Hashtags – A Basic Understanding
Are you using hashtags to expand your reach on social media? If not, you might should start!
Hashtag? What the heck is a hashtag? You’ve seen it before… maybe as what most of us think of as a pound sign, the symbol that comes in front a number, the symbol we all use to use (many still do, including me! lol) instead of the word number, or literally as what comes behind a number to tell you how many pounds something weighs! That’s right… this “#”. If you’re not using hashtags in your social media posts yet, or if you are new, here’s a little bit about them I hope helps you! This is by NO MEANS advanced expert advice – just information for a basic understanding of what they are and how to get started with them!
Hashtags are searchable topics on social media. They are a word or group of words with no spaces in-between them, no special characters, no punctuation, and the # symbol in front of it. Using relevant and authentic #Hashtags strategically will bring people to you and your brand who may not already be following you or even be aware of you yet.
Hashtags actually started on Twitter but then expanded to Facebook, Google+, even more so on Instagram, and now LinkedIn and Pinterest are coming on board. When someone searches a topic, they can see any post you’ve used that hashtag in. Since they’re usually listed with the newest at the top, if yours is a highly competitive hashtag (which is not necessarily a bad thing), it can sometimes be hard to spot.
Hashtag subjects can be broad such as #Shopping, #Business, #SelfEmployed, or #Entrepreneur, or they may be more on-point like #FacebookBusinessTips, #AvonRep, #BloggerMom, or #HowToHashtag. You can also create your own that represent your very own brand or even a cause that you may want to raise funds or awareness for. When creating a post you’re using hashtags in, I’ve found it’s usually best to use a combination of broad and specific so that you can reach audiences that are new to you and your brand as well as those who already specifically looking for the kinds of products and/or services you have to offer. And remember, every.single.post you put out could be someone’s first impression of you.
The only platforms I use and my personal experience with hashtags has been…
On Facebook, I’ve seen I can use up to about 5 hashtags before the algorithm starts dropping me. I keep reading “reports” that say Facebook penalizes hashtags but my experience has not reflected that. For example, I may have a post with zero hashtags that reach very few or a good bit and the same is said for some of mine that have 5 or 6 hashtags. I’ve come to think it’s not necessarily the number of hashtags I have in it, but maybe a combination in the number of people looking for the content and people looking for the hashtag. Hashtags here must exactly match the search terms people are looking for. If you use them on your personal profile, your post audience setting determines who on Facebook can see it (Friends means only your Friends ca find them and Public means everyone can). In a Closed Group, only those belonging to the Group can search and find them, while anyone can see them in a Public Group. Since all posts on a business Page are public, all of your hashtagged posts there can be found.
On Google+, I usually just stick with the same ones I post on Facebook, although there isn’t really a limit to the number of hashtags you can use. Hashtags here don’t have to exactly match how people are searching and their ranking is based on how popular the hashtag is instead of how recent it is. Also, search results will also show topics *related* to your hashtag. With Google+ hashtags, do try to stick with telling Google what your post is about (ex: #BusinessTips) rather than a location you are at, as those don’t seem to work as well.
On Instagram, you can use up to 30 hashtags in the post and per comment! Instagram can greatly expand your network because of that. If you use your maximum number of hashtags on Instagram, it’s better to either do them at the bottom of the post with a lot of space between your content and the hashtags or for an even cleaner post look, to put them in the comments.
On LinkedIn, hashtags only really became “clickable” this year and are catching the kind of attraction here that they have on other platforms. It’s still not clear how many hashtags to use in a LinkedIn post, so I’ll be sticking with 1-3.
Until VERY recently, Pinterest (which is actually not a social media platform but a search engine) has totally discouraged users from using hashtags unless it was one that was brand-specific. Now, Pinterest seems to finally be gearing up for hashtags! They are beginning to not only have clickable hashtags in Pin descriptions but also pulling up a list of other similar hashtags while you are keying in your hashtag. It is still unclear exactly how we will see them on this platform or how many are recommended, so I’d say for now, start with about 3-5 hashtags. Their algorithm penalizes any Pin it considers spammy, hence a Pin with keyword-stuff hashtags will be down on the totem pole, so to speak so don’t go crazy.
With hashtags and these platforms, experiment for yourself and you’ll start seeing how useful they are! I hope that I’ve at least given you a basic understanding of what hashtags are and how to start using them.
Have a great day! 💋
Wife, Mama, Avon Representative, Mentor, and Fundraiser Specialist
💄 Visit my eStore LipstickShoesAndMore.com, where you can opt-in to receive emails which will let you know about product innovation & information, new product launches, benefits of being an Avon Representative, and more.
💲 Become an Avon Representative at BossLifeForMe.com
👠 Remember! If you would like for me to be your Avon Lady, check your Avon account settings if you haven’t already, to make sure you are registered as an eCustomer with me serving as your Avon Representative. Here’s how to do that.
👗 Connect with Me Online!