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How do Hashtags work on Social Media platforms?

Updated: Jun 24, 2021

Hashtag is not a new term, and we all know what it is.

However, more often than not, understanding their algorithm on various social media platforms can be confusing.

Hashtags work quite differently when it comes to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms.

But more or less, their intent usage is similar.


So in this blog post we try to analyse the usage of Hashtags from multiple parameters and understand how you can use them effectively to grow your reach.


This blog post contains answers to the following questions:

1. What is a hashtag and how do you use it?

2. Placement of the Hashtags (Body Copy or comments)?

3. Importance of using a Hashtag

4. How do you choose the perfect industry specific hashtag?

5. How to use Hashtags on Instagram?

6. How to use Hashtags on Facebook?

7. How to use Hashtags on Twitter?

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Let’s get into understanding each one of them


1. What is a Hashtag and how do you use it?

Did you know the symbol of Hashtag came way back in around the 14th century?

Yes its that old !

And infact the name ‘Hashtag’ only came through with its growing usage on social media.

So Hashtag’s were used initially on Twitter to create a group of like-minded posts/tweets back in 2007.

From then till now, Hashtags have now become a staple when it comes to social media.

When you want your post/story to connect with a set of people in the group, you use a hashtag.

So anyone looking out for content in that space, your content is right there!

It acts as a great way to push your content to the right set of audience.


2. Placement of the Hashtags (Body Copy or comments)?


So while most of us are aware of the fact that hashtag usage is a must, but one question that confuses a lot is – where should we use them, in the body copy or put them in the comments?

And while we will get into understanding the number of hashtags to use on each platform, in general it’s always better to use the hashtags in the body copy.

And this has been proven in a study as well.

However, to keep your captions clean and easy to read, it’s always better to add some space between your caption and the hashtags.


3. Importance of using a Hashtag


Hashtags are extremely important, and given below are a few reasons to substantiate that claim-


a. Simplifying the process

The internet is extremely competitive, and social media is responsible for most of this competition.

How do people come across your content then?

Through the use of Hashtags! So if I were to search for content revolving Marathons, I can always search for #Marathons on any social media platform and I get all the needed information.

So its simplifying my search process.


b. Makes you want to check out more stuff

Like I mentioned, if I search for #Marathons, I may spend a lot of time looking at multiple links to consume more content.

c. Segregates the data

It may not always be the case, that your content is crystal clear for your audience to understand.

Adding a relevant hashtag, also makes your topic clear.


4. How do you choose the perfect industry specific hashtag?


Now your hashtag can either be general or specific, which one should you choose?

So normally its always better to have a mix of both, its all about experimenting!

You can also come up with your own hashtags, that are specific to your communication, and see how your audience reacts to it.

This is important because if you are getting no traction from that hashtag, you can maybe let go off it and then use something else.

Now let’s look at the usage of Hashtags on specific platforms!


5. How to use Hashtags on Instagram?


So Instagram allows you to use a maximum of 30 hashtags for a post, and 10 hashtags for a story.

It’s important to find the most trending keyword before posting your content, but remember not every ‘most trending’ hashtag will work in your favour.

Because, at the end of the day its all about using relevant hashtags.

There are sources like All Hashtags that help you find the perfect hashtags for your post.

Pro-tip: Using 11 hashtags on your posts in Instagram, is known to get maximum engagement


6. How to use Hashtags on Facebook?


Now Hashtags have not been as famous on Facebook, as compared to Instagram.

But even then, your post can reach a lot more people if you have used some hashtag in your copy.

Couple of things that you must be keep in mind while using hashtags on Facebook,


i) Do not use too many of them

Understand the difference between the way the content is consumed on Instagram as against Facebook.

On Instagram, you see the image first and then the caption however it’s exactly opposite when it comes to Facebook, so adding too many will make your brand look spammy.


ii) Ensure your post is public

Adding hashtags is one thing, but then you also need to ensure that your post settings are set to public so that it reaches people beyond your friends.


7. How to use Hashtags on Twitter?

Now this is the platform from which the concept of Hashtags was originated, so using your hashtags well on this platform, is a given.

Twitter also provides you a list of ‘trending hashtags’ which is a great way to understand what readers are interested in, and then accordingly target your message to them.

However, even if you have a list of hashtags ready for use, you must keep the following points in mind-


i) Use hashtags for trending conversations

Tweeting about conferences and events or just in general about any trending traffic is bound to help your content reach a wider set of audiences.

For example, if your brand is making a contribution to a specific event that has a trending hashtag around it, make sure to utilize this opportunity to the fullest.


ii) Holidays & Festivals

Let’s take an example of Diwali, every brand ensures some amount of the communication during this festival.

Ensure you include #Diwali in your post, to grab more views in regards to the content posted


iii) Support Causes

If as a brand, you believe in something and are willing to be vocal about it, then Twitter is the best platform to utilize for the same.

We have seen how Micromax used Twitter as a platform to announce their comeback.

This is the perfect platform to get close to your consumers, and especially if you are using it for goodwill, it can work wonders for your brand.

Conclusion:

Using hashtags is a great way to ensure an effective marketing strategy in place.

It’s important to note that hashtags are used differently in each platform.

And hence, understanding the differences plays a crucial role in determining success.

 

Also read: What is Behavioral Targeting?

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