One newest trend that has hit almost everyone’s life is ‘Hashtag.’ While some are really fond of Hashtags for SEO, others don’t prefer it at all. The true thing is that only a few of them know how to use it!
Majority of people on social platforms find it cool to use hashtags. They like playing with embedded words. However, there are others who know how to exactly use them and do wonders. No matter what way you consider, the hashtag has become one trend that goes unnoticed.
So what has brought so much craze of hashtags among the crowd and how come this small algorithm can work wonders. How can you use hashtags to get noticed on social media? Why hashtags are so popular on Instagram? Are Facebook hashtags equally relevant as Instagram hashtags?
Sure, all these questions must be popping in your mind.
Let’s read this post and know everything about hashtags and their so much craze, use, and benefits in social media.
What is a Hashtag?
A hashtag is a kind of discovery tool, used greatly by social media brands and users. It can be referred to as a new search function, a conversation stream used by those who have a mutual interest in something.
Hashtags employ contemporary trends, called as facts, specific interests or anything you write after pound symbol.
Most of the major search engines have their unique and index hashtags like Yahoo, Bing, and Google. This is a major trend of the 21st century that brings people together who share common interests, preferences as well as inspire each other. Also, they help users to enter into discussions by following hashtag pages or feeds. Eventually, this facilitates communication, enhances growth and bonding. This way, it leads to an increase in engagement and traffic.
A hashtag is a phrase or word following the pound or hash mark, extensively used on social media platforms, like Instagram and Twitter to gather, identify and offer conversations and active on a particular topic.
History of Hashtags:
Initially, hashtags were utilized solely by social media, yet shortly after marketing and advertising campaigns joined groups, they were used extensively and gained immense craze. Presently, hashtags have been filtered out and are now used in everyday social lives primarily in advertising campaigns and modern culture.
But just like other trends, even this one comes with some pros and cons. Nowadays, hashtags have been in fashion in everything you write offline and online. But only a few people use them. Hence, low-quality hashtags are often misunderstood, misplaced, misused, and abused.
With their technical name as metadata tags, the hashtags are searchable links which bless websites with referral traffic. Hashtags were created in 2007 and till date, they impress brands and users alike.
The first one to use the hashtag was IRC or Internet Relay Chats. IRCs were modes for messaging and live chats where people could collect and share similar preferences and interests.
Soon, hashtags were adopted by Twitter and used for tweet chats. They run like open groups where people can discuss and share about a specific topic. The integration of hashtag on Twitter was initiated by Chris Messina. His aim was to integrate a strong tracking tool on the platform, which can be conveniently accessed by people.
Soon, marketers were attracted to this new invention of social media. The vital thing is that when you wish to optimize content, titles, conversations and another kind of text form with hashtags, the activity will offer more visibility to audiences on search engines as well as social media.
Marketers use hashtags for SEO as a way to engage more people to their brand in the market. Hence, mainly they deploy 3 kinds of marketing strategies:
- Content Hashtags, which means using hashtags randomly in the post.
- Trending Hashtags, which seizes trends moment and post content related to their niche.
- Campaign or Brand Hashtags, which is related to creating a hashtag for a specific campaign or brand like #CocaCola.
Hashtags work as brand mentions and are used by marketers all across the world to analyze and collect what other brands are taking into consideration. Hashtags are great to track conversations and maintain their safety on pages.
Hashtags words are quite similar to long-tail keywords when identified they promise to deliver low search traffic, high conversion, and low competition.
Google indexes and crawls hashtags on Google+, Twitter, blog posts, and other platforms.
Moreover, Facebook is not a popular social platform to utilize hashtags. Initially, Facebook was against the hashtag idea but ultimately it adopted after seeing the engagement success of Twitter and Instagram.
Most SEO experts and marketers witnessed hashtags as a rich alternative to paid ads, which popped out from nowhere in front of people and did not gain the same success. Hashtags were organic and relevant, hence better.
Gradually, Google+ initiated including as well as support hashtags on the platform in May 2013. Though Google and Google+ as search engines performed better with hashtags than Facebook, it lacks the meaning. But Google considered it as an integral part of the social platform and SERPs.
Ways to Use Hashtags to Rank High on Social Marketing Platforms
The best way to use a hashtag is to sort out all junk, ignore spammers and create truly successful hashtag posts. However, it is important to act quickly on hashtags as they have a short lifespan.
Social platforms differ and so does the way they rank hashtags. Make sure you don’t make an educated guess on the way social platforms rank posts with hashtags.
Moreover, make sure you use hashtags considering the algorithms of search engines to read their changes and behaviors.
Using Hashtags on Twitter to Enhance Engagement:
Twitter is quite stingy and secretive while delivering information on their workings. There are numerous assumptions on the way Twitter may rank tweets and display the same on feed.
