Hashtags are one way to get your content found on social media, but how you use hashtags is changing. In this week’s episode we’re talking about what hashtags are and how to use them effectively on your social media.
What are Hashtags?
Hashtags are key words or phrases that are preceded by the hash symbol. This is the same symbol that is also called the pound key on your phone. When you add this symbol it makes the word or phrase clickable allowing people to easily search for related content with the same hashtag. Twitter is where hashtags started and they’re commonly used there today, as well as on other social media platforms.
Best Practices for Using Hashtags
Hashtags are a great way to help platforms understand the context and content of your posts, especially videos. This means that the platform will associate your posts with similar content or content that explores the same topic.
Gone are the days when you would see many, many hashtags in a given post or comment on platforms like Instagram. In fact, the Head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri recently said, “Please don’t add 50 hashtags to every post. Nobody wants to see that.” So how should you use them and where?
Meta, the parent company for Facebook and Instagram, is transitioning to more of a recommendation or discovery-based algorithm like TikTok. Hashtags are one way to let the platform know what your content is about. In light of this, it may be time to add hashtags in Facebook, especially for your Reels.
Other platforms also use hashtags as a means of discovery. YouTube, TikTok, and Pinterest fall in this category. LinkedIn also is emphasizing hashtags and not just for posts and articles. You can add hashtags for topics to your personal profile as well as your company page.
Make it Relevant to Your Audience
Like a lot of your marketing strategy, you should consider what terms your audience is looking for. Keep it simple and avoid industry jargon unless it applies to your audience. You’ll want to use general hashtags related to your industry. For instance, if you own a travel agency, you’ll use hashtags like #travel and #cruising, but general hashtags have a lot more competition. A combination of general and more niche hashtags works well. Hashtags can be related to your location, brands you sell, your industry, your audience and a description of your content.
Hashtags can be more than one word, and a phrase is a good way to get more specific to your audience. When you use multi-word hashtags don’t include any spaces as that breaks the hashtag. Hashtags are not case-sensitive, but it is good practice to capitalize the first letter of each word in a hashtag. For example, the hashtag #DigitalMarketingResults would be Digital with a capital D, Marketing with a capital M, and Results with a capital R, and no spaces between words. Capitalizing like this improves readability and also makes your content more accessible to users with screen readers.
Don’t Overdo It
You may have seen Instagram posts with a lot of hashtags included, but you really shouldn’t do that. You shouldn’t include more than three to five relevant hashtags in one piece of content.
Hashtags are just one part of your social media strategy, but all your digital marketing efforts need to start with a plan. Do you have a plan in place for creating your content?
Update on our DALL-E Podcast
In today’s podcast we also covered an update to our podcast a few weeks ago where we discussed the DALL-E text to image generator. We discussed some of the controversy surrounding these AI text to image generators.
Well, just after we sent that out, we saw an article about a game designer who has sparked controversy after submitting an image created by an AI text-to-image generator to a state art competition and won first prize! Although the piece was entered in the Digital Arts/Digitally Manipulated Photography category in the Colorado State Fair, the win has people debating whether or not he deceived the judges? What is art? Who owns AI generated images? And, do the AI companies owe anything to the artists whose work they use to train the AI? Stay tuned.