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Using Hashtags On Social Media

Hashtag Hacks: Hashtags for different platforms

Hashtags are great for business. They can help you market your company, spread awareness and create online communities – but not all hashtags are created equal.

Knowing the basics of hashtags is vital. It’s important to choose the right hashtag, and the right number of hashtags, for the right post – and this will depend on which social media platform you’re using.

Twitter

The first ever social media hashtag was used on Twitter in 2007 and since then Twitter has remained the spiritual home of the hashtag.


Here are a few tips for hashtagging on Twitter:

Only use one or two hashtags per tweet
Tweets with one or two hashtags outperform all others. Anything more than a couple of hashtags per tweet looks cluttered and unprofessional. Less is more.

Keep it brief
To avoid getting caught out by Twitter’s character limit, keep hashtags short and use acronyms or abbreviations where appropriate – aim for ten characters or less. You can also conserve characters by incorporating hashtags into your post, rather than putting them at the end.

Stay on topic
Keep your hashtags relevant to your post. A hashtag’s purpose is to categorise your tweet and make it easy to find. There’s nothing more frustrating than having irrelevant posts pop up in your search results and other users will not thank you for it.

Trending topics
Find out which hashtags are trending on Twitter by searching its trends section. Posting about a trending topic is a great way to get extra exposure, but it is crucial to only use trending hashtags when appropriate; spamming trending topics is highly unprofessional.

Instagram

Alongside Twitter, Instagram is one of the best social media platforms for hashtags. To give your Instagram posts a boost remember to:

Use plenty of hashtags
Unlike Twitter or Facebook, Instagram posts thrive on hashtags. The maximum allowed by Instagram is 30 per post, with studies showing that for users with more than 1000 followers, five or six hashtags work best, while for users with fewer than 1000 followers, posts with 11 or more hashtags gain the most interaction.

Place hashtags at the end of captions
Hashtags are typically added en masse at the end of captions or comments, rather than (or as well as) incorporated into the post.

For example:
Photographing #NewcastleBeach at sunrise is always worth the early start #sunrise #Newcastle #beach #surf #photography #longexposure #dawn #ocean #landscape #NewcastlePhotography

Check out the competition
Find out which hashtags other people in your industry are using – which ones are successful? There’s nothing wrong with getting inspiration from other Instagram users.

Utilise the search function
Find hashtags related to your keywords or topics using the Instagram search bar. Instagram will display a list of hashtags related to your search, and the number of times each hashtag has been used. This is an easy way to find popular hashtags relevant to you.

Facebook

Hashtags on Facebook are used mainly to categorise conversations, but not everyone is convinced that they’re useful. When using hashtags on Facebook you should:

Use one or two hashtags per post
Although Facebook doesn’t have the restrictive character limit of Twitter, only using a couple of hashtags is still best practice.

Monitor your posts
Hashtags have yielded mixed results for Facebook users. Keep track of your Facebook posts; if the hashtags you’re using aren’t improving your performance try something different.

Keep track of trending topics
Facebook shows which topics are trending in categories such as news, sport and entertainment. Remember the golden rule when using trending hashtags and only use them if they are relevant to you and your post.

LinkedIn

Hashtags are a great way to increase your visibility, expand your network and get included in search results on LinkedIn. Be sure to:

Incorporate hashtags
Include hashtags in your profile, comments, status updates, company pages and articles to help them gain visibility. It’s okay to use four or five hashtags, just be sure to keep posts neat by separating hashtags from the body of your status updates or comments.

Keep track of hashtags
Monitor hashtags relevant to your industry so you can easily join in conversations.

Follow the best practices for each social media platform and you’ll come across as a true #professional #hashtagger in no time.

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