On March 15, 2016, Twitter shifted to a novel algorithm, which displayed a non-chronological tweets selection on top of the feed. Tweets, which you wish to care about, will show up in the timeline. We select them based on accounts, you’ve interacted the most, Tweets you engage with, and more.
Just like other social media platforms, it is vital to consider engagement in the timeline algorithm of Twitter. It not just impacts the online relationship with friends and following, but determines what is seen first.
Moreover, tweets must be relevant. It means freshness, retweet, favorites, click, overall engagement, external shares, time spent on a post, and clicks.
When Twitter is opened after a while, Tweets are most likely to care about will they appear at top of the timeline. The remaining tweets are displayed underneath and in reverse chronological order.
Logically, you must visit Twitter after some time and this will show posts, which are most relevant and in reverse chronological order. This is obvious as Twitter does not want you to miss anything.
But if you don’t want to revise everything, you can click on the option ‘happening now’ and see what is there in your timeline.
Furthermore, if you wish to tank high with tweets, you must better use hashtags. The thing to consider is that you cannot apply any rule or other guidelines, which work on other social sites. It is vital to understand everything and have tweets with hashtags that will have two times more engagement than those without it.
Considering the hashtag techniques of Twitter, effective tweets include 1-2 hashtags only. Hence, avoid using numerous hashtags as it can ruin the flow of the audience to the post. Now, the character limit has increased to 280, this means there is no limit to use hashtags, but hashtags will not perform as efficiently as possible.
Most importantly, the hashtags must be relevant and look like a natural part of your tweet. They must make a sense to the summary, post, and topic or subject of the post.
Hashtags and Instagram – The Relationship between the Two:
If we list how difficult it is for social media marketers to win the hashtag ranking algorithm, the first among all will be Twitter, followed by Instagram, Google+ and Facebook.
The hashtag pages on Instagram can be divides into two sections – Most Recent and Top Posts.
It is quite easy to read Instagram if we consider the ‘most recent’ section of the hashtag page. I myself posted a few pictures randomly on Instagram using hashtag option and it did appear in the recent section.
But later on, my post shifted below and was overcome by other posts. Mainly it is because a particular hashtag is quite a trending one. Hence, other posts disappear in just a few seconds. This confirms that the visibility and lifespan of the hashtag are very short.
Presently, the best place for using hashtags is Instagram. It is a heaven-like platform that marks success. Even digital marketers are aware of it and hence use it to best of their potential.
The exclusive success story is to use 9 hashtags, which are proven to bring more engagement. The best thing is that stories marked with a hashtag can bring great success.
When it comes to using hashtags on Instagram, there is no hashtag or character limit to it. Therefore, you can add even 30 hashtags to one post. This way, you have the opportunity to expand the audience base fast, ensuring that you deliver attractive content.
As already known, content is king. Hence, in addition to performing other actions, you must offer rich content to the audiences.
Remember, longer hashtags bring more engagement, just like the case with long-tail keywords. Moreover, if hashtags are more specific, the better it is. Generic and simple hashtags bring less traffic.
Can You Gain More Exposure with Facebook Hashtags?
Now, if we talk about Facebook, there is very little which we can say in context to the hashtag approach. Facebook was the last to adopt this new social media trends. Moreover, it did not seem to be investing much in it, just like the above-mentioned platforms did.
There is no limit to the number of hashtags you can use in a Facebook post. Therefore, you can gain increased interaction only when you go for the right number. According to a study by Trackmaven, a Facebook post with more hashtags tends to bring less engagement.
Hashtags and Google+
Quickly, Google no more shows Google+ hashtag results in its search engine rankings. Though there is no official announcement done for the same, it can be seen clearly on the Google+ platform.
Just like Facebook and Instagram, Google+ too lets you see posts from your specific agenda and other public posts. The real reason behind this is that Google+ and Facebook have the least targeted social sites among others.
Though it is possible to conduct a hashtag search for specific keywords that you can think of, see what is trending at that particular moment by checking ‘hot topics’ section.
The Best Way to Use Hashtags for SEO:
Hashtags are all about discovering, networking, popularity, marketing, building opportunities, and driving loads of traffic. They function like a library where you can easily find stuff related to a specific subject. They perform but display results only when you avoid overdoing them.
Having knowledge about it, Google index tweets for more long time. Hence, you must try including hashtags, which could enhance brand visibility and impact overall SEO strategy creating more brand searches and generating more brand awareness.
By using hashtags in your marketing strategy, it is possible to secure the brand with more opportunities to include their content, name, and activities on social media placed in Google search results.
By having a better understanding of using the hash mark on Instagram, Facebook, Google+, and Facebook, you can support your brand in gaining more visibility on search results. It is because it helps users to gain the best response to their needs and interests. It’s true that hashtags have a short lifespan, but it is also true that they can drive regular traffic to your website on a long-term basis.
Finally, if you are the first one to tweet anything on a trending hashtag, it can bring more visibility. Therefore, keep monitoring trends and post something, which is unique and engaging.