We are so familiar with hashtags that we didn’t put much thought into what their role is and how to use them properly. The purpose of a hashtag is to better organize information so that users quickly find what they are looking for. The first people ever that used a hashtag was the former Google employee Chris Messina, in 2007. However, Twitter has adopted this trend, each word or word combination that had a # sign in the front also had a hyperlink. After that, this trend was quickly adopted by more and more users and than, companies begin including #hashtags into their marketing campaigns on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google Plus or Pinterest.
The posts that include a hashtag are getting twice as many likes, shares and comments than posts that don’t. Including a hashtag in a post is an effective solution because it helps your customers and potential customers to quickly find you on social media networks and be aware of the topics you are interested in. However, every social network has a different way of displaying hashtags and users are also using them for different purposes.
The “#” symbol needs to be used before a keyword or a topic. Although, there is no hashtag limit, experts recommend to use maximum 2 hashtags on a post considering the fact that you have a 140 character limit. A hashtag posted on Twitter can contain letters, numbers and the underscore symbol _. Other symbols like ^, %, $ cannot be used.
It doesn’t matter if a hashtag is included at the beginning, in the middle ot at the end of a post. Twitter users can search a post based on a certain hashtag. These results are displayed based on the posting date. Using a hashtag to promote an event, will help you attract more people that are interested in that event.
Facebook began to recognize hashtags in 2013, and after a few months after the launch date, the results were surprising: the posts that didn’t include hashtags were receiving more likes, shares and comments than those who had at least one #hashtag. Like Twitter, Facebook hashtags can only contain letters, numbers or _.
The hashtag search option is complicated and often do not provide the results that the user wanted in the first place. In this case, the most efficient method to find posts that include a certain hashtag is to include it in the URL (for example facebook.com/hashtag).
Although you can only use the same characters like on Facebook and Twitter (letters, numbers and _). you can only include 30 hashtags to a single post. In addition, the posts that include more than 11 hashtags are much popular on Instagram. Location targeting hashtags are very appreciated on Instagram. Whether you choose to include the entire name of the city you are posting from (such as New York) or its abbreviation (NY), the impact over the users is the same.
The hashtag search results are displayed based on the most recent ones. In addition, if you don’t know what hashtag to use, it is enough to only type “#” and you will receive suggestions from Instagram.
On this social network, hashtags can contain letters, numbers, _ and (). The difference between Google Plus and other social networks is that users cannot add only number hashtags. google Plus addressed this problem differently, even from the beginning. Posts that have a well defined topic, automatically include hashtags in order to quickly provide the necessary information to the users. When you search, Google Plus displays hashtags by popularity, but the user can change this filter.
You need to know even from the beginning that hashtags on Pinterest can pe clickable only if they are used in the beginning of a Pin.
In conclusion, choose carefully the hashtags you want to use in your posts, based on the social network you are using. The purpose of hashtags is to connect users that share the same interests.