You’ve seen them all over your Instagram and probably Facebook too – but what do they DO? And how do they work? Until a few years ago, it was just a symbol we had on the keypads of our phones. Times are changing and this symbol has become a social media staple, and here’s how to effectively use them.

Who

The first hashtag was used on Twitter as a way for people to find, follow and contribute to a conversation and it essentially grew from there. Hashtags can be used to organize and promote a service, event or product and group it together – making it easier for someone searching under that topic. Using them can include you in a viral movement or trending topic.  Anyone can use them, just make sure you do a bit of research before to make sure the ones you are using align with your topic.

What

There are just three things to keep in mind when typing them. No spaces, punctuation or special characters. Using any of those will cause the hashtag to break and become useless. You can use hashtags on any post and even include them in your stories on Instagram. Doing so can help increase your engagement.

Where

When creating a post for Facebook, limit the number of hashtags as it could become a little annoying to your followers. Pick the best 2 and stick with that. With this platform, less is better. On Instagram, you can go crazy with hashtags, adding them after your caption or adding them in a comment after your post the image. Research has shown that posts that include hashtags receive significant engagement over those that don’t. If you need help coming up with appropriate hashtags, use a free generator like All Hashtag, Sistrix and Seekmetrics.  You can select the best ones or copy and paste.

 

For more social media tips follow Van Patter Group on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.