You hear about #hashtags all the time, but what exactly are they and what do they do? Don’t worry, we are here to explain what they are and how to use them effectively.
What is a Hashtag?
A “hashtag”—or pound sign (#)—can go in front of almost any word or phrase on a social media post. This makes your post easy for people to find when they search for a keyword or hashtag. For example, if you post a picture of your cat on Instagram and put #cat in the caption, people will see your post when they search for the keyword “cat” on Instagram. By making your posts searchable with hashtags, you can drive more traffic to them.
Here are some things to know about hashtags:
- Hashtags turn your word or phrase into a live link that users can click on to see other posts with the same hashtag.
- Hashtags do not contain spaces, even if they contain multiple words. For example, #HappyBirthday would be a valid hashtag. No punctuation or special characters either!
- Hashtags originated on Twitter, but now they are common on other social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and more.
How do you use them?
It can be tempting to use the most popular hashtags or throw in a bunch of them, but that isn’t exactly best practice. You want to use hashtags that are the most relevant to your post. Here are some good hashtag practices to keep in mind:
- More is not always better! It is better to have fewer hashtags that are the most relevant to your post and your target audience.
- It is okay to use trending or popular hashtags, but again, just make sure that it is related to the content you post.
- Use hashtags that are popular in your particular industry.
- Keep your hashtags specific, but not too specific! Get too specific and people may not be able to find you, but if you only use hashtags that are too broad then you may get lost in a sea of other posts.
So, should you be using hashtags? Yes! They make it easier for people to find your posts and they can help to engage your audience. Just be sure to use hashtags wisely by considering their relevance to your content and your audience.