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#Hashtags: What, Why, When, How Many

Hashtags have taken the social media world by storm but are often confusing. This week we break down what they are and how they can benefit your business.

 

WHAT
Hashtags are a way of organizing social media posts so that users can find relevant or similar content. They are used on multiple platforms including Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+. Although multiple platforms have embraced them, they still just seem to work better on some than they do for others.

 

WHY
Why would you want to group content? There’s several reasons. Your business might have a hashtag that helps group content that was taken at your location. This is a great way to curate user-generated content for your social media. Events often use hashtags to create dialogue or showcase performers, celebrities, etc. The recent election is an example of this. It’s also quite frequently used for live events, particularly on Twitter. By using the same hashtags information can be disseminated quicker and read easier, keeping people up to date, and allowing them to add their own voice.

 

When/How Many
When should you use hashtags? Let’s get the big no-nos out of the way first. As a business, shy away from using hashtags on Facebook. While one or two might be appropriate here and there, for the most part they are irrelevant there. Facebook’s graph search allows you to search words in a post (whether they have a hashtag or tag), thereby leaving them almost useless on the platform. Facebook’s other property, Instagram, is probably the best place to use hashtags! They are well received in the community and you’ll often see people using quite a few. Instagram will allow you place up to 30 per post. Using hashtags on Instagram, can greatly increase the reach of your post and well as stories on Instagram Stories. Other sites like Pinterest, LinkedIn, or Google+ are also quite receptive to hashtags.

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