Hashtags have become a great way to find and follow conversations, communities and trends. If you use them correctly, they can increase the odds of having your business discovered. If you use them incorrectly, they can hurt your content and annoy your followers.
I put together 3 simple rules you can learn today. All of these rules have been tested and proven to make a difference.
#1 HOW TO HASHTAG: Facebook vs. Instagram vs. Twitter
Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are all very different communities. What works in one will not work in the other, and you have to be ahead of the game when it comes to using hashtags in these three platforms.
Facebook posts are known to underperform with the use of hashtags and because of that, I would just skip using them there all together. If you absolutely need to, do it sparingly.
Twitter is character limited and using more than 1 or 2 hashtags will not only look spammy, but distract the follower from your content. Keep it under 3 hashtags for maximum impact.
Instagram studies have shown that posts with 11 or more hashtags hold the highest level of engagement. The reason is because Instagram will immediately convert any text after your third line to "more..." allowing you to use as many hashtags as you want without your follower seeing them during their scroll experience.
#2 WHERE TO USE HASHTAGS
What's worse than scrolling by a post with a million hashtags? #Seeing #a #post #where #every #word #is #a #hashtag. You have to think of the follower's scroll experience when you create your content and hashtag placement is just as important as the caption or creative of your post.
Before you schedule or publish your post, go through every single hashtag and ask yourself "Is this tag going to attract a new follower or engage an existing one?" If the answer is no, you don't need it. Keep things simple and work smarter, not harder.
#3 WHAT ARE TRENDING HASHTAGS?
All platforms have trending hashtags and joining these communities can elevate your social presence (when used appropriately). Most of the time, trending hashtags are major news, events, celebrity gossip or online conversations. If you can connect your product to a trending tag, take advantage of it.
Always keep in mind your followers and your brand before deciding whether a trending tag is something to add to your post. Scrolling by a post with an unrelated tag can confuse and distract your followers.
Creating engaging content should always be your number one goal. Hashtags are meant to add to your post, not be your content. If you have a high-quality post you are sure will engage your follower, it's okay to leave hashtags out. Sometimes less can be more, especially with high-quality content.
Using hashtags doesn't have to be hard. By following these 3 simple rules you already have a leg up. Go ahead and apply these rules for two weeks and track your engagement, I know you'll be surprised.