Call me old, but I still remember social media without hashtags – however, even if ‘old,’ I’m not old fashioned. Hashtags came to stay and for a good reason: they make our life on social media much easier when used right. What at first seemed to be an annoying trend became a powerful tool.If you do not know yet how to master the art of hashtags, don’t worry; I got that cover for you. I am not only going to give you good reasons to use them, but I am also going to teach you how to do it.
First – What is the deal with hashtags?
You already know what it is a hashtag, but what do they do? Hashtags create labs, making your social media post be reached by people quicker. For example, those who searched online the Oscars in 2015, could find publications and related accounts by searching for #oscars2015.
Why use #hashtag?
Let’s talk about the ‘why’ before the ‘how.’ No matter if you’re a small or big social media influencer, the use of hashtags brings benefits for those who aim to grow their online influence.
1. Hashtags can bring new followers
If you have a social media channel about cinema, someone who’s into that can find you from hashtags such as #cinema, #cannes2014 or #moviereview.
— Daniel Mihai Popescu (@RodolfoGrimaldi) October 31, 2015
2. Hashtags help you engage with your audience.
Back to examples, imagine you published a photo of a beautiful beach. Your followers who are into, let’s say, #sea, may engage with you by putting ‘like’ on content, and even share it.
— Lucy Purdy (@Loosepea) November 6, 2015
Quick note: Make your account public if you want to be reached. Your posts will not appear in the search results is your account is protected or private, even if you use hashtags.
Now, how can hashtags be a loyal sidekick on social media (AKA how to use a #hashtag)?
Use the hashtag symbol (#) before a keyword or phrase. Think of a keyword or phrase that is likely to be searched and that is related to your post.
Hashtags can be in the beginning, middle or end of a post – #just #do #not #hashtag #your #whole #post #description, and consider that one #word is more likely to be searched than #afewwordstogether.
Besides, you can use hashtags on every social media platform, just remember to mind the #spam – like I said, #dontdothis, #nor this, unless this is a #socialevent, movement or holiday.
— VisitBritain (@VisitBritain) November 5, 2015
Not convinced yet?
It’s OK if you do not want to use hashtags, but consider the following: hashtags are universal, which means that everybody in the world is using them, which makes you and your content more reachable. Moreover, hashtags create engagement – everybody who clicks on a particular #hashtag can see other posts with the same one. That’s why publications with hashtags, independently of the social media platform, have more engagement than those without. For example, tweets with hashtags have twice more engagement than tweets without.
In sum, hashtags can not only put you even more out there, but they can also give you the opportunity to attract new followers, and to engage and interact with your audience.