What once was a telephone button has now become a social media phenomenon, I’m talking about the #hashtag. Or in simpler terms, a pound sign followed by a keyword, used for categorization across social media platforms. While it may seem like a simple concept, there is a lot that can go into choosing which ones and how many to use. You need to find a balance.
So, how many are too many?
Research shows you should absolutely be using hashtags.
What began on Twitter has now spread to Facebook, Instagram, and even Google. If the extensive use alone is not enough to convert you to a user, consider this: if you create a hashtag for your company (ex: #companyx) and a user sees and remembers that tag, they can type “#comanyx” into Google and be taken directly to your website. It works the same on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook. If a customer wants to check out your social media, they can again type in “#companyx” and head over to your content tagged with that hashtag. A hashtag immediately expands the reach of your tweet beyond just those who follow you, to reach anyone interested in that hashtag phrase or keyword.
Hashtags On Twitter
There is no question hashtags are beneficial, but the question remains how useful? Using a hashtag within your Tweet is said to generate two times more engagement than Tweets without any at all. Twitter themselves confirmed that there is a significant advantage in implementing them. Think about it; you could go from 10 to 20 retweets by merely adding a # or 2. But according to research conducted by Buddy Media, 2 is the limit. After 2, the amount of engagement you receive decreases by 17%.
Hashtags on Instagram
Twitter is not the only platform where people use hashtags. Instagram is another hotspot for individuals and business alike to share their photos marked with #tags. Unlike Twitter, more hashtags on Instagram are a good thing. In fact, the highest interactions generate when a caption contains 11+ hashtags – this data is from users with less than 1,000 followers. That means this is excellent news for small businesses or those new to this form of social media. In other words, this could be your new best friend when trying to grow your social media presence.
Hashtags on Facebook
While Instagram and Twitter are the biggest users of hashtags, we cannot neglect to mention Facebook. The implementation of hashtags on Facebook started back in 2013. Since then, they just have not gained as much traction as Twitter and Instagram. However, you might be thinking that if they work on Instagram and Twitter than they should work on Facebook too? Not necessarily. Sadly, for you avid hashtag users, research indicates the use of hashtags has a more negative than positive impact. Data shows that as you increase the number of hashtags, you decrease in the number of iterations. So, for Facebook, my suggestion is when in doubt do not hashtag.
So how many is #toomany?
Well, for Twitter no more than 2, Instagram it would be far past 11, and Facebook; well, just stay clear of hashtags on there. The key point to take away, however, is that hashtags are not something to be afraid of. They are a useful tool that anyone looking to build their brand on social media should take advantage of. Just remember these guidelines when you find yourself in a hashtag frenzy.