Hashtags can be challenging. Too many and your posts seem embarrassed. Not enough and your post could end up in no man’s digital home. Use a bad hashtag and nobody clicks on it. Use a good but popular hashtag and it could be lost with the same one in all the other posts. A hashtag makes a word or phrase a clickable connection in many social platforms. Before using hashtags, make sure they are relevant to the content of your post, regardless of the platform.
A hashtag that has nothing to do with the post will not help drive the traffic you want. Although we all want popular and viral posts, they do not offer your brand any benefit if they do not meet the right people.
And neither hashtag hijack. If a popular hashtag is used, but there is no correlation with your content, stay away. For example, if # MotivationMonday trends but your post is about installing a backup generator before a winter storm, you should probably not use this hashtag.
Let’s look at the best practices of each platform hashtag:
With a limited number of characters in your tweet, it’s a good idea to select the number of hashtags. Hashtags should be used, especially for business, to promote the message and the conversation of the tweet. The aim of the Twitter hashtag is to extend the brand message to a wider audience and place it in front of new customers who may not have seen it and, hopefully, initiate a broader online dialog.
When we write Twitter copies for our customers, we mix a hashtag or two at the back of the post and then hate a word, if applicable, in the copy. This gives our readers a simple way to use hashtags without adding too much copy and keeping the copy flow easy. One way to market your brand is to use a custom hashtag. Just be aware of the grammar rules and capitalization that we will discuss in the article.
If you want to find trend hashtags that may be relevant to your tweet or write a copy that complements a trend hashtag, Twitter’s desktop version offers a Trends for your column where trend hashtags are located worldwide or at a location you can choose. Click the search icon on your smartphone app to see what’s trending in your area. You can also change the location of the trends in other parts of the country and the world to see what is being tweeted.
Instagram allows up to 30 hashtags and 10 hashtags for each post. But that doesn’t mean that each post or story is stuffed with its maximum amount.
Keep in mind that people are reading your posts on a smartphone, so the easier you read the copy, the more likely you are to return to your posts.
In addition to creating your own hashtag (branded hashtag), you can search for relevant and popular hashtags (community hashtag) on Instagram, just like on Twitter, by reviewing what your competition uses and what your audience uses when talking about the same subject.
You can also enter your hashtag in the search box and see how many posts that same hashtag has been used. It gives you a good idea of its popularity and if you should use it or not. It could even give you new ideas. For example, # yoga is a popular hashtag, but after it has been entered into the search box, a list of other yoga-related topics such as # yogalife, # yogaeveryday and # yogainspiration appears. These suggestions are automatically populated after you have entered almost any hashtag you want to investigate.
With more room for posts, hashtags should be on Facebook right at home. However, many companies are afraid to use them. The reason for that? The use of Hashtag on Facebook was not so widely used on other platforms. Facebook recommends that you only use at most one or a few hashtags.
We use Facebook hashtags sparingly when writing copies for our customers. If it feels organic and natural to incorporate it, we do so. Forcing hashtags into a Facebook post or social post removes the tone of the message or talk. The search for Facebook hashtags is pretty much like Twitter and Instagram. Start to enter a # hashtag in the search bar and drop a list of related hashtags. It won’t tell you how popular a hashtag is unlike Instagram.
You can choose to see how hashtags are used by clicking on any of the hashtags suggested in the dropdown and even find related searches that can help you choose hashtags to get your post in front of a wider audience.
Hashtags break all the rules of grammar. When using them on any platform, remember that punctuation, such as commas, exclamation marks, periods and other signs, breaks the hashtag and only leaves the letters, words or partial sentences as the clickable hashtag before punctuation. # Let’sGoRedWings is an example of a broken hashtag. The hashtag will stop at # Let due to the apostrophe. Write the hashtag # LetsGoRedWings in this case and the whole sentence can now be searched.
The same applies to spacing. Do not leave spaces between words and use capitalization if it is necessary to differentiate between words in your hashtag. # ThrowbackThursday, for example, rather than # throwbackthursday.
Just as an optimized copy is critical for a well-written post or tweet, it is equally important to determine the correct number of hashtags and to know what hashtags to use. This is especially important if you use a branded hashtag, where it is used during a campaign and where others are encouraged to communicate with your brand. Find your hashtags before you start a campaign or add them to a copy.