what is a hashtag

What is a Hashtag: Part 2

As we outlined in part one of this two-part series, a hashtag is simply a word preceded by a pound sign (#.)  It is used across multiple social media outlets to label or sort posts by topic.

Unfortunately for us, hashtags do not work the same on the various social media platforms. What? #SoNotReadyForThis!

No worries-I’m going to break this down for you by platform-hopefully it helps to clear things up a bit!

Twitter

In part 1, we covered a little bit of hashtag usage on Twitter. For review: using a hashtag there will group your post with others like it for easy categorizing. Use no more than two hashtags per tweet, because you only have 140 characters to work with.

Facebook

Here, hashtags have not caught on quite like on Twitter. However, I still like to use them as a label, or when creating an expected post each week such as #hairtiptuesday for a salon.  The one drawback with using hashtags on Facebook is privacy settings can get in the way of hashtagged posts being seen.

Instagram

This is my favorite place to use hashtags and they make such a difference when it comes to visibility of your account!  Instagram has rolled out a new algorithm-it now operates similar to Facebook, where the app chooses based on past data which posts you’d be most likely to engage in.)  This will give priority to posts that get the most engagement.  However, one of the primary ways that people use Instagram is to search by hashtag to find new posts and accounts sharing posts about things they’re interested in.  This is why hashtags are so important for visibility!  You are allowed 30 hashtags per post, and I like to use all 30!  The trick is to post them all in a comment, and not your caption. Otherwise, your carefully worded caption gets drowned out by hashtags and people move along without interacting with you. Hashtag research is a great idea, and here’s a full blog to tell you how to do it!

Pinterest

Finally, there is Pinterest, the glorious online bulletin board of ideas and inspiration!  Hashtags are active on the platform, but I’ve just not seen too much benefit from using them.  Pinterest search will pick up keywords in captions anyway, so weaving them into your captions thoughtfully is a better strategy than stacking hashtags on top of hashtags.   

Basically, hashtags are essential on Instagram, very useful on Twitter, and I wouldn’t worry too much about using them on Facebook or Pinterest. 

I hope you found this helpful! If you’d like to learn more about all of this, join us in my free Facebook Group, The Content Groove!

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