How to use a hashtag

When it comes to using hashtags, there are a few key do’s and don’ts that should be followed to get the most out of them. Hashtags are an essential part of any social media strategy, as they can help you to reach a larger audience and create more engagement. Knowing when and how to use hashtags is essential for maximizing their potential. In this blog post, we’ll explore the dos and don’ts of hashtag use, so you can make sure your strategy is as effective as possible.

Do your research
Using hashtags effectively starts with doing your research. Research what types of hashtags are popular and relevant to the content you are sharing. Knowing the right hashtags to use will make it easier for people to find your posts.
Start by researching popular hashtags that are used in your industry or niche. Start with a list of 30-50 hashtags and add new ones as needed. Make sure to use up-to-date hashtags as trends come and go quickly.
You can also check out what other influencers and brands in your industry are using. This will help you get an idea of what is working for them and how you can incorporate these into your own strategy.
Finally, use hashtag tracking tools to stay on top of the latest trends. These tools can tell you which hashtags are the most popular and the best times to post for maximum engagement.

Be strategic
Using hashtags strategically can help you reach more of your target audience and have a greater impact on social media. Hashtags help categorize content and provide an easy way to search for specific topics or conversations. It is important to research the hashtags you are using to make sure they are relevant to your content. It is also important to check the other conversations that are happening around those hashtags to get an idea of what kind of content is being shared.
When using hashtags, it is also important to consider the size of your audience.

If you are targeting a smaller, niche audience, then it may be better to use hashtags that are specific to that topic. If you are trying to reach a broader audience, then using a few more generic hashtags can be helpful.

Another important thing to consider when using hashtags is the character count. Platforms like Twitter have a limited character count and you want to make sure that the hashtags you are using don’t take up too much of your available space. It is also important to think about which hashtags are the most relevant to your post and includes those first, rather than just cramming in as many as possible.
By taking the time to plan and strategize your hashtag use, you can ensure that your content reaches the right people and has the biggest impact possible.

Don’t overdo it
Using too many hashtags can make your post seem unprofessional and spammy. It’s best to limit yourself to no more than five hashtags, as using too many can make it hard for users to find the content they are looking for. Additionally, some channels such as Instagram have a character limit and overusing hashtags can quickly take up that limit. By limiting yourself to fewer hashtags, you’ll be able to use the rest of the characters to focus on your message. Additionally, if you are already using branded hashtags, you don’t need to overload your post with unrelated hashtags. Branded hashtags should be used in tandem with others related to your topic or message, but not too many that overwhelm the post.

Pay attention to the algorithm
When using hashtags, it’s important to pay attention to the algorithm. Hashtags are more than just a way of organizing content; they can be used to make content more visible to people searching for related topics. The algorithm helps ensure that the right people see your content.

The algorithm looks at the content you post and assigns it a relevance score. It then looks at other content with similar tags and assigns them a score as well. The higher the relevance score, the more likely your post will show up in searches. To get your posts seen by the most people, you need to use relevant and popular hashtags.

In addition to relevance, the algorithm also takes into account the frequency with which a hashtag is used. If you use a hashtag too much, it won’t be seen as relevant anymore and therefore won’t be shown in searches. You should also vary the hashtags you use; don’t just use the same ones over and over again. This will help you reach more people without getting penalized by the algorithm.
Finally, the algorithm takes into account the time of day when a hashtag is used. Popular hashtags tend to be used more often during certain times of day, so if you want to get your content seen, post when those hashtags are being used the most.

By paying attention to the algorithm and taking into account these factors, you can ensure that your content reaches its intended audience.

Keep it relevant
When it comes to hashtags, relevance is key. You don’t want to use too many irrelevant hashtags that are not related to your content, as it can make it look spammy and confuse readers. On the other hand, using relevant hashtags that pertain to your content can help get your post more visibility and attention.

When crafting hashtags, think about what people are searching for when they might come across your post. If you’re talking about a specific event or trend, make sure to include a hashtag related to that event or trend. Additionally, if you’re using industry-specific terminology, consider using hashtags related to those terms. This will help ensure your content is seen by the right audience.
It’s also important to keep up with the trends in hashtagging. Follow other users and influencers in your field and see what kind of hashtags they’re using. This can help you create a list of relevant hashtags that you can use in your posts. Additionally, pay attention to popular hashtags and use them if they fit in with your content.

Finally, keep an eye on what’s going on in the world and be aware of any current events or trends that could be relevant to your post. If you find something that fits in with your content, consider adding it as a hashtag. Doing this can help draw attention to your post and may even increase engagement.

Every time I use hashtags, honestly, I am careful to pay attention to the algorithm.  If you’re trying to be strategic, then it does work to apply all the appropriate hashtag contexts per channel. For example, 5 hash tags per post for LinkedIn. I’ve tested that one.

You can read more about the subject of hashtags and character count in another post (link to post).