They have been used in numerous social media networks for years, and there is a lot of hype surrounding them. On Instagram, they are indispensable … just as little as in Twitter. We are talking about: hashtags!
But what about Facebook and other social media like Pinterest and LinkedIn? Are they often used there? And what do I have to pay attention to when using hashtags? What do hashtags bring?
I will answer these questions here in this SwaCash article.
The word “hashtag” is made up of hash – the English word for the classic double-cross “#” and tag – which generally describes a simple marker. That means in a hashtag, you link the following expression with the rhombus.
The benefits of hashtags
The hashtag, therefore, turns the terms you enter into a keyword that others are looking for and can follow permanently in specific networks such as Instagram – just like a company or an influencer. In this way, these users become followers of a hashtag. If your social media post is equipped with hashtags, this can increase the reach of your post, improve interactions and likes and, ideally, generate followers for your profile as well as traffic and sales to your website.
But not every social network is focused on hashtags, which means you can’t search for it. You can find out which are in the article below under “Hashtags in the various platforms.” So you should read on!
The correct use of hashtags
Hashtags with punctuation marks? Not a good idea!
Using hashtags is extremely easy. In front of every word that you find necessary and want to mark as a keyword, you simply put a diamond, and it is highlighted in blue and thus marked. Nevertheless, there are some things to consider when using:
For example, markings are generally interrupted by individual characters and spaces. Accordingly, your hashtag should only consist of letters and numbers. Umlauts like ä, ü, and ö are not a problem.
An example of this would look like this:
V #vegan food: Here, only the word vegan would be linked as a hashtag, and food would be disregarded.
V #veganfood: This is how a hashtag is used correctly! Here both parts of the word are taken into account by the social media network and marked utterly.
Smileys? Possible, but # recommended is something else…
Postponing smiley is possible on Instagram. The only question is how sensible it is and whether an emoji hashtag brings you anything. After all, you want to use the hashtags to bring new and relevant reach to your corresponding posts, right? And how generic is a # ♥ ️ , please? This can include every conceivable type of content such as cat videos, family vacations together, the new beloved car, which was long overdue or the successful, merry Christmas party with colleagues. This has nothing more or in the slightest case with a lot of luck with your business, and then you spend energy on reaching an irrelevant target group.
#Relevance before #reach !?
As I just mentioned, when using hashtags, it is essential to address relevant target people with the right hashtags that fit your company. Of course, we are tempted to get the fast reach through followers and to use generic hashtags like #love, #ootd, or #food, on which the users’ attention is extreme.
However, these ranges are rarely permanent because they bring followers to your posts who are not interested in your topic. They usually notice this relatively quickly and follow you again. So you increased your reach, but there were still no interactions, traffic, or sales. The algorithm of most social media networks also recognizes this.
The consequence of this? Your postings will be downgraded, and they will no longer receive much attention – not even in your relevant target group. You only cut yourself into your meat.
Therefore, when using hashtags – and you should generally always take this to heart – relevance comes before reach!
Still, using one or two general hashtags can be helpful. This can help to generate reach, especially for small accounts. We, therefore, recommend a sophisticated strategy that includes a mix of many hashtags specific to your target group and one or two generic hashtags.
Of course, you can also try to establish a local connection by adding local hashtags to your posts such as #frankfurt or #wiesbaden, and branded hashtags are also useful if you want to develop your brand in the network. Is there a slogan for your brand? You can then mark this or only the brand name as a hashtag.
❗️ Hashtag research is essential to keep up-to-date with hip and appropriate hashtags.
❗️ Use the opportunities that individual networks offer you, such as following specific hashtags on Instagram, to be able to identify trends early.
❗️ Observe the hashtag set of your competitors and integrate possible right hashtags into your posts yourself.
❗️ If you need more inspiration for hashtags, you can also use tools such as Likeometer.
❗️ Update your hashtag set regularly to avoid the appearance of automation. Otherwise, you run the risk of being punished by individual networks.
The number of hashtags?
The number of hashtags is, of course, dependent on the corresponding social media network. While you can use a lot of hashtags (maximum 30 pieces) on Instagram, the number of tags in Twitter is limited due to the character limit of 280 characters.For Instagram, opinions are simply extremely different. During my research, I read articles that recommended 7 to 8 hashtags. Others favored the maximum number of 30 hashtags , and still, others did not make a statement can.
What are the arguments against maximum use of the hashtags?
For some users, the superstition has become established that posts with a maximum number of hashtags could be spam posts, which Instagram could punish by reducing the reach.
So what speaks against minimal use of hashtags?
