The importance of #Hashtags on Social Media

When a new company or person starts using Social Media, many are confused with the importance and meaning of hashtags. Some of the questions I frequently get asked are “Is it mandatory to hashtag every word?” “What key words do I hashtag?” “How many hashtags should I be using?”

I have made a lot of social media mistakes over the years, and my success has come through trial and error. One of the biggest mistakes I made when I was starting with Twitter some 10 years ago was not using hashtags. If you scroll though Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and now LinkedIn you will see some words are being hashed. The reason behind hashtags is simple yet complex at the same time.

Once you hashtag a word on Social Media, all accounts will be able to see it (only if your profile is public). This allows users who are not following you but may be following #blessed for example to see your post. From seeing your one post, they will click on your profile, check you out, and if they like what they see, they will then follow you.

Hashtags on Twitter

I have a love/hate relationship with Twitter. I don’t use it as often as I should, but since it is on the rise again I need to add tweeting back into my social media regime. With Twitter, I like to use 1-3 hashtags per post as 1) you are already limited with a character count and 2) there is no photo, so you have to capture your readers attention quickly. You do not want to flood your post with hashtags, as it tends to look like spam. You want your tweets to be simple and direct to drive activity back to your website.

Hashtags on Instagram

Instagram hashtags are one of the best ways to grow your Instagram account. Using the right hashtag can help expose your brand to larger and targeted audiences. In fact, your chances of attracting new followers, getting more likes, and increasing engagement are increased using hashtags!

Every Instagram post you make should be accompanied by a caption or SHORT message and then a few hashtags. The hashtags help organize and categorize photos and videos, which helps the discovery of new content.

Instagram allows you to use 30 hashtags, but should you use them all? Do socks and sandals look good together? NO. Too many hashtags looks like spam and reeks of desperation, and too little hashtags looks like you have put no effort into your post. I find success in hashtags of 11-15, and I make sure the most followed hashtags come first in my posts.

Why You Should Hashtag?

Hashtags work. Period. Hashtags increase your social media presence as they make your content more viewable by anyone who has an interest in your hashtags that are not following you. Hashtags can help you build a brand for your business by engaging with customers and by joining the conversation about what’s trending. i.e. #superbowlsunday. If you are participating in conversations with top trending hashtag, you are more likely to gain greater visibility to your business. The more visibility you get, the more likely you are able to create a larger and wider audience. And a larger, wider audience increases your chance of fresh leads for your business.


Contributor:  James Milonas, Founder – James In The City

If you have interested in building your brand, learning more, or simply getting a second opinion, do not hesitate to shoot me a text, email, tweet, or DM.
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