#Let’sTalk: Is Using #Hashtags Still Worth It?
Hashtags are everywhere. They have become so common that it seems like they are automatically placed on every type of content. Whether it be an Instagram story or Reddit post, you can find a hashtag in there somewhere. The truth is that hashtags aren’t always useful. It really depends on where you use your hashtag and how you use it.
What is a Hashtag?
Originally, a hashtag – a word or phrase marked with the # symbol before it – was a way to add keywords to social posts. It’s used to identify the topic. For example, a post on press releases might have the hashtag #pressrelease at the end of it.
Hashtags can make content searchable on a variety of social sites, but they’re completely irrelevant on other sites. And, because there are those operating online who look to take advantage, you’ll find hashtag spammers. You’ll find people who add hundreds of hashtags to their content to make it show up on tons of irrelevant searches. And you’ll find some marketers and spammers using the most popular hashtags, even though they’re not relevant, to get attention for their posts.
All of this less than stand up activity means that hashtag value has diminished. However, it can still be worth it to use hashtags.
On Facebook, don’t use hashtags. They have no value. They’re not searchable and using them can make you look unprofessional. This means if you post something on Instagram and it is connected to Facebook, the hashtags transfer over too. A better approach is to create separate posts for Facebook and Twitter.
On Instagram, yes, use hashtags. In fact, you can use up to 30 on Instagram. As with any tactic, to maintain credibility and to get the most from your efforts you’ll want to research the best hashtags for your niche and topic. What is your audience searching for? You will also want to consider split testing hashtags.
On Twitter, you can use 1 or 2 hashtags. Like Instagram, do your research and test what works best for your audience.
On Pinterest, skip the hashtags. There’s little data to show that it improves your Pin’s results. Instead, continue to include keywords in your description.
LinkedIn actually uses hashtags and recommends up to three.
Using hashtags, like anything, requires attention and a strategy. Research what influencers are doing. Research what your audience is searching for. Test hashtags just like you would test keywords.
You may also consider branding your business with a unique hashtag for your most powerful and valuable content. When working with influencers, create a hashtag for your collaboration. Work with them on creative ideas that other users can distinguish.
Using hashtags is definitely still worth it. However, it’s not going to be effective on all social sites. Create your content and hashtag strategy. Research your audience, industry, and trends, and test your efforts.
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