All about hashtags.

Hashtags… they’ve been around since the inception of Twitter, but how many of us use them? And if we are using them, how do we know we’re using them properly?

The following are some tidbits with respect to the use of hashtags and social media. Please keep in mind that people have vastly different opinions with respect to how to use hashtags and what they’re important for, so if you disagree with my thoughts that is totally okay. Do what you believe is best for your blog and take these as nothing more than suggestions.

Also, if you’re not seeking social media growth, this post likely won’t have any relevance to you, so you can stop reading right here.

What is a hashtag?
A hashtag is a label used on social media sites to make it easier for people to find content within a theme, when one is looking for specific content.

Why use a hashtag?
Plain and simply, hashtags work. If you want your Instagram, Twitter or Facebook post to be seen, a hashtag provides the opportunity for more people than just your followers to find it. Hashtags help you build a brand, engage with new people, readers, customers (depending on what you’re using your social media profiles for) and grow your profile.

General tidbits with respect to hashtags:

  1. Don’t be an asshole. If you’re posting a photo of a waterfall, don’t tag your photo #JustinBieber. If you’re posting a tweet that contains parenting advice, don’t tag your post #CurlyHair. These hashtags aren’t relevant. And, with enough shit to weed through on social media already, you’ll likely not garner any new readers/viewers by misusing hashtags, and piss off the ones you’ve got because they’ll get annoyed reading your misusing of hashtags.
  2. On Twitter – stick to using only one or two hashtags per tweet. You can differ from tweet to tweet, but don’t fill a single tweet with ten hashtags. People who do stumble across said tweet with ten hashtags are likely to scroll right past it because there are too many hashtags.
  3. On Instagram – you’re able to post up to thirty hashtags per one photo. You don’t need to post a full thirty hashtags, but, the option is there if you would like to. Typically, 10-15 is a good place to start. Whichever hashtags you select, choose some extremely popular ones, and some less popular ones. A variation between the two means that, for the popular hashtag you run the chance of a lot of people seeing your post immediately, and that for the less popular hashtag, your post has the chance of staying at top of page (or near top) for longer.
  4. On Instagram – post your hashtags in your caption, not in your first comment. People tend to argue about this suggestion often, but I stick to my opinion, and Forbes agrees. (HAHA) Honestly though, the moment you post a photo to Instagram, your photo is being inserted into the Instagram Algorithm. Even if it only takes you two minutes to go in and add your hashtags to the first comment, that’s two minutes the algorithm has been placing your photo that your hashtags haven’t been helping. People say it looks prettier to post hashtags in the comment, versus the caption. What I say to that, though, is that hashtags are meant to be functional, not beautiful. Furthermore, if you’re posting ads or sponsored content on Instagram, that notification of #AD needs to be front and centre for people to see so they know the content they’re viewing was bought and paid for.
  5. On Facebook – stick to hashtags that are in line with your branding. Facebook is the platform in which hashtags are used the least of all social media platforms. For this reason, I would recommend you keep your hashtags related to your branding. Using my blog for example, the advice would be to skip tagging #Anxiety and use #MillennialLifeCrisis instead.

What is a branding hashtag and what can it do?
A branding hashtag is something specific to you and your blog, or you and your business. This is something that you use across all platforms that you belong to, as a means for cohesive integration between all platforms. Branding hashtags can be as simple as your blog’s name.

Say, for instance your blog name is ‘Blog of the Wolf Boy‘ (using you as an example, Mathew, because it was the first thing that came to mind!), a branding hashtag for any posts that you made on social media could be as simple as #BlogOfTheWolfBoy. If you have a twitter account, an instagram account a facebook account, etc… using #BlogOfTheWolfBoy across all platforms can help each of these platforms appear when someone googles Blog Of The Wolf Boy.

Perhaps you have an Instagram account under the same name as your blog. When you google your blog’s name, does your Instagram account appear second or third or fourth on the list? If not, a hashtag specifically branded to your blog could help with this.

An example of a brand that uses this practice is Oreo. If you google #Oreo, the first few pages that come up are their website, their twitter account and their instagram account. Yes, they are a massive company, but if you’re looking for blog growth, imagine how convenient it would be to have all of your links appear just like Oreo’s does when someone is trying to find you!

