How to Use Hashtags: How Many, Best Ones, and Where to Use Them

I have found my self trying to explain Hashtags a lot lately ….. And to be honest most of you all think its the telephone button.

Internet language has evolved considerably over the past few years as social media has taken off. Hashtags are a huge part of this evolution. What once was a telephone button is now a social media phenomenon. No wonder people are confused.

When I’m asked, I tell them that hashtags are a pound sign immediately followed by a keyword. They’re used for categorization on social media. Yes, they can be annoying if overused. And yes, I’ve seen the hashtag video of Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake. So funny by the way!! I’ll just leave this link here… https://www.youtube.com/watch

Hashtags also have the potential to be truly valuable. The stats and info below make a pretty clear case that we should be understanding, using, and appreciating hashtags.

So go get a coffee… and get comfy, your in for a good read!

Research says you should be using hashtags

If you’re looking for a completely cut-and-dry ruling on the topic of hashtags, then here it is:

You should be using hashtags!

The potential of hashtags is truly incredible. What began on Twitter has now spread to Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Google search, and almost everywhere in between. (LinkedIn experimented with hashtags for awhile before giving up.)

The widespread acceptance of hashtags should give you plenty of reason to consider using them.

As ridiculous as hashtags might seem to marketing veterans who remember a time before Twitter and Facebook, the younger generation and potential customers/clients don’t. To them, using hashtags is as natural and common as typing their query into the search box.

Not only could people be typing in your hashtag on a Google search, but they could very well be doing it in Twitter, too. In this sense, a hashtag will make your content viewable by anyone with an interest in your hashtag, regardless of whether they’re part of your clan or not.

A hashtag immediately expands the reach of your tweet beyond just those who follow you, to reach anyone interested in that hashtag phrase or keyword.

But how to use hashtags is a different story completely. How do you find the best ones for your content and make sure you’ve got them in the right number, on the right social network? Let’s break it down.

Hashtags on Twitter

Tweets with hashtags get two times more engagement than tweets without.
Doubling your online engagement is a big deal! Imagine going from four retweets to eight or 10 retweets to 20. And all it takes is a simple # or two?
Apparently so. Although, you’ll want to keep it to no more than two.
When you use more than three hashtags, your engagement actually drops by an average of 17 percent.

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Twitter’s own research into hashtags confirms that there is significant advantage to using them. Individuals can see a 100 percent increase in engagement by using hashtags. Engagement, as measured in these studies, can include clicks, retweets, favorites, and replies, yet if it’s only retweets your after, hashtags still would be a smart bet.

Tweets with one or more hashtag are 55 percent more likely to be retweeted.

Hashtags on Instagram

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Instagram is another hotspot for hashtags, and the good news for those who love to extensively tag photos is that there doesn’t seem to be a saturation point.

Interactions are highest on Instagram posts with 11+ hashtags.

A rule of thumb could be: Don’t sweat your amount of Instagram hashtags.
The best part about this recommendation is that the data comes from a set of users with 1,000 or fewer followers—a group that likely includes small businesses and those just diving in to Instagram. In other words, hashtags could be your best bet for growing a fast following on Instagram. So get at it !

Hashtags on Google+

On Google+, your posts are given hashtags automatically based on their content, but you can also edit them or add your own. Also unique about Google+: You can add hashtags in your comments as well as your post – double the opportunities to be found.
And since Google+ is Google’s social network, hashtags are now built right into Google searches. If you type in a hashtag search, you’ll get the normal search results plus a sidebar of relevant Google+ posts. Hashtags have truly arrived!

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Google+’s “related hashtags” also offer smart marketers a brainstorming opportunity to discover new content ideas and gauge interest level in specific topics.

Takeaways

Hopefully you’ve learned the value of hashtags here and a few neat ideas on how to find some to use in your social sharing. If you’re looking for a simple rule of thumb for hashtagging posts, I think there’s a lot of truth here.

Rule of thumb: 1 – 3 tags is best over all platforms.

#openhouse #coldwellbanker #coldwellbankerontrack #centralalberta #albertarealestate #centralalbertarealestate #realtor

  • Twitter: to categorize

  • Pinterest: to brand, and be specific (tags are only clickable in pin descriptions)

  • Instagram: to build community, and be unique/detailed

  • Google+: to categorize; auto-generates tags based on what it thinks your post is most relevant to

  • Facebook: sort of a hashtag fail – if your audience is very business-minded, follow Twitter rules; if it is community-oriented, follow Pinterest/Instagram rules

What hashtags do you routinely use on social edia? I’d love to hear how you’ve put hashtags to work in your social media strategy.

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