How it works: The Hashtag (#)

At Squirrels&Bears we believe in simplicity and we like to provide clear answers to your questions. In our #howitworks series we focus on simple explanations of various aspects of small business, highlighting the basic facts, what works and what doesn’t work. And we hope to make your life a little easier.

The basics:

  • A hashtag is a word or phrase preceded by a hash sign (#) used on social media to identify content on a specific topic.
  • Hashtags are public – people don’t need to be your followers in order to find your content.
  • Hashtags can make a big difference to your social media marketing. If used correctly, they have a power to make your social media posts and profiles more visible and popular.
  • When you add a hashtag to a post, it can be indexed by the social media network and be searchable by other users; and when clicked, a hashtag will bring you to a page with aggregated posts with that hashtag.
  • A recent research shows that almost 75% of people on social media use hashtags, however when used inappropriately, hashtags can have a negative impact on your small business – on Twitter, tweets using more than two hashtags see a noticeable drop in engagement.

Do:

  • Keep your hashtags relevant – only use hashtags where it makes sense and pick those that are most relevant to your post.
  • Use hashtags that are already trending .
  • Use space between hashtags – sometimes posts will merge a number of hashtags, making these impossible to index.
  • Make your hashtag specific to the audience you are trying to attract.
  • Be specific, even if that means that you are restricting your reach – it’s more important to be found be the right people than focusing on volume.
  • Measure the performance of your posts and most engaged hashtags.

Don’t:

  • Use 30 hashtags in every post.
  • Turn every word in your post into a hashtag.
  • Use too many words in one hashtag – people use hashtags to discover your content so keep them short, using keywords people are likely to search for.

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