By: Charissa Corlies (@CharissaCo)
Can we all first take a moment to think back to when the # meant so many other things. Ah simpler times those were. Then 2007 happened. The first iPhone was released, Keeping Up With The Kardashians premiered, and Google’s Chris Messina had an idea that would connect communities all over the world.
What began as an aide to organize trending topics on Twitter was soon adapted to Instagram, Facebook, Vine (RIP), and Pinterest. Hashtags can be used to effectively engage brands with target audiences, but when they aren’t done right they can be so wrong. The trick when it comes to hashtags is that nailing the execution varies from platform to platform. Let’s dive into a few platforms and see how hashtags can be utilized in each.
Although the original hashtagger, Twitter isn’t the platform where the more the merrier is true when it comes to hashtags. With only 140 characters to get your message across, the focus should be on unique copy. The hashtag should be a supporting factor in order to add to a conversation your target audience is engaging in. The most effective tweets typically only include one or two hashtags.
(Source: Search Engine Watch)
Hashtags on Facebook are tough. Because the average Facebook user sets their security settings higher than compared to other platforms, individuals lack the opportunity to connect outside of their personal network. As a result most hashtags on Facebook are found to be linked to brands, influencers, and publishers, not average users. Minimize hashtags and make sure that they are specific enough that people will be searching for them for a reason.
The jackpot when it comes to hashtags, Instagram is the platform where you can curate the most unique engagement by utilizing hashtags. Use of hashtags on Instagram can generate reach to new members of your target audience. The platform allows for up to 30 hashtags per post, but hashtags should always be listed under a first comment, not a caption.
Next time you are creating a social media content calendar be sure to take advantage of hashtags as a tool to connect audiences and intersect into their conversations. Put time and effort into researching what hashtags will yield the most positive results. Tap into what your brand’s target audience is talking about and how they are using hashtags to talk about it. Identify these hashtags to incorporate into content or create a 2-3 word tagline for your brand to get users to jump on board with. The latter may be tricky if the platform does not have a strong following. #TheEnd.