Are You Down With The Hashtag?

Hashtags (#) that little pound symbol that once was exclusively for touch tone phones. It’s a talented little symbol. It is the symbol that could make or break your online presence.

Before we delve into how a hashtag can help and hurt your posts. Let’s look at the purpose.

A hashtag is the symbol, followed by keywords. Online bloggers have been using keywords to highlight their blog posts for years. Long before the use of hashtags came onto the social media scene. What does a keyword do? Keywords are signals to search engines that describe the contents of the page. If you are writing a blog post reviewing new a restaurant you would use keywords that relate to the topic.

Example: Food, Review, Restaurant, OKC, New Eatery

Keywords are what your potential readers search for when looking up a new place to eat in their city. It helps get your website or blog visibility.

In the case of hashtags, it works in pretty much the same way. The difference is a hashtag is how the system reads the keyword(s). The algorithms on the social media site are set to collect the data when a hashtag is used. The hashtag is flagged and made searchable in the site’s system. Hashtags that are popular or trending and will appear on the front page of a Newsfeed or search area.

How Can a Hashtag Hurt My Posts?

Using the wrong hashtags will keep potential followers from finding you. Think about what your posts is about and what kind of followers you want to gain. Who is your potential audience? Using popular hashtags and common sense can help to increase your visibility. If you post about your zombie film and the production process, you would not use hashtags that do not fit your genre or your potential audience: #romcom #getthegirl #runnerspirit. Okay, those hashtag examples would be pretty hilarious for a zombie film post. Hilarity aside, would those hashtags be something your potential audience search for? There is a good chance they are not. Unless they have the same sense of humor as you do.

Hashtags that make sense: #zombiefilm #romero #filmproduction.

All three hashtags make sense for your genre.

Hashtags – Could They Hurt Your Online Presence?

Using too many or too little hashtags can either make you invisible or annoying? What’s the right amount? The magic number varies on each platform.

Let’s look at the top three social media platforms:

Facebook – despite the implementation of hashtags, they will be useless to you. Their algorithms aren’t set for hashtags. It’s a pay to play type scenario. The more you pay to boost a post, the more engagement you will see. Despite the potential cost of boosted posts to achieve engagement numbers, you can find ways around this issue. Once you do you can have direct interaction with followers.

Twitter – let’s face it, Twitter is the place to hashtag. Limiting your hashtags to two per post will actually boost your exposure. Using more hashtags on that tweet? Will actually reduce your engagement by almost 17%

Instagram – IG has its hashtag game face on. The highest engagement on posts is a whopping 11+ hashtag. Before you go hashtag crazy on that next photo of your vegan tofu pho with Brussels sprout chips, check out what is trending. Be smart with your hashtag usage.

So, What Hashtags Should You Use?

Stick to the basics. I like to use a little acronym for moments like this – K.I.S. or Keep It Simple.

Do some research, check out other businesses and their profiles. Look at profiles that have a fair amount of post engagements. Keep a little journal of hashtags that may work for you. It’s a great go-to reference when you aren’t sure.

If you are needing a consultant or social media manager – contact me today!

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