Hashtags can be a very powerful tool on social media platforms when used appropriately. Hashtags can be used as a label to tag specific messages to ongoing events, themes, or content. When successful, hashtags can drive content views, marketing efforts, promotional events, engagement, and brand awareness. In one case study, tweets with hashtags got double the engagement of tweets without and were 55% more likely to be retweeted. At the same time, when tweets had three or more hashtags, engagement significantly decreased.
However, hashtags can also ruin a post when overused or when used at the wrong time. When hashtags are used too much in one post, known as “hashtag soup,” readers will get lost trying to understand the message you are trying to get across. Similarly, hashtags #thatstringtoomanywordstogether can also quickly confuse followers. Finally, don’t hashtag random #words in your post. This defeats the purpose of a hashtag to link your post to other relevant posts.
Some fun facts about Hashtags:
- The hashtag originated in IT to denote specific keywords. This use was later adapted by Chris Messina to tag topics and took off when they were widely used by tweets relating to the 2007 San Diego forest fires.
- The hashtag got its name because it resembles several slices or cuts that were made by hashing a sharp object.
- Read about the 7 types of hashtag abusers.
- The top 5 hashtags on Instagram in 2016 included: #love, #instagood, #photooftheday, #tbt, and #beautiful