! It is also good to follow trends that are popular as these are some of the most searched #hashtags.
For example, #throwbackthursday or #stanleycup are surely trending right now so joining in on the trend is a good way to generate more engagement around your post. Just be sure that the trend is relevant to what you are posting. Don’t #hashtag a trending topic only in the hopes of getting your post noticed, chances are it’ll only get some good laughs!
And there you have it, now you’re a #hashtagpro! 😉