In today’s social media world, we keep hearing about hashtags, hashtag this hashtag that, etc. etc. so first let’s understand what are they.
What Are Hashtags? Let’s start with the simple definition: hash. tag: A hashtag is made up of two parts: first is the hash symbol – # – also known as the pound symbol in the US – and the second part is a keyword or a phrase followed by #symbol. Tag is used as a keyword or topic of interest within the message and facilitates a search for it. For example, adding the # symbol in front of the words ‘Olympic 2020’ (without a space) makes it a hashtag: #Olympic2020.
Hashtags got their start on Twitter as a way of making it easier for people to find, follow, and contribute to a conversation. Hashtags are a great help in categorizing posts, increasing engagement, attracting followers to a particular niche, strengthening a brand image, and help to reach a target audience (and vice versa).
For the ease of users to find and follow tweets about a specific topic, twitter users put a hashtag in their tweets to categorize them in a manner that makes it easier to find and follow. When one clicks on it, they will be redirected to a page featuring the feed of all the most recent tweets that have that particular hashtag.
The hashtag (#) has become a vital element to digital interaction, allowing people with the same ideas to come together across different social media platforms. Still, despite its massive popularity in the social media landscape, many people even do not understand how a hashtag benefits the business or how to properly use hashtags.
Properly using a hashtag is very crucial because if you’re not using hashtags, your content is going to sink into an ocean of tweets and if you’re using too many hashtags in a single tweet, your message is going to lose its value.
Studies show that tweets with hashtags can increase engagement by almost 100% (2x) for individuals and 50% (1.5x) for brands.
How to create a hashtag?
Making a hashtag is very simple, you don’t need any specific tools to create a hashtag. They are simply text, and they can be placed anywhere, in the beginning, middle, or end of a tweet. Just decide on the keyword keeping your focus on what you are targeting, place a pound sign in front of it, and you are all set!
To raise brand awareness and gaining popularity in this digital world, creating a catchy hashtag is an excellent way, but remember to follow these three steps for creating a hashtag:
• Check its existence – Before proposing a new hashtag, make a thorough search on Twitter to make sure that your proposed new hashtag does not exist already or carries a negative air around it.
• Length matters – A hashtag needs to be crisp, catchy, and memorable. Using a long-phrase for creating a hashtag fails to make an impact and will not deliver the desired results and will increase the chances of it getting misspelled or mistyped. Using three words or less should be enough to convey the message.
• Emphasis Using capital letters – Though the Twitter hashtags are not case sensitive, but using capital letters makes the hashtag more noticeable and readable. Compare #olympics2020 and #Olympics2020, and It also helps hashtags from being misinterpreted.
While making a hashtag is easy and can be done by yourself there are some excellent tools which can be used to create your hashtag trendy and popular
• Hashtagify: Hashtagify is an excellent tool for finding both trending and popular hashtags. This tool gives custom suggestion which will help you reach your influencers and competitors and also helps you in discovering the best hashtags to reach your audience.
• Trendsmap: Trendsmap shows the latest trending hashtags being used anywhere in the world. Click on the hashtag or on a word on the map, and it will fetch you results for that location.
• RiteTag: RiteTag is another brilliant tool for checking both trending and popular hashtags. For instance, when you enter any term, RiteTag will give result in two lists. Use the green coloured hashtags to get seen now.
• TagDef: Always check the definition of existing hashtags in TagDef, if you’re not too sure what it means and whether it’s relevant or not to your client’s brand.
When should you use hashtags on Twitter?
Hashtags can be used for various purposes, like whenever you want to emphasis or refer to a specific topic, event, place, etc. For instance, you could use hashtags for:
• Events: #TrumpIndiaVisit, #WorldCup,
• Places: #SFO, #Paris
• Themes: #MondayBlues
• Things: #HerbalTea, #MacBook, #Jeep
• Verbs: #healthycooking, #creativewriting
• Industry terms: #datascience, #AI, #python
When should you not use hashtags on Twitter?
When you want to advertise, then don’t use hashtags in your ads as this practice drives away the traffic from your website. Twitter noticed that adverts without a #hashtag or @mention generate 23 % more clicks.
The right way of using hashtags on Twitter
While there is no particular or specific right and a wrong way to use a hashtag but keeping in mind some dos and don’ts will be an effective way to grow your reach, encourage engagement, and get discovered on Twitter. Keeping this in mind, here are some dos and don’ts of the hashtag to consider before you Tweet.
The dos and don’ts of hashtags
• Using one or more hashtags anywhere in your tweet is recommended. Twitter suggests using no more than two hashtags per Tweet, but you are free to use as many as you wish.
• Hashtag should be easy to remember — and spell. The Hashtag should be easy to spell and don’t leave room for typo errors, which will lead to your Tweet being undiscoverable.
• Be realistic. Don’t expect an overnight success wherein you expect people to start using your one-sided hashtags in their Tweets if they have no incentive or if it doesn’t fit naturally for them to do so.
• Do your research. Before using the hashtag, check and see what hashtags people are already using when talking about your brand and make good use of these inputs
• Give people a reason to use your hashtag. Mutual beneficial relationship with your audiences is when it’s an actual prize or just recognition in the form of a Retweet.
• Partner with influencers. Influencers play a significant role in gaining exposure and visibility for your hashtag.
• Hashtag should be your brand slogan. A Hashtag should organically fit within a Tweet else it will lose its intended purpose and feel it is forced upon. A hashtag is meant to be shareable, inclusive, and discoverable.
• No spaces in a hashtag. For example, ‘#Olympic 2020’ would reference the topic of ‘Olympic’ as opposed to ‘#Olympic2020’, which references the ‘Olympic 2020’.
• No punctuation in a hashtag. For example, #It’sRaining won’t work, although it’s grammatically correct. Use #ItsRaining instead.
• Over hashtag. Remember in Twitter character count matters, so using one to two relevant hashtags per Tweet is the sweet spot.
• Don’t neglect to educate on the purpose of the hashtag. Make sure you’re clearly communicating what it is and how to use the hashtag and more importantly, why someone should choose to include it in their own Tweet.
• Don’t use all CAPS LOCK. Unless it’s a descriptor, it feels like shouting and also adds unnecessary work.
So, these are few tips and tricks of using the hashtags in Twitter, keep this simple dos n don’ts, where to use and when to use and possibly you won’t go wrong. Do trial and error and see what works best for you as it differs from purpose, intention to businesses. Happy Tweeting.!!!!