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Although the use of hashtags is apparently simple, even the use of the simplest term has its trick. Surely you have seen hundreds and hundreds of times the symbol “#” on different social networks, and these hashtags have a much bigger purpose than only highlighting standardized terms and simple words. Under what circumstances and when/how is it appropriate to use them? In what social networks are they most valued? And, above all, how can they help increase our reach on social networks? Below, we briefly review some basic notions about hashtags and give you some guidance on how to include them in your social media strategy.

Concept and Origin of Hashtags

Broadly speaking, hashtags are labels that are used to categorize or identify content. Regarding its structure, it is a character that is preceded by a hash mark (#). Furthermore, these terms are written without a space, even if they are made up of a set of words, and can include both upper and lower case letters but never special characters or accent marks.

It is a really useful tool to find certain information among thousands of publications on social networks. This occurs because by clicking on said term the user is directly derived to a list of publications that contain the same label. We could say that it could be compared to what we will obtain when writing a term or phrase in the Google search engine in quotation marks.

Regarding its origin, it was in August 2007 when Chris Messina, a product designer and Internet consultant, published the following tweet: “how do you feel about using # (pound) for groups. As in #barcamp [msg]?” Although at first it caused some rejection among Twitter executives, it is true that in a short period of time a large part of its users began to use hashtags, spreading to other social networks. Currently, International Hashtag Day is celebrated on August 23.

How to Use Hashtags on Your Social Media

Once the key functions of the hashtag have been determined, it is time to focus on four of the main benefits derived as a tool of a social media marketing strategy:

  1. Promotes brand awareness. Posts from different brands and accounts are discovered from a tag.
  2. It helps to enhance the reach and visibility of the contents. The hashtag is a powerful organic reach tool, which can be measured from the social network itself.
  3. Classify content. By grouping them, users can filter the information and view only what they are interested in.
  4.  It can be used to spread campaigns. The more the tag is used, the greater the chance of reaching a large number of potential customers or users. Therefore, it helps to generate a brand image and increases interaction.

Have you decided to include hashtags in your social media posts? Then you will be interested to know that Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn are the most suitable handles for them. The next step is to decide which tags to use on each of your posts. Although everything will depend on your audience and your objectives, there are some key aspects that can be extended to any label and will help you obtain optimal results:

  • Less is More. Use short hashtags, By avoiding those that are too long they will be easier to remember. In the same way, it is convenient to use less quantity, but that doesn’t mean less quality. Try to be creative and use the ones that will be the most strategic. 
  • Choose the Most Popular. Explore different publications in your sector and choose the hashtags that are repeated the most, since users are more likely to find your brand. Always remember to use those that are relevant to your target, do not fall into using labels that, although they are very popular, that have no relevance to your brand.
  • Define Your Strategy. Establish a meaning regarding the hashtags you use, classifying them according to their purpose and the type of hashtag. For example, you can use location, brand, popular hashtags in your sector, events (contests, raffles, festivities, etc.)

If you make the right choice and use hashtags properly in your posts, these tags can be very useful for your social media strategy. Not only will they add dynamism to your account, but they will help improve your reach and facilitate interaction with your users. If you want to improve your digital marketing strategy, contact The Salmon Factor. Our team of specialists will help you achieve your goals and improve your results.