Today, I want to introduce you to hashtags. If you are a new blogger you might be wondering what they are and how you should be using them to help your blog. If you are a more experienced blogger you might be wondering how to up your hashtag game and while I won’t spill those particular beans in this post, I can set the scene.
So, what is a hashtag?
A word or group of words preceeded by the # symbol.
Which networks use hashtags?
Hashtags were made famous on Twitter, but now some other networks have adopted them, namely Facebook, Instagram, Google +, some with more success than others. Use of hashtags on Facebook is picking up, after a slow start when they were first introduced.
How do they help you?
Hashtags are really powerful. They can connect you to likeminded people instantly, by putting your content in a focused stream. They also allow you to give information in real time, e.g. tweeting at an event. Tweets with hashtags get two times the engagement than tweets without.
How do they work?
Hashtags can be put anywhere in your tweet, not just at the end. Hashtags make your content visible to people outside your following.
How many is too many?
Twitter officials state no more than two hashtags per tweet. Any more than two devalues the impact of the previous hashtag. Some experts say more than two drops engagement by, on average 17%. Experts on Instagram seem to favour around five hashtags, but the stats show interaction is higher on posts with 11+ hashtags.
What is a Twitter Chat?
These are group chats or Q&As around a theme, using a specific #.
Which hashtags should you use?
A popular hashtag might seem like a good one to use. Just bear in mind your tweet/status or picture may get lost in the huge stream. Focus on hashtags that make sense, not just random words tenuously linked to your tweet/image. Explore the hashtag before you use it. Make sure it leads to what you think it will lead to and there are no nasty surprises!
Do you use hashtags? On which networks? Do you have one that always works well for you?