Hashtags are used as a label that groups like content together on social media platforms. They are made by using the hashtag symbol “#” before a word or phrase. For example - #eCommerce, #Smallbusinesses. Users who are interested in these topics can click on these hashtags to find more content that’s been made on the same topic.
Though hashtags were originally introduced on Twitter in 2007 by Chris Messina-who had the idea of using the hashtag symbol to group related tweets together-they are now being used across most of the top social media platforms today including Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
Uses of Hashtags
- Brand Development - if you’re using social media as a marketing tool to promote your business, creating a hashtag for your brand is a great way to increase engagement and drive conversations. You can create campaigns based on hashtags.
- To reach your target audience - Every business has a target audience that they are mainly catering to with their product or service. They are a group of people that are defined by certain characteristics that make them more likely to buy a certain product. For example, the target audience of a sportswear company might be people that are interested in sports and fitness. Companies can use hashtags that their target audience is interested in to help them find their brand more easily.
- Expand your reach - most social media platforms show which hashtags are being used the most or ‘trending’ at any point in time. Brands can jump on the trend and create related content to get more people to see their content and check out their page.
How to Use Hashtags Efficiently
- Don’t go overboard - Using too many hashtags can come off as spam and turn people off from your content. There is an ideal amount of hashtags that should be used that varies based on the platform. For example - Facebook and Twitter 1 or 2 are okay while for Instagram up to 30 are accepted.
- Do your research - before using hashtags do a bit of research to see which ones are the most relevant for your content, which have good levels of engagement, and which do well over a longer period of time.
- Track your hashtags - If you want to up your social media game, collect data and analyze how effective your hashtags are for the content you are putting out. You can track factors such as the popularity, reach, and the number of interactions.
- Test your hashtags - Use A/B testing to see which hashtags work the best, and bring in the higher engagements and conversions for your business.