To Hashtag or Not to Hashtag – That is the Question

Long gone are the days when hashtags were used exclusively for organizing Twitter conversations. Today, hashtags can be seen everywhere, on and off social media. Celebrities Jimmy Fallon and Sophia Bush have even coined the term “Air Hashtag,” encouraging the use of hashtags in daily, in-person conversation. We can all agree there is a proper time to use hashtags. With all of the different social media platforms offering the ability to utilize the tag, which channels will you see the best results with, and which may have the potential to hurt your engagement online.

Facebook

Facebook is the social leader of a lot of things, but it has lagged on hashtags. The platform introduced hashtags to its platform in 2013 after the tags became popular on Twitter. Facebook integrated hashtags with one purpose, increasing search capabilities. The problem? Users aren’t searching for hashtags on Facebook. While the capability to use hashtags on Facebook is there, you may be missing out on a chance to reach your audience by including hashtags.

Our Final Verdict: Each channel is different, and you should test to see how posts including hashtags perform on your company’s page, but we don’t recommend using them.

Instagram

Should you be using hashtags on Instagram? Of course! But how you go about using them will determine how much success you really have. Before posting on Instagram, search for hashtags related to your post, and what you think your target audience will be searching for. You want to use about 10 hashtags for every photo. After you’ve posted the picture, add your hashtags in the comment section of your photo. This will make your photo searchable to others online, but won’t draw attention away from the caption. Remember, your account must be public to show up in Instagram’s hashtag search.

Our final verdict: Yes, about 10 hashtags per post.

Before posting on Instagram, search for hashtags related to your post. Click To Tweet

LinkedIn

Light-years behind the other platforms, LinkedIn has finally introduced clickable hashtags on its channel, but should you be using them? LinkedIn is, and will always be, a professional platform and should be treated that way. Using hashtags throughout your copy decreases readability and could make your content seem unprofessional to your reader. More than one hashtag in a post can also be viewed as spam and will not impress your professional colleagues online. If there is a place for hashtags on LinkedIn, it should be used exclusively for publishing written content. After you “publish” on LinkedIn, select a hashtag or two that categorizes the blog to increase your reach. This is the only place where hashtags will be a real benefit to you on the site.

Our Final Verdict: Yes, but only when publishing content.

Twitter

The father of hashtags, Twitter, was home to the first hashtag created back in 2007. Since then, Twitter has embraced hashtags and continues to highlight their functionality on the site. You should include hashtags in almost every tweet you send out while searching industry hashtags to network with other companies and users online. Search “trending” hashtags and join in on the conversation to increase your visibility on the site.

Our Final Verdict: Yes, while using trending hashtags to your advantage.

Hashtags have become an important part of the online experience, but the truth is, not all hashtags are created equal. Be careful and aware of which hashtags you are using and where you are posting to ensure that your posts are getting the reach and engagement they deserve.

 

 

 

Follow Taylor Lizura:
Taylor is a Senior Digital Marketing Strategist at KWSM. She is a passionate storyteller who gets excited about learning the language of the brands she works with. Taylor loves film, television and Twitter.