Originally, hashtags are used by Twitter to categorize messages. The new era of Social Media Interface emerged and found that a simple hashtag can be used to sort social media contents into one stream of metadata tags. Hashtag helps categorize every post (#love, #eating), photos (#ootd, #foodporn), and as well as videos (#FilipinoVines, #DubSmash).
With all these being said, it is essential for us to utilize this tool to reach out to more targeted audiences or to find a group of like-minded people. But before we go further, let’s get down to basics first.
What is a hashtag?
It is a marker which is commonly used in social media sites to easily categorize topics or discussions. A hash or number sign (#) is used.
How to use it?
Simply place the hash (or number) sign # at the beginning of the word. If it is for a phrase, make sure that there are no spaces. Do capitalize the first letter of each word, to make it easily understood.
Seems easy right? Let’s proceed on the 4 ways to use hashtag effectively.
1. Focus on your keywords or topics.
Sometimes, we tend to be quite lazy and just hashtag along the way. This will become a wasted effort, especially if you are trying to reach specific audiences. A broad word or topic can spawn an overwhelming number of posts and you can get lost easily along the way.
Example: I’ve checked #travel and it generated 65,704,895 posts in Instagram.
I would like to target travel-related topic in the Philippines, so I checked #PHtravel.
Noticed how a single letter can make a difference? #phtravel generated 2,891 posts compared to #phtravels which is 1,077. #travelph however, is entirely different for it generated 336,587 posts.
2. Make it simple.
Simple and less complicated hashtags have more chances of being searched and used so let’s keep hashtags simple. Going back to the previous examples, the phrases are relatively short.
3. Not all words are hashtag material.
Remember, hashtag is used to create topics and not to make a point. I’ve seen this mistake way too often. I think the picture above is the perfect example. As a golden rule, limit your hashtag for maximum 5 related topics per post.
4. Be consistent.
Consistency helps in branding, for it helps you to build up audiences, check your previous posts, and easier recognition. This helps when you want to create your own hashtag for your business or events.
Where can we use hashtags?
This brilliant little symbol hailed originally via Twitter. These days, other social media sites such as Instagram, Tumblr and Pinterest. Facebook also implemented the use of hashtag but it has not been that popular compared to the other sites.
So there! After reading this, I hope you can start utilizing hashtags especially if you want to reach out to more audience.
Feature image credit: pixabay.com
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