You must have come across a common question- ‘What is a Hashtag for‘, usually while working online on social media platforms. Who knew, what was once called a pound sign to call a family member would become an important symbol of social media today known as the hashtag. Hashtags (#) are a poking tool used on social media to make it easier to find posts with similar themes or specific content. Many people use hashtags to reach their target audience and help their members filter through the information.
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A hashtag is a metadata tag preceded by a hash symbol, # widely used for blogging and sharing on social media platforms. It has become an important linking tool for similar posts or content on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube, enabling cross-referencing of content in the form of user-generated tagging. For example, a search within Instagram for the hashtag #financial returns all posts tagged with that hashtag. After the initial hash symbol, hashtags can include letters, numbers, and underscores.
You will be surprised to know that it was made about 15 years ago. The use of the hashtag was first proposed by American blogger, product consultant and speaker Chris Messina in his 2007 tweet. Messina did not attempt to patent the use because he thought it was an Internet-generated product. The first published use of the term “hashtag” was reported by Stowe Boyd in a blog post on 26 August 2007. In 2013, Twitter reportedly told the Wall Street Journal that “these things are for nerds and their use will not be widely adopted”.
By the end of a decade after they existed, however, hashtags became popular in the culture of online platforms, and they soon emerged on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. In June 2014, the hashtag was added to the Oxford English Dictionary “with the # symbol in front of a word or phrase used on social media websites and apps to allow you to search for all messages with the same subject”.
Ever since hashtags came into play, it has become very rare to see social media posts that don’t use them, especially on Twitter and Instagram. It was first used to group and classify and has become increasingly popular from there. Hashtags have become an exceptional marketing tool not only for businesses, but also for organizations, celebrities, and individual people who want to grow their following.
Hashtags are important for many reasons. For example, using hashtags helps with your branding and marketing. If you are an entrepreneur or small business owner, you can use hashtags on your podcasts, posts or articles related to your branding or product marketing. For example- Let’s say you are a currency trader who posts videos on forex trading tutorials on Youtube every Monday. Let’s say your video is titled- “Forex trading for beginners”.
A popular hashtag for this post would be “#forextradingforbeginers”. Did you notice that I didn’t use spaces to separate words in my hashtags? Why? Well, it is like a URL that links all your related videos, posts or articles all over the internet with a common hashtag that can help your followers to find your content easily just by clicking on it. These videos can be shared anywhere on the internet using the same hashtag.
This is a great way to brand yourself or advertise your products or services by making your content easily searchable anywhere on the Internet. Not only do personalized hashtags work well to get your work done easily, but you can also capture a wider area of your followers by using popular hashtags like ‘#forextrading’ in your posts. However, it is always advisable to do some keyword research before creating your specific hashtag.
When it comes to doing keyword research for your hashtags, you must know who your audience is and what they like the most. If you’re just throwing out random hashtags that you see in a post every now and then, you’re wasting space for hashtags that can help your brand properly. Instead, go through your audience and see what hashtags they are using and choose the ones that best fit with the content you are posting.
Not only should you research your audience, but you should also research your competition! What hashtag are they using? Is the competition low or high, how many people are using this hashtag and so on? Now we’re not asking to copy their exact hashtags, but it’s a great way to get an indication of what your current and potential audience is looking for. When it comes to researching specific hashtags, you need to know whether the hashtags rank high or low in the competition as mentioned earlier.
Some of the best sites for this would be:
https://hashtagify.me/hashtag/ and https://brand24.com/hashtag-search/
We recommend using a mix of both high competition and low competition hashtags.
Well, when it comes to the number of hashtags, the maximum is 30, but we cannot use that many. It is recommended to use 7 to 10 hashtags for the best engagement on Instagram, and 3 to 5 at most on Twitter. When it comes to Facebook, hashtags do not work well as a simple keyword is enough to do the job here. Once you’ve done your research and found the best hashtags, start researching and noting your engagement.
If you are seeing more engagement with new hashtags, it means you are on the right track. If you are noticing that your engagement is decreasing and you are losing followers, try switching to new keywords. You don’t need every single post to have the same list of 10 hashtags. Just make sure the keywords you are using are related to the post you are creating.
Marketing is as important as we are living in the 21st century, creating great content in the age of the Internet and hashtags play a vital role in getting the job done. It’s going to take a lot of trial and error before you can find the one that works best for your needs. What worked yesterday doesn’t mean it will work tomorrow because social media is constantly evolving so keep that in mind before proceeding. Fine?
Note: For added fun, you can check out my Best Content and Blog section or you can click here to read my previous lesson. If you are new to blogging and haven’t created your own blog yet, don’t miss to check out my exclusive guide on ‘How to start a blog‘ as a real online business. Which will walk you through the step-by-step process from starting a WordPress blog through Bluehost to making money from it.
How do you actually apply hashtags to your purpose? Please don’t forget to write in the comment box. Thank you for visiting my blog here. Hope to see you soon in the next tutorial. Until then – have a nice day.