A #hashtag is a metadata tag prefaced by the pound or hash sign #. In the social media world, it refers to a word or phrase preceded by a pound sign #. It is used as a label for content and when added on a post, people are able to join in a larger conversation happening online. A #hashtag makes it so other people who are interested in a certain topic can be able to locate content on the same topic easier. They will need to only search the phrase or word with the # symbol. Mostly, you will find hashtags used on micro-blogging and photo-sharing services. And yes, you can create your own hashtag, especially for your brand. The best hashtags are short and striking. Before you start using it, ensure its unique and that no one else is using the hashtag.
Before it became the internet’s sensation, the hashtag was used on Internet Relay Chat IRC to help people communicate through channels or groups. In 1988, the first #hash symbol was used on the IRC groups to label topics that were similar to make it easier for people to find information faster. For instance, #London was used as the channel for people talking about London and those who are looking for information about singles or are single used #singles (CopyPress, 2019).
In 2007, the symbol became more popular after Chris Messina, a Twitter user suggested its use to differentiate groups. Below is the first ever tweet with a #hashtag,
Chris Messina is a social technology expert and from the IRC idea of separating groups, helped in creating the seven character sign that we use today. He requested Twitter to adapt the hash sign to gather, categorize, and index discussions using keywords with the hash symbol. It gained its popularity in 2008 and 2009 as more people began using it to report events across the world like natural disasters. It did not take long until other social media platforms adopted the use of hashtags. Today, when you want to see trending stories and the conversations around them, you just search the hashtag, and if you want your message to reach more people, you just use popular hashtags in your field to make it visible to more people.
How To Find The Best Hashtags
Placement of content on social media today is affected by various factors, #hashtags being one of the factors. Using frequently used hashtags or more popular hashtags is an added advantage. So, how do you find popular hashtags? It’s even easier today, you can get popular hashtags in aspecific social media by typing the word you want to use on the social media'ssearch bar. When you search a hashtag like #fit a drop down with all #hashtag results will be displayed and you chose the one you want. Of course, it to be the most popular.
For Twitter and Instagram, you use RiteTag a tool that gauges interest in hashtags. The tool will tell you how popular a hashtag is compared to other hashtags. It also gives you other relevant hashtags for the industry you are searching. Other popular hashtag monitoring tools include:
How many hashtags should you use for Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Instagram?
For Facebook, you need to include 1 or 2 hashtags that are really relevant to the item or post you shared. For Twitter, the best number of hashtags to use is 1 or 2. For Pinterest, you don’t need to use any hashtag on your posts. For LinkedIn, use 2 to 3 hashtags to help you find content in your industry. The use of hashtags on Instagram is very unique and posts rely very much on the hashtags used. You can add as many hashtags as possible. But the best number of hashtags to use is 30 (West, 2020).
Remember tracking your hashtag performance is an important metric to determine how your brand is doing online. You can easily know your brand’s popularity by the number of your hashtags used by online users. It is also a way of measuring interactions with your customers online. These metrics are important since they help to keep track of your progress. The task oftracking your performance on social media or doing social listening can be toomuch at times. So, you will need someone to help you with the reports and easier management of social media. Dashboard180 is your best tool when you wish to keep track of your brand or to ensure safety of all your online communications and documents. It’s an all-in-one socialmedia management tool.
CopyPress. (2019, August 16). The hashtag: A history deeper than Twitter. Content Marketing Agency | Content Marketing Services by CopyPress. https://www.copypress.com/blog/the-hashtag-a-history-deeper-than-twitter/
West, C. (2020, May 4). The complete guide to hashtag analytics. Sprout Social. https://sproutsocial.com/insights/hashtag-analytics/