Hashtags on social networks are still as popular today as they used to be. While they became popular on Twitter in 2007, the hashtag was eventually adopted by several social media platforms. Whether you want to talk about a campaign against sexism (#EverydaySexism), a milestone (#Rio2016) or a field (#SocialMedia), hashtags are a strong element on social networks.
Hashtags can also be a great way to increase traffic on your website. However, it is important to use them correctly in order to obtain a positive result. Therefore, we present in this article some tips on good hashtags usages for social networking.
What’s a hashtag?
First, the question that can be asked is: “What’s a hashtag? A hashtag is a word or phrase (without spaces), which is preceded by the pound sign (#). Hashtags used by Internet users on social networks are indexed and can be traced to a specific page on the platform, bringing together all the publications using the same hashtag.
Thus, hashtags are clickable so that users can find publications dealing with the same subject on social media.
The first hashtag on Twitter in 2007 was used by a former Google employee. Twitter eventually formalized hashtags in 2009 to include them in their search results. With this popularity, hashtags are used today on the following social networks: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+, Tumblr, Pinterest and YouTube.
Reach new users to improve your web traffic
The purpose of hashtags is to put an emphasis on a particular subject in your publication. This focus will allow users who do not know a company to find your publication. Indeed, if people are interested in SEO, they will eventually click #SEO and will be redirected to a page including all publications that use the hashtag #SEO.
In this way, hashtags are used to reach users who have no knowledge of a company. However, it is important to carefully select your hashtags so that your social networking strategy can be effective.
Indeed, many hashtags are created online every day. Often these hashtags will concern personal states of mind and have no connection with a particular company. However, it is important that a community manager does not choose a hashtag that could bring irrelevant traffic as this can cause Internet users to laugh or make fun of the company.
For example, the hashtag launched for the British singer Susan Boyle #SusanAlbumParty ended up being interpreted on Twitter as #susAnalbumparty.
Finally, even if hashtags are particularly effective at engaging users, we advise you not to use too many at once. If you end up using more than 8 hashtags for a single publication, it may be considered spam. So use hashtags sparingly on social media.
Create your very own hashtag
Hashtags can also be part of the digital identity of a company, and therefore it is not surprising to see new hashtags created for businesses. Apple did not hesitate to create the hashtag #AppleEvent at the unveiling of the latest iPhone. However, if a company is not yet known, it is inadvisable to create multiple hashtags. Creating different hashtags will not help your strategy to improve your brand image.
It is very important that your hashtag is unique before deciding to use it regularly on social networks. Indeed, a hashtag could already be used by another company or may have a negative connotation online. To ensure the originality of your hashtag, it is advisable to regularly check on Google that the hashtag is not used by other companies or Internet users.
Finally, creating a hashtag that is too long is not recommended, especially on Twitter where the 140 characters limit is still imposed.
Use popular hashtags to increase your web traffic
You can see currently trending hashtags on Twitter and or other sites like Hashtagig. We can see that on September 8, 2016 in Montreal, tweets were mainly related to the International Literacy Day (#InternationalLiteracyDay), Uber or the Apple event (#AppleEvent).
Using current trends can allow companies to gain visibility on social networks and become associated with events for example.
It is important to remain relevant and not use the hashtag #Uber if your business has no connection with the famous application.
But a shoe store could very well join #Rio2016 promoting running shoes that athletes use for the Olympics.
Finally, the most popular hashtags can be slightly different from one platform to another. This is why it is advisable to check all the current trends and adapt accordingly on the social network. Instagram hashtags, among other uses, are mainly for describing pictures.
Effective use of hashtags on social networks may very well improve your e-reputation and increase traffic to your website. To summarize, here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Don’t use too many hashtags
- Use hashtags only on social networks that use them (this is not the case on LinkedIn, for example)
- Find popular, currently trending hashtags
- Choose relevant hashtags
- Do not use hashtags in the same way on all social networks
- Test hashtags