The world has become digital. The use of social media is increasing by leaps and bounds, which has opened an entirely new way to approach customers and promote a brand. However, the path to promoting brands over social media channels goes through hashtags, as they have become an essential entity for every social media user to understand and use.
What’s a Hashtag?
If you know the pound sign, “#”, you know what hashtags look like. A hashtag is simply a word or a group of words that are written after the symbol “#”. It is used to group a specific type of content or categorize the trends or topics based on their resemblance.
Till 2007, the hashtag was just a sign (“#”), which later started making sense and now has become essential for everyone to use over social media channels. Twitter was the first one of them all supporting the use of it, and currently, almost all social media platforms support the use of hashtags. #victory!
Why Use Hashtags?
The increasing popularity of hashtags is not the only reason. It helps in running an excellent marketing campaign over social media channels and generate brand awareness among potential users. The number of active social media users has reached 3.4 billion worldwide. It determines social media as one of the greatest tools to reach a maximum of potential audiences.
Twitter has mentioned in their report that brands who use hashtags in their posts tend to gain a 50% increase in user engagement compared to others that don’t. Moreover, it becomes easier to create and run your brand building campaigns over the internet with appropriate use of hashtags.
Surprised to find what hashtags offer for your business? Hashtags also help you extend your reach to potential audiences and creates your own identity over the internet. Therefore, creating and using hashtags becomes profitable for your business and offers benefits you have never thought of.
How to Create Hashtags?
To create a hashtag, all that is required to do is, find a catchy word or a phrase, put the symbol at the beginning, and voila! You have created a hashtag. But it’s not that simple. Creating a hashtag requires you to adhere to certain standards and, most importantly, find a phrase that has a meaning and can attract more conversations.
First of all, no white spaces allowed. A hashtag with white space is not allowed at all and doesn’t help you make any difference. Again, no punctuation marks are allowed. i.e., comma, semicolon, colon, period, question mark, and more are not allowed in hashtags.
To signify the white spaces, Twitter promotes the use of capital letters. For example, if you wish to create a hashtag for line, “Think Different”, it is better to make a hashtag as #ThinkDifferent than #thinkdifferent. You can see the difference! (The line is of Apple marketing campaign.)
You can include numbers in your hashtag, and it helps increase the significance. For example, “#280characters”. It is the limit of characters put in use by Twitter for every tweet. But if you are not a big fan of creative writing and would rather like to add something relevant from existing, you can always include the hashtags that you find relevant to your posts.
How to Use Hashtags?
There are plenty of hashtags available for use. But if you intend to use hashtags to give your post on social media significant leverage, it is best to use the trending hashtags around your posts’ niche.
For example, if you have recently been to an exotic place that very few people know about, you can give a boost to your social media posts by using relevant hashtags that are trending over the particular social media channel and are related to. You can use a tool like hashtagify.me, that can help you find out the hashtags that are relevant to your chosen topic.
Moreover, there are certain limits to be followed on the use of hashtags. Twitter praises the ideal practice of using a maximum of two hashtags in a single tweet. Also, LinkedIn has put limits on the use of hashtags. But in social media channels like Instagram and Vine, it is acceptable to use more than two hashtags, but still, control is needed. Excessive use of hashtags can have a bad influence on your post.
Therefore, listing out the best practices of using hashtags would look like:
- Be relevant. Search and choose the hashtag that relates to your topic and post.
- Understand your audiences. For a business account, targeting your audiences can be made easier with relevant hashtags, but the opposite can happen if you do not stick with the rule of relevancy. You can draft your post to be audience-centric and choose hashtags that your potential audiences follow and go through every day.
- Adhere to the rules specified by the social media platform you use. Based on the target audiences of these platforms, they switch their rules to best suit their audiences’ demands. For example, Twitter is more concerned about the topic of your tweets, while Instagram focuses on the description. The relevancy of hashtags gets affected because of this change in measures.
- Hashtags can do more than business promotion and marketing. They are also helpful in influencing user engagement and follow the best practices to achieve the desired results.
- For example, an IT business can reach its clients in need and promote its app like uber with the right use of hashtags and appropriate posts through social media.
- If you are an innovative and creative thinker, you can choose to create your hashtag. And if there is no other existing, you have created a new hashtag of your own! For now, there is no list kept of hashtags, and you can work on making your own or choose from the relevant ones available.
- The hashtag you create should make sense. There should be a meaning of it that can support the nature of your post. Without it, your hashtag might not be successful at generating responses from other users and the use of it will be limited.
- For example, it is better to create a hashtag of any catch line than of your brand name or business name as it helps influence the interest of readers.
These are the best practices when creating a hashtag of your own. But if you are looking for using any existing hashtags for your campaigns, it is better to keep the following measures in mind before selecting one:
- Research the background of a hashtag before using it. It helps you understand the use of the hashtag and saves your campaign from inappropriate use of the irrelevant hashtags.
- Exercise control on the use of hashtags. You should put a brake when including multiple hashtags in your single post. As mentioned earlier, it is best to follow the limits appreciated by individual social media channels and keep your campaign running successfully.
- Do research the use of hashtags over different social media platforms. While Twitter and Instagram are appreciating and supporting the use of hashtags, LinkedIn and Facebook are not happy with it. A report by BuzzSumo surprisingly suggests that Facebook posts, including the hashtags, score less views than the ones which do not.
- If you choose to use acronyms in the hashtags, consider using the ones that are popular and known by the majority of internet users. Otherwise, there are high possibilities of misunderstanding the acronyms.
With good practice and understanding of using hashtags over different social media channels, you can easily promote your brand and excel at executing marketing campaigns. For beginners, it is crucial to observe the current use and learn from the best practices of brand building using hashtags. A simple word or phrase can lead a business to earn more profits by reaching the right audiences.
Social media trends keep changing. By keeping an eye on the most popular and trending hashtags and finding out a way to include them in your post can help to make your post popular among the right set of audiences. Continuous practice of implementing hashtags can lead you to develop a thorough understanding of how to use them.
A digital marketer can use the resources and tools available in the market, supporting the right use of hashtags to give a significant boost to their marketing campaigns. By learning the constraints put on the use of hashtags, they can craft an excellent strategy to reach the maximum audience.
Deep is an aspiring entrepreneur and blogger having led 75+ startups on the right path with their information-admiring content. He crafts content on topics including on-demand services like uber clone, finances, technology trends and many more.