what-are-hashtags

What Are Hashtags and How Do You Use Them?

Hashtags are here to stay

Remember when this # was called a pound sign? Yeah, not so much anymore.

Now it’s a hashtag sign.

What is a Hashtag?

A hashtag is a search term. It’s a word or a phrase with the # before it. Adding that sign makes the term searchable on Instagram.

A hashtag allows users to look for posts on topics that interest them without having to sift through millions of them.

Hashtags are amazingly helpful for brands. If you consider what your ideal client might be searching for and you add that hashtag to your post, your avatar will have a much better chance of finding you.

But don’t think that just because you post a hashtag your post will be found. If only it were that easy!

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Popular Hashtags

The more people who use the same hashtag, the greater the pool your post will be in. That’s why a hashtag that has more than one million uses is likely not the best use of your hashtag space.

On any given post, you can add up to 30 hashtags. You can either add them within the post or in a comment. Many people choose to add them in a comment so they don’t have any impact on the aesthetic look of the caption. But truly the choice is yours. If they’re posted, they’ll be searchable.

The sweet spot of hashtags has been hotly debated. In general, if you select one that has been used up to about 200k and not fewer than about 50k times, that’s a good place to be.

If you have a super niche product or service and a particular hashtag has only been used 5000 times, why not try it? It’s possible that all those people are looking for exactly what you’re posting about.

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Which Hashtags to Use

Depending on what your business is, you should take some time to research which hashtags will help you attract the right followers.

·      See what hashtags your competition is using

·      Think about search terms your followers might use

·      Determine what ideas you’re conveying that could be translated into short phrases for hashtags

And sometimes, use hashtags that apply directly to what people will see in the photo. Is there a beach? How about some cool scenery? Delicious ice cream? Maybe a super cute dog? Build your hashtags around those things as well because you never know when a potential client or customer is looking at pics of the ocean.

Hashtags in Instastories

Hashtags are super effective when you add them to Instastories. More of your followers will see your Instastories than your regular posts anyway, due to the Instagram algorithm.

When you use the hashtag function that’s one of the Instastories features, you’ll only be able to add one hashtag to your post.

Pro tip: type in your hashtag using the text function so you can add as many hashtags to your story as you like (within reason of course!)

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Hashtags in Social Media

Hashtags are a must on Instagram, and they’re becoming more popular on Facebook too. Your Pinterest pins should include hashtags as should any Twitter post you make.

And now, you know how to use them.

To your success,

Melanie

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