Ever wonder how hashtags started? Do you know its original name?
In 2007, Biz Stone, a co-founder of Twitter was fixing a tech issue. His friend Chris Messina, walked in and suggested using a hashtag to solve the issue. Thus, the first Twitter hashtag, #barcamp, was used in a tweet. It was initially called “Octhotorpe.” But in 2014, the Oxford dictionary officially included the word hashtag.
A digital marketing speaker Hong Kong notes that tweets with hashtags can increase engagement by 100%. Furthermore, a social media agency Hong Kong highlights the following statistics about the impact of hashtags on top social platforms.
- On Facebook, hashtags are very useful to position a public campaign. Relevant hashtags allow the discovery of a brand or business. Posts with only 1 hashtag get the highest engagement at 593. While posts with more than 10 hashtags only received 188 engagements.
- On Instagram, 7 out of 10 hashtags are branded. IG posts with at least 1 hashtag receive 29% more engagement while IG posts will 11+ hashtags receive 79% more engagement.
- On Twitter, general hashtags like #food, #fashion, #style, #travel, etc. rank well. Around 125 million hashtags are used daily that increase rand engagement by 50%.
- Even on Google descriptive hashtags have significantly helped in SEO.
Below, let us explore how to use hashtags effectively.
Why Use Hashtags?
- Hashtags are used by social media platforms to categorize the content. It gives brands and businesses the chance to be discovered among newsfeeds.
- Hashtags help you reach your target audiences. A distinctive hashtag simplifies the users’ search in finding the right brand, product, or service. As they are easy to use, they will help you reach more people.
- Hashtags increase the visibility of content. It allows the discovery of a social media account and boosts brand awareness.
Selecting the Right Hashtag
- Find an ACTIVE hashtag currently used by most industries and people.
- Use a NICHE hashtag related to your line of business.
- Use hashtags RELEVANT to the content you shared.
- A MIXED of popular and small niche hashtags can make you stand out.
It would be smart for brands and businesses to create multiple lists of hashtags that they could use for each social media platform. Moreover, it is best to note when each is appropriate to use them.
What Makes a Good Hashtag?
Hashtags can be used to identify a brand, message, niche, product, service, or topic. To connect with your target audiences, a good hashtag should be industry-related. Using more specific hashtags gives brands and businesses a better chance to grow their audience.
The best practice in creating a good hashtag is to experiment. Use both general and specific hashtags. Be consistent in their social media usage to find out which works and which doesn’t work. If t is not catching, or if your audiences are not receptive to it, have the patience to use it for a month and that’s it. Sometimes, it may take time for a good hashtag to catch up. Remember, the consistency of using it is the key.
A good hashtag is not overly used. Albeit, using too many hashtags in a post can only confuse your audience. It will make a brand or business appear uncluttered or unprofessional. One to three hashtags in a post will do.
What’s most important is to check your analytics. By knowing what works and what doesn’t work, you can create a better hashtag that your audience engages in.
Other Uses of Hashtags
Use a hashtag to get pertinent information right at your fingertips. Through hashtag searches, you will spend less time finding information.
Including hashtags can be a great way to boost the following:
- Asking Questions
- Celebratory/ Congratulatory Tweets
- Digital Announcements
- Digital Publications
- Event Images
- Event Information
- Group Favorites, Replies, and Retweets
- Marketing Industry Topics
- Media Kits
- Personal Thoughts
- Special Offers
- Trending Events
- Trending Industry Articles
- Trending Topics
A video marketing agency Hong Kong also notes that hashtags are a great way to boost the discovery of video content. Hashtags on YouTube assist in categorizing and classifying video content. You can use them above the title, within a video title, or in the video description section. They can help marketing videos appear on related searches.