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Twitter popularised the word hashtag, with its system of pairing related online content uploaded to the social media platform. Nowadays, we see hashtags being used in television adverts, on printed marketing material, and all over most major social media channels. What do these hashtags mean? How can we leverage them for increase brand exposure? Here’s how to use hashtags effectively:

How to Type a Hashtag Properly

Here’s an example of a hashtag that trends regularly:  #WednesdayWisdom

By examining the above example, we can see that a hashtag starts with the # sign. This is to differentiate the hashtag from any other word or phrase being used on your post. Next, we see a two-word phrase that has been collocated – capitalising the first letter of every word. Keep in mind that there are no spaces in hashtags!

Choosing the Right Hashtag

The hashtag(s) being used on a social media post should relate in some way to the rest of the post. For example, #CatsAreCool would be out of place when used on a social post about dog shampoo. Here are some common hashtags used to compliment company social media updates:

#ChooseDay: Ever heard of Tuesday choose-day? Brands often use this hashtag to get insights from their followers in terms of which products/services they prefer.

#WednesdayWisdom: Brands wanting to educate their followers can do so on Wednesdays, using this hashtag. This can be to share information about the company, new products, or even how-to information.

#MeetTheTeam: This hashtag is ideally used when introducing your staff members to your social media followers.

#SpringDay: These types of seasonal hashtags are great to boost your content reach on days of social significance, like New Years or the start of summer.

How to Use Hashtags Effectively

Did you know that the only platform where it pays to use multiple hashtags in on Instagram? When it comes to social media engagement (on Facebook and Twitter specifically), people prefer to interact with posts that feature only 1 or 2 hashtags. On Instagram, the golden number of hashtags for maximum engagement chance is 9 hashtags.

How to use Twitter Hashtags

As mentioned earlier, too much of a good thing isn’t a good thing when it comes to hashtag usage on Twitter, Engagement rates drop radically when more than two hashtags are used. Limit yourself to a maximum of two relevant hashtags per post. Struggling to find hashtag ideas? Twitter shows you the top 10 trending hashtags for your geographical region to the left of your screen when logged in. You can also find relevant hashtags by typing a phrase into the search bar.

How to use Facebook Hashtags

Unlike the public profiles of Twitter and Instagram, Facebook accounts are private – and only accessible by people who the Facebook user is friends with. For this reason, adding hashtags to your personal posts is a bit of a waste. However, if you’re posting content on a company page, hashtag away! A company page usually has a bigger base of followers than a private user, and therefore hashtags are seen by more potential customers.

How to use LinkedIn Hashtags

LinkedIn has only recently started leveraging hashtags on both mobile and desktop, with spectacular results! LinkedIn users can now follow specific hashtags on the social platform, and are notified when other LinkedIn users or company pages post content featuring the hashtag they’re following. We’re only starting to see the benefits of LinkedIn hashtag use, but benefits there certainly are!

How to use Instagram Hashtags

Instagram hashtags work much like LinkedIn and Facebook in that they pair posts with the same hashtags into a single stream. More is better on Instagram, with 9 hashtags per post being the prime number. The nice thing about Instagram is that it will suggest hashtags once you’ve typed a #. You can also see how many posts there are using the same hashtag.