It is very difficult to define ‘# hashtag’ in a plain language. Short links preceded by this (#) sign may look a bit confusing, but they are the most modernised and trendy way to communicate online. They can be a lot of fun, nevertheless it is important to know how they work.
What is a hashtag?
Using a hashtag is an efficient way to find specific topics and to know the people that are interested about them.
Hashtags are mainly used on social media sites. They rocketed to fame on Twitter and are now a trend on other social platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn (the most recent hashtag features).
A hashtag always begins with the symbol # followed immediately by letters and sometimes numbers. Spaces are an absolute ‘no-no.’ Your hashtag may contain multiple words that are all grouped together, and if you want to distinguish them, make use of capitals (#DigitalMarketing). Capital letters will not alter your search results, e.g. #DigitalMarketing will be the same as #DigitalMarketing. All letters and numbers must run together without spaces in a hashtag.
Anyone can create a hashtag. If you have invented a hashtag, that is completely unique, do a search on the social platform you propose to use it on. It is likeable that the hashtag you wish to use is already existing for some other purpose.
Keep hashtags as short and composed as possible. On Twitter you have a limited character count, hence it is best if the hashtag is a logical word or phrase. Hashtags that are long, difficult to pronounce or a challenge to remember, will not be accepted by the people. Be prudent to use something that is short and easy to grasp.
Why use hashtags?
The use of a hashtag facilitates in bringing conversations, based on the same topic into a single thread, making it convenient for consumers to view and compare ideas. Thus, the social media users, globally, can successfully connect their conversation through Hashtags. For example, if you click a particular hashtag in a message, a list of posts using the same hashtag will be visible. They can be also used to interact during live events like conferences, political proceedings, TV shows, etc. The other distinct features of hashtags are:
- Hashtags help you to find a like-minded audience
- Hashtags help to increase the click-through rates
- Hashtags are great for topic research
- Hashtags are helpful to search queries
The supporting platforms
Hashtags serve a different purpose on each platform? You may find that hashtags are not just for receiving more ‘likes’ on your most-recent Instagram post! Yet, hashtags mean SOOO much more!
Some of the well-known social media platforms support hashtags.
Twitter, the biggest micro blogging service, is the birthplace of hashtag. Originated on Twitter, the hashtags are used to signify specific issues of conversation where other online users can also upload the content and tweet.
Hashtags work on Facebook and are clickable. The most appropriate way to use hashtags on Facebook is to keep it at 2 or 3 at the most. Facebook creates an URL for each individual hashtag used, to help to create more engaging and relevant conversation.
There are no rules on the number of hashtags added to your Pinterest post. Hashtags on Pinterest do not work the same as other social media platforms as it is more like a social search engine like Google and less like Facebook. The hashtags on Pinterest are real funky.
Hashtags on Instagram work the same as on Twitter and Facebook, they are searchable and as well as clickable. Here you can use as many hashtags as you like in your post.
Previously LinkedIn did not support hashtags. But of late, it has pledged its support to hashtags. They have updated their search functionality, a new hashtag search capacity, to allow their users to navigate to articles that fancy them.
Initially, Twitter was the only site where one could use hashtags. Now, you can witness hashtags appearing both online – chalked out to promote engagement.