How do I use hashtags (and why you want to)

This week I’m talking about hashtags specifically answering the question – How do I use hashtags, they’re a bit of a marmite subject, aren’t they, you love them or you hate them, and you’re never quite sure where to use them or how to use them or when to use them!

I wanted to break it down in simple steps for you:

What are hashtags?

To the uninitiated, using a hashtag on whatever you’re posting on a social media platform groups together what you say with everyone else who’s used that hashtag. When you click on a hashtag, you can see who else is using that hashtag, nifty, huh?

Why is this useful to me?

We all want to feel connected, right? No more so than in running your own business and in wanting to join in conversations. You may have seen hashtags for particular news threads, for events, for topics, for scheduled conversations. By using the designated hashtag, you get to join in that conversation and add your tuppence worth. #ValuableFreeMarketing

How do I include hashtags in my updates?

You can either write a sentence for your update and then add hashtags afterwards like this:

I love cake so much. #cake #love

or include the hashtag in your sentence (but this can read poorly):

I #love #cake #so #much

If you want to add lots of hashtags, please make sure you delete the spaces between words. I cannot tell you how often I see wasted opportunities due to the spacing issue! e.g. #Marketing #SEO #YeahBaby

Notice I’ve deleted spaces between the words of multiple word hashtags e.g. #toomuchtodo (for ‘too much to do’)
and also make sure you add spaces after the final word before starting the next hashtag.

Should I be using hashtags? How?

That entirely depends on where you are. I’ve broken it down by social media platform to help:

FACEBOOK

Whilst Facebook confirms they technically help search results, the hashtags used aren’t generally the terms searched and they’re not actually clicked on or used to any large extent. I think the hashtag use on Facebook does help with branding (for example, with a particular campaign) or in a humorous way.

Verdict: No need to really use them on Facebook if you’re looking to improve engagement this way. But using them humorously if you know your audience will enjoy them does work! Example below ;o)

TWITTER

With only 140 characters in each update, the power of the hashtag can be used here to group your tweet with other tweets talking about the same topic. When you click on a hashtag, you see who else is using that hashtag. You may want to connect with these people by retweeting them or favouriting them. If you and others who are geographically near you all use the same hashtag then you can make it start trending, which essentially means it appears more in your feed, and the feeds of those who are also geographically near you or otherwise follow a lot of the people who are using that hashtag (for example, I get trending hashtags about wedding discussions that I’m not necessarily a part of).

Verdict: Yes, use them! But sparingly – one or two maximum.

INSTAGRAM

Instagram, how I love thee. The hashtag here is gold. You can use up to 30 hashtags, so just stick them in the description box along with your caption.

Verdict: You should be using these! But which ones? Scroll down to get the freebie list of hashtags for your business.

PINTEREST

In 2018, Pinterest made hashtags useful. After years of people using them anyway, they weren’t actually clickable until spring 2018. So, use them sparingly but as they’re so new, they’ll be a popular new tool for sure!

ANY OTHER PLACE ON THE INTERWEBS

You can of course use hashtags anywhere you like, like I’ve done throughout the this blog post, but they won’t work anywhere other than social media if you want to join your conversation to the masses. Sorry!

Have a fabulous rest of your week!

Muchos love
Maddy

P.S. Awesome video about hashtags right here ;o)

Maddy x
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8 Comments

  1. Fiona Kelly

    Thanks to you, Maddy, I love a good hashtag now. Especially on Instagram!

    Reply
    • m8dd7

      Yay! This makes me smile, thank you! x

      Reply
  2. Sarah

    Thanks Maddy you da bomb

    Reply
    • m8dd7

      Hurrah! I try my best 🙂 <3

      Reply
  3. Gareth

    Awesome I think I understand now.
    Silly question but where does it live on my keyboard?

    Reply
    • m8dd7

      Glad it helps! Not a silly question Gareth! Thanks for asking 🙂 On an Apple keyboard it’s ALT key + 3 and on a PC I believe it’s above the right Shift key.

      Reply
      • Gareth

        #gotit. #?

        Reply
        • m8dd7

          Excellent! 🙂

          Reply

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