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#Hashtags When You Should Use Them

The Power

In social media the # is one of the most powerful tools! It allows you to link others with information and update groups of people on that topic. It allows groups with similar interests to easily communicate with each other.

The Basics

Hashtags are used in front of keywords and phrases to categorise social media posts helping you to be easily noticed by people searching for that related hashtag. However, if your account is set to private and you use a hashtag then it won’t show up in other people searches.

Hashtags have created the term 'trending' which is used to highlight popular hashtags to every social media user on their own homepage.

Facebook and Twitter Trends

For example, Facebook have a section on the News Feed that shows up the most recent “trending” topics from around the world. Twitter shows trends depending on location.

Do's And Dont's

  • Don’t over tag! Over hash tagging devalues each #hashtag resulting in loss of followers and damaging your social media reputation. Keep to fewer than 10 tags per post and you should be fine.
  • Allow one hashtag to speak for your interest and use it to strengthen your online personality. For example, if you post photos of yourself regularly choose a relevant hashtag to you and that topic - #SelfieLove
  • Do use #hashtags as a talking point between you and your followers/friends. After all social media is meant to be social.
  • Do spread the #hashtag! It’s all about creating buzz. Think about areas where you'll get the most out of your #hashtag. Will it be more likely to trend on Instagram or Facebook
  • Be obvious. Be short. Be unique. Be relevant. Be memorable.
  • Do monitor your reputation by checking #hashtags related to you; also allowing you to respond better to comments. (see below on how to perform a # search to monitor your #hashtagging)

Facebook

Facebook is the most used social media platform but not many people use #hashtags on a regular basis. However, it can make searching for specific topics a lot easier. There are guidelines for adding hashtags to Facebook:

  1. A hashtag must be written as a single word with no spaces (#AsdaMobileAgainstCyberbullying)
  2. You can include numbers, but punctuation and special characters will not work.
  3. Use the search bar at the top of the Facebook page to search for any hashtag – this is a good way to monitor your own #hashtags.
  4. You will only see posts that have used that specific hashtag.

Twitter

Twitter guidelines are very similar to Facebook. You can only use letters and numbers in a hashtag and it must be all one word with no space. Other guidelines include:

  1. If you use a hashtag on a public account, anyone who searches for that hashtag will see the tweet.
  2. You can add a hashtag anywhere in a tweet.
  3. Clicking on #Hashtag within a tweet will load all public tweets relating to that word.
  4. When searching add the (#) symbol before the word this will allow you monitor your own tweets as well so you can respond to people quicker.

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