This is opposed to the view that minimal use does not bring enough reach to the posts to achieve the desired actions.
Of course, the decision again depends on the size of the profile. If ranges already exist, the principle “less is more” can be useful. However, if you are not yet able to access a field, the use of many hashtags may be helpful.
Unfortunately, there is no general solution here. It’s best to test out different recommendations for yourself and see what works best for you. After all, every company is structured differently, has different content formats, has differentiated target groups … In other words, the initial situation is never the same, and therefore this can result in different results!
Hashtags in the different platforms
Every social network has its peculiarities. To use the platform as best as possible for your goals, you should also adapt to them as far as possible. Part of it is deciding whether to use hashtags or not.
The hashtag comes from Twitter. This social media platform introduced the hashtag in 2007 and is, therefore, a pioneer. A separate search for hashtags confirms their importance for the network.
Twitter uses hashtags to help structure the fast-moving content on the platform and thus provide the most relevant discussions.
The limit of 280 characters also limits the number of hashtags used. A tweet should never be overloaded with tags and, ideally, only have one or two keywords.
In principle, it is possible to equip your posts with hashtags on Facebook – but it is rarely not used. The use of hashtags on Facebook is, therefore, comparatively low. The ability to share Instagram posts on Facebook means that the hashtag number of individual posts increases suddenly. However, users immediately recognize that the original post was created on Instagram and is not native to Facebook. You can’t see all of the hashtags on the platform to a minimal extent. At most, hashtags are used in posts to highlight a catchword visually.
Because the studies on this topic agree: hashtags hurt Facebook posts. Of course, you can also test yourself here and draw your learnings from it. However, you are very likely to get the same result as other advertisers.
I certainly don’t need to mention it: Instagram loves hashtags! Instagram supports this through numerous functions such as the hashtag search, where users can search for all kinds of content with hashtags, the possibility to place hashtags in stories, or the number of times you liked posts with a specific hashtag this week Use hashtags.
In particular, placing the hashtag function in the stories should be used. In this placement, you can only add a higher-level hashtag. With the standard text editor, you can add ten more keywords. A little tip: You can hide these additional tags well under a GIF or a sticker if the story otherwise seems overloaded. Your account may then appear in the hashtag story:
Since 2017 there has been an official statement from Pinterest that hashtags are now also permitted on their platform. Here too, the hashtags help the network sort the existing content into subject areas.
Currently, 20 hashtags can be set per pin. However, this is not recommended! Better use two to eight relevant tags and avoid popular keywords so as not to be excluded from Pinterest. So here applies: less is more!
The same applies to LinkedIn as to Twitter. Here, the installation of hashtags is also possible and also desired. There is also a hashtag search, and followers can customize their newsfeed using hashtags.
However, you should limit your hashtags to a few words, so as not to be declared as spam and punished by the LinkedIn algorithm.
These are the most critical hashtags for you
Of course, every industry has different hashtags that you should focus on: So which hashtags should you use?
Before you start hashtagging, it’s essential to keep an eye on your competition. Which hashtags does your direct competitor use? Here you can undoubtedly learn a few useful tags and apply them yourself.
Also, you should ask yourself what your most relevant keywords in SEO are. You can also use these as hashtags. But always pay attention to the direct relevance to the actual post.
My next tip is definitely: Use the different functions of the platforms. For example, Instagram and Co. will give you help or two to find your right hashtags. On the one hand, you will receive suggestions for tags as soon as you start entering a hashtag. The function also shows you the number of posts that have been posted with the hashtag. This helps you to assess whether it is a generic or a specific hashtag.
On the other hand, you get inspiration on hashtags on LinkedIn that you can follow. Why shouldn’t these tags be relevant for your posting? Otherwise, tools like Likeometer or tagsfinder.com help. If you use a hashtag set, always adapt it to avoid the impression of automation.
Surely you can also come up with hashtags yourself. But with such tags, always pay attention to the range and the benefit that stands for you. With branded hashtags, however, this makes sense, because after all, they are nothing else than deliberate hashtags. Establishing such hashtags is a lengthy process. Such a project is not always successful. An example of an organized campaign hashtag is #Metoo. A great example of a successful hashtag from a global company is Disney.
The #success formula?
Of course, there is no general strategy here that can be used by everyone. Every company has to do hashtag research and develop a plan to generate more followers. The key to success, however, is to combine high-quality content with stimulating advertising materials and suitable hashtags that reflect the contribution and are tailored to your business and your followers. Coupled with high relevance and added value for the target group, each algorithm of the individual social media networks, especially Instagram and Facebook, classify your posts higher. This will get you more attention, and ideally, your most important KPIs will also increase.