Why is Hashtags Important?
Hashtags hashtags everywhere, do they still fare? Over the past decade, hashtags have become a necessity on major platforms like Instagram, Twitter, Youtube and other social media platforms. Nowadays it’s rare to find a post on these platforms without using at least one hashtag. While the importance of hashtags differs from app to app, the general meaning, context and usage remain quite the same.
In this guide, you’ll find a perfect overview for people just getting started with hashtags.
Hashtags were first used in 2007 and since then twitter made it their go-to way to group tweets. Its popularity and reach have increased enormously.
What is a Hashtag?
Hashtags are words written after the Hash/ octothorpe sign (#) . It’s basically a topic, for example, #digitalmarketing will include all posts/videos that fall under the umbrella term of #digitalmarketing. It’s a way to group content around topics so it’s easier to find them.
We can also view hashtags as a conversation/discussion, so the next time you use hashtags, remind yourself that you’re entering/ being a part of a discussion around your topic through your post and it’ll make more sense then.
Basics of Hashtags you should know before using them-
- They always start with the # symbol
- No spaces, symbols and punctuations are allowed
- Make your account public, if it’s personal they don’t count
- Don’t use random trending hashtags that are irrelevant to your topic
- Keep them small, avoid using too many big words
Let’s do a quick activity, check whether these given hashtags are valid or not-[ #selflove, #self love, #$dollar, #dollar, #longlivedigitalmarketingcommunity_22 , #longlivedigitalmarketingcommunity22 ]
|Is a Hashtag||Not a Hashtag|
|#selflove||#self love The space in between makes it into two parts- #self and the word love|
|#dollar||#$dollar Symbols ain’t allowed|
|#longlivedigitalmarketingcommunity22 While it may be considered, it’s way too long to be remembered or used by many||#longlivedigitalmarketingcommunity_22 (-) symbol not allowed|
Hashtags help in being known, growing organically and standing out while participating in important discussions. While some may find them rather confusing, spammy or irrelevant to the content strategy, hashtags have proven to be effective provided that you use them correctly.
How do Hashtags help in the social media game?
- Building Brand awareness with branded hashtags
- Promote your products or services.
- Increase engagement with your followers
- Keep up with trends
- Support social causes
- Joining conversations
- Contextualising content
The general rule of hashtags is to not overdo It and run after the super trending ones as it seems spammy, especially when it is irrelevant and unnecessary to the posted content.
How to use Hashtags for Organic Reach?
When you post a piece of content under a specific hashtag, it becomes discoverable for people who are searching for similar hashtags or that particular one.
You need to have a group of popular hashtags that work well for your competitors and your page.
While it requires some research and some form of experimenting; this is the only way to update, especially when starting.
Research the trending hashtags in your niche, make a note of the ones working for your competitors and check the hashtag number and how many people follow it.
The more the merrier concept can backfire. Always use minimum hashtags that are above 1M as they are overpopulated with content and can reduce the chances of your content being discovered as new and new content keeps joining ie. Getting added to the hashtag.
Try experimenting with a couple of different bunch of hashtags for a week and then with an in-built or external insights tool, analyse the reach and other KPI factors.
If it does not benefit then continue with the research and try out the new ones till it is satisfactory for your niche. That being said, not every piece of content is the same and hence, not all can have the exact same set of hashtags. It is a good practice to have a base hashtag list and then keep updating it as per the content on hand.
Hashtags can seem a bit daunting at first but when understood, they’re an easy way to grow organically on multiple platforms.