Hashtags are a great addition to your digital marketing strategy. They can have a huge impact on your business growth and online visibility. However, there are differences in how you should use hashtags for each social media platform. If used incorrectly, hashtags can be detrimental. So, if you want to be a hashtag expert, you are in the right place!
Below we will provide an outline on how to use hashtags on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.
Using Hashtags On Facebook
Twitter and Instagram are known for hashtags, but what about Facebook? Should hashtags be a part of your Facebook marketing strategy? Unfortunately, the answer is not a straight yes or no. Instead, the answer falls in a gray area. In general, when you think of Facebook, you don’t think of hashtags and this is because Facebook is simply not there yet. Take Twitter for example – twitter has a very popular trending hashtag section-almost every tweet contains them, and people commonly search for hashtags on this platform. On Instagram, you have even have the option of following hashtags.
Facebook is currently the largest social media platform, so what does this mean for hashtags?
In general, it is detrimental to use hashtags on Facebook. According to a research study conducted by BuzzSumo, posts with hashtags on Facebook got less engagement than those without hashtags. This study looked at over 1 billion posts from 30 million brands.
But does this mean that you should never use them? The answer is no.
On Facebook, you should use hashtags if they are relevant to your audience and most importantly, if your audience will search for the hashtags you use. If the hashtags won’t make you more searchable, it is not worth the time and energy. However, people on Facebook do not tend to search for hashtags, which is why many people stray away from using them. If people want to search for something, they gravitate towards searching a keyword instead. As you can see, when it comes to hashtags on Facebook, it is a hit or miss opportunity. The basic idea is to use them in your marketing strategy only if you think that your followers will truly search for them.
As the saying goes, “everything in moderation.” If you decide to use hashtags, it is very important that you limit them to only one or two per post. Any more than that will significantly decrease engagement because too many hashtags cause distraction and can take away from the message of your post.
Using Hashtags On Twitter
Twitter is the birthplace of hashtags, and it was first used in 2007 as a way of highlighting keywords to make search results better and easier. You can see the post below:
That being said, hashtags are extremely popular on twitter, and if used well, they can help your business in many ways.
Advantages of hashtags on twitter
- One such advantage is a larger reach. When you use hashtags, your content becomes viewable to anyone who is interested in the hashtag, whether or not they follow you. In this way, you can easily be found by thousands of people around the world. Through this, you are enabling your target market to find you, and you can dramatically increase your number of followers.
- Another advantage of hashtags on twitter is that they increase engagement. People are more likely to comment, like and retweet posts that utilize hashtags.
- A third advantage of using hashtags is that they help you build your brand. You can set-up a branded hashtag specific to your business which your clients and customers can follow.
How many hashtags should I use?
Similar to Facebook, you should only use one to two hashtags on twitter. If you try to add more, your message looks spammy and it leaves less room for you to actually convey your point. More hashtags also create a distraction.
What words should I tag?
Hashtags are definitely a yes on twitter, but that doesn’t mean you can tag any word you want. You will only get the abovementioned benefits if you strategically choose which words to tag.
- A rule of thumb is to try to get as specific with your hashtags as possible. So for example, if you offer life insurance, instead of saying #insurance, a more specific tag would be #lifeinsurance. The more specific you get, the easier it will be for people who are interested to find you. Check out the example below from Coosa Falley Financial Group
- You should also hashtag the most relevant words in your tweet. These words should be related to the industry you are in, the services you provide, and the value your customers will get.
- It’s also important to see which keywords and/or hashtags are currently trending in your industry. Pay attention to your competitors’ social media channels and see what they are doing. When you identify a hot topic or hashtag, take the time to use those hashtags in your posts too.
Using Hashtags on LinkedIn
Hashtags are relatively new to Linkedln and because Linkedln is a professional network, you might wonder whether or not hashtags would provide any value. We are here to tell you that yes, hashtags are beneficial on Linkedln. The purpose of using hashtags on Linkedln is the same for using them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram- to make your content more searchable (people can follow hashtags on Linkedln), to make your posts more engaging, and to build your brand.
What words should I tag?
Because LinkedIn is a professional network, it is really important that you tag industry and topic-specific words and phrases. As with Twitter, you should see which hashtags and words are trending in your industry to make the most use out of them. In addition, you should keep an eye on competitors to see what tags they are using.
How many words should I tag?
On LinkedIn, you should stick to at most three hashtags. Moreover, these hashtags should be included at the very end of the post to make your post more clean and distraction-free. Here is an example:
If you want to learn more about Linkedln and the algorithm, check out the video below.
Using Hashtags on Instagram
Hashtags are very popular on Instagram and remain as one of the best ways to get your content to a wide variety of people. By using hashtags, you can get more engagement, more followers, and ultimately more customers. People can follow hashtags, and Instagram makes it easy for people to search for them, as there is a separate tab for hashtags in the search bar. Like all social media platforms, your tags should be relevant, and you should analyze your competitors and research trending tags to determine which ones you should use.
Track your Instagram hashtags
Instagram provides an added bonus because it allows you to see if your hashtags are actually working. You can track your tags using Instagram Insights. This lets you see how many of your post views can be attributed to your hashtags. To access this data, click on the “View Insights” text in the bottom left corner of your post.
How many words should I tag?
Unlike the other platforms, you are encouraged to use more tags on Instagram. You can include up to 30 hashtags on a regular post, and up to 10 hashtags on a story. On Instagram, adding more hashtags will create more visibility. In fact, research shows that 11+ tags perform the best.