Nowadays Hashtags are everywhere. Lots of people use them on daily basis and some overdo it. Keep on reading to learn the basics of hashtagging and hashtag etiquette.
So what are the Hashtags?
We will not go into much detail but the basics you should know is that hashtags are used for labeling content on social media. You can think of them as labels attached to a given post. For example, you may see a picture of a Christmas tree on Instagram, labeled with #christmas. Yes, we all know that this picture is connected with Christmas but this hashtag allows you to see all posts labeled with #christmas. You just need to click on the hashtag.
But why do you use the # symbol?
The # symbol or the hash symbol (number symbol) is used in order to differentiate between the ordinary words and those used as hashtags. For example, if you write Christmas it would simply mean the English word but if you add # to it, it would become a hashtag. Note, that you should add # to the word without space in between. Also, if your hashtag is composed of 2 or more words you should not add space in between the words.
Where can I use hashtags?
Although, hashtags have been used before in chat clients such as mIRC in 90s, they did not become widely popular up until 2007 when Twitter began using them. Nowadays you can see hashtags on almost all social networks including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+, Pinterest and others. Everywhere, hashtags are used in the same way, although some social networks use them more extensively than others. A great examples of this are Twitter and Instagram.
Why should I use hashtags?
- For popularizing content. By using a hashtag, your post becomes visible for all people who browse through the same tag even if they are not your followers.
- You can use hashtags for directing your posts to people interested in a given topic. For example, you may want to make a survey for people who ride snowboard. By adding the #snowboard you would get access to people interested in the topic.
- Branding – You can create a hashtag for your brand and use to increase brand awareness.
- Social Causes/Non-profit – You can use hashtags to increase awareness for a social issue or charity campaigns.
There are many popular hashtags and you can find all kinds of hashtag lists by doing a Google search. You should know that there are hashtags which spike in popularity depending on the time of year. For example, #christmas and #snowboarding would spike in popularity during the winter months. Also, there would be newly created hashtags on a given topic that would get huge popularity when the topic is “hot” and drop when the topic “fades” away.
You can find an interactive map on the most popular hashtags at the moment on TrendsMap.
We all have seen those people who use 20 hashtags at the same time. It is very annoying. This is why it is best to follow an etiquette when using hashtags.
- Use hashtags which correspond to the topic of your content.
- Avoid using more than 5 hashtags.
- Avoid using hashtags with too many symbols.
- Avoid using hashtags which include lots of words in them.