The use of hashtags in social media began on Twitter on August 23, 2007, with Chris Messina. The idea of using the hashtag symbol came from a chat room that used the pound symbol in the name. When Messina pitched the idea to Twitter, Twitter told him that using that symbol would “never catch on.” In 2009, Twitter officially created an option for its users to be able to search for hashtags. Once Instagram launched in 2010, people brought the use of hashtags over to the new social media platform, as well. Social media giant, Facebook, adopted the hashtags in 2013.
Hashtags are being used around the world to connect people. Other than being used simply for entertainment, hashtags are also being used by companies to connect with people on a more interactive level. Companies are looking to expand their networks and interactions by increasing their usage of hashtags; however, there are effective ways to use hashtags, depending on the social media platform.
Most tweets on Twitter are accompanied by hashtags. According to Forbes, hashtags are “vital for growth.” Research done by Buffer concluded that tweets with one or two hashtags get at least 21% more interaction than tweets with no hashtags or more than three. It is beneficial to test the use of hashtags to see what type of hashtag works best for the particular audience your company is trying to reach.
Twitter has a cap on the amount of characters that can be in each tweet, which makes it harder to use a large number of hashtags. Instagram, however, permits up to 30 hashtags per message. Although the thought of using 30 hashtags seems like a good idea, consider keeping the posts clean by using no more than 10 hashtags. A study centered around the effectiveness of hashtags concluded that keeping hashtags at a minimum could cause your posts to spike to 25,000 interactions per post. In the end, an abundance of hashtags doesn’t provide more opportunity for visibility.
When Facebook adopted the use of hashtags in 2013, it did not have the same outcome as other social media platforms. Posts with fewer than two hashtags had close to “593 average interactions,” while posts with 10 or more hashtags received an average of only 188 interactions per post. Even it is still relatively new to Facebook, using hashtags can help people become more aware of your brand, if they are searching for specific topics.
Whether your company is using hashtags on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook, there’s always room for creativity; however, monitoring the hashtag usage will benefit your company. #Using #hashtags #on #every #word #isn’t #as #effective #in #business #as #we #would #think. Do some research about the particular subject of your posts and see what the trending hashtags are. #Becreative and use a little hashtag magic.