Hashing Out the Hashtag

Using hashtags has become an essential element of online success. Each platform has their own rules and guidelines for hashtags, so understanding the basics of how to use them is #veryimportant. We understand that print owners don’t exactly have a lot of free time on their hands to learn social marketing strategies in addition to being experts on printing, design, large format, etc. Your friends at NPOA are here to help make this confusing topic more manageable for business owners like you.

How to Hashtag

Using a hashtag on a social post is really as simple as adding the # sign before a single word or phrase, without spaces or punctuation. You can also include numbers in your hashtags as well. Typing out a hashtag is simple enough, but there are some subtle nuances you should learn to get the most out of them. Typically, hashtags are used to emphasize a topic, to generalize a feeling or emotion. #learningsomuch

Why to Hashtag

Using hashtags help your target audience find you. People on all platforms desire to find other people or places with common interests, and thus turn to their search bar.

*insert stat about searching for common topics before committing to company for purchase* Individuals often turn to social media to find a local place to eat, find others who share interest in a niche topic, or to see what type of partners a company does work with.

Hashtag Rules:

#1: Make your hashtags specific to the audience you’re trying to attract. A targeted audience is much more likely to get you a higher engagement rate.

#2: Avoid overusing hashtags in your posts. If your posts #look #something #like #this, then you are using the hashtag incorrectly.

#3: Know the different meanings of hashtags on different platforms.


Hashtags on Twitter

Hashtags on Twitter are used to find conversations to get involved in, or to start one of your own. As long as your profile is public, people can find the posts in which you make use of hashtags. Engagement drops when you use more than two hashtags. This may be because people assume too many hashtags mean bots were behind the post or the post tends to be spammy.

TIP: Tweets with one hashtag generate the most engagement


Hashtags on Instagram

Hashtags on Instagram organizes all photos with the same hashtag into one stream. The purpose of hashtags for Instagram revolves around discovering content and finding users to follow, essential to expose you to a larger audience. You can discover hashtags by searching for a specific term or clicking on one in a post. There is no optimal number of hashtags to use on Instagram. It is recommended to test out what gets the best results with your particular audience and adjust accordingly.

TIP: Before you become #hashtaghappy, Instagram limits hashtags to 30 per caption or comment.


Hashtags on Facebook

Unlike Twitter or Instagram where most users’ profiles are public, Facebook users have private profiles. So why does that matter? Hashtags that are used are not discoverable to the public and are therefore limited to the people they know. As a result, most public hashtags belong to influencers or brands, such as Nike (#justdoit). You can frequently observe large brands and businesses use a specific hashtag to promote and event; By doing this these corporations are also encouraging users to engage with others at the event itself with the specific hashtag.

TIP: If you do choose to use hashtags on Facebook, be sure to keep it to maximum of 1-2 hashtags per post.

Now you know the basics of #HowToHashtag! Be sure to take a look at how we use hashtags on our Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

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