If you want to make the most out of your hashtags, I recommend doing your research. Every industry, ever blog niche, every culture, has valuable hashtags and hashtags that aren’t worth much of anything. If you want to make the most out of your posts and are seeking growth on your social media platforms, then do some research about what popular hashtags are used within your niche. There are plenty of websites that will rank hashtags if you put in buzzwords. IE: You’d type in “Mom” and it would give you a list of the top 50 hashtags that contain the word “Mom”… such as #MomLife, #MomBlog, #Momageddon, and so on and so forth.

Good luck!

37 thoughts on “All about hashtags.

  1. I never even thought about using hashtags until your last post where you suggested using them. I started using them over the weekend and already had people who don’t follow my Twitter account find it and comment on things. I also just wanted to thank you for all the advice you give, it’s really useful and has helped me loads so far 😊

    Liked by 2 people

  2. hashtags are similar to meta tags, basically how you want to be found lol, sounds easier said the done, when I joined IG I had to learn in a hurry the trendy # for simple things like crafts # makersgonnamake #makermom #handmade etc etc …great post btw

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes! It’s so important to learn the tags related to the category you’re working with. #Crafts is relevant, yes, but there are other, possibly more relevant ones to work with!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. They help you to get your stuff noticed, but I’ve noticed on WordPress that certain people like every single post with a certain hashtag without even reading it, just to promote themselves, which I find fucking annoying lol.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I see too many people abusing those hashtags and baiting for clicks. Some are too popular and your stuff gets lost in the sea of other hashtags. While others are too narrow. No one will search for them. I never got around to liking hashtags, but I do use them in hopes to remain somewhat relevant.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You’re absolutely right. This is I think why people try so hard to have a mixture. For instance, right now on Instagram:

      #Travel is extremely saturated because so many people are looking at it, so your post would be near top of page for a few seconds, or a minute at most. But, you run the possibility of a lot of people seeing it. Right now, #Travel has more than 10 million recent posts, so staying top of page won’t be long, at all.

      #TravelCanada or #Travel(Area you’re travelling) is a much smaller, less saturated but very relevant hashtag to what you could be sharing. Your post or photo could remain at top of page for a much longer period of time. #TravelCanada has half a million posts and your post could stay top of page for an hour!

      P.S. You’re always relevant.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey, thank you for this note. It means a lot!

      The way I figure, this information is wasted if I simply keep it for myself. There’s no reason why we all can’t grow and thrive through use of strategic tactics. Keep on keepin’ on and thank you again for you kindness. Made me smile tonight, and I needed that. ❤

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Twitter is an interesting challenge. I followed your advice to put our social media links all over our company website. While I was at it, I set up an official company Twitter. I set about liking as many posts under #mental health and similar as possible. But it dawned on me – unless they live in my state it doesn’t matter. I want follows in my state for client business and job candidates. How will I find everybody in WA USA who is interested in substance abuse and mental health? Can you search 2 hashtags at the same time, like a meta-search? As far as I can tell, my liking and following everything tagged mental health internationally and getting follows that way can only make the company look more legit perhaps, but won’t help us if the end goal is to get business and job candidates within my state.

    Like

    1. I think reaching job candidates is a good goal to have, otherwise brand awareness is a good goal to have. With respect to your business and your industry, you could try to drum up business from it, but I don’t know that you’d ever have much luck. When people need what your company offers, social media isn’t likely where they’re going to be looking for it.

      I haven’t been to your page since I sent you that email, but it sounds like, from this message, you’re making strides.

      Also – doo keep in mind that, while you might not be able to hire Canadians (sobs), you can hire people from all across the country. So you don’t necessarily have to narrow your scope… unless there’s a company policy of hiring local? I don’t know. Anyways, thanks for leaving this comment for me and providing me a much needed distraction tonight. I’m so glad you’re getting in the marketing spirit. It makes me happy!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. So in other words liking, retweeting other people’s stuff that I like, and following people who live everywhere is fine because it’s brand awareness and that should be my focus. Think I get it. As far as job candidates, we usually need roles filled yesterday so it’s better if they are in WA state. Probably the Twitter link being on our website will help eventually. I’m just impatient. 🙂 I am glad this makes you happy! Hope you have a great night and weekend.

        Like

    1. WordPress has it’s own version of hashtags in ‘Tags’. Tags on each individual post will make said post more visible to the wordpress community. When you’re writing a post and you determine the time you want it scheduled, it’ll ask you for tags and categories. Tags is where you will tag ‘Anxiety’ or ‘Basketball’ or ‘Cartography’ or whatever you’re writing about. No ‘#’ symbol included because those are null and void on the wordpress platform.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s