Using hashtags

The 101 on Hashtags in 2021 (and How to Use Them)

Let’s get the big question out of the way: What are hashtags? Hashtags on social media platforms like Facebook, twitter and instagram are used to make your content categorized and 1discovered. In other words #hashtags are for search.

If you were to ask a millennial or a Gen Zer what this symbol (#) is, 9 out of 10 times they won’t be calling it a pound key. See, this symbol followed by a term, number or even an emoji can lead someone to pages filled with information that relates to it. #Fitness and you’ll find fitness content. #Entrepreneur and you’ll find business content. 

However, hashtagging has changed since it was originally created. Let’s take a look at the evaluation of hashtagging and how we should use them today. 

In the beginning… he said “let there be #tweets.”

We can thank our dear friend (manifesting here) Chris Messina for being the #hashtag hipster pioneer. As of August 23rd, 2007, this new popular trend surfaced on Twitter and took off. 

“The very ephemerality of hashtags is what makes them easy and compelling to use in a fast-moving communication medium like Twitter.” – Chris Messina

There was a desire to easily communicate with a select group of individuals with the same interest. During the wildfires of 2007 in San Diego, California, Messina had encouraged users to use #sandiegofire and the use of hashtags took off. He stated, 

“I’m…interested in simply having a better eavesdropping experience on Twitter.”

By July of 2009, Twitter adopted hashtags and placed it directly on their navigation bar for users to look up trending topics from pages they follow, new discoveries like sports, entertainment, politics and so on. (Note: hashtags that are trending on Twitter are trending there alone. Each social medium has its own trending topics that sometime overlap and often do not.)

Twitter Explore for Hashtags

Modern Day Hashtagging 

After your interest of #funnycatvideos took off on twitter, every single social media account began to incorporate hashtagging for discovery and… BRANDING. 

 

Alright business owners, buckle in, this is about to get good. 

There are several reasons why you NEED to be using hashtags on your social media posts for business reasons. Take Jeep for example, their “Stay off the Road,” campaign was to encourage their followers to stay inside during the 2020 pandemic lock down. 

This campaign was created for the Super Bowl LIV commercial featuring Bill Murray, with the final screen displaying #Stayofftheroad. With over 11,000 users on Instagram alone, this hashtag was used by loyal followers of Jeep. 

This hashtag was intended to encourage people to stay home, while bringing awareness to the brand. #Genius! And the best part, this hashtag lives on. You can still search it today and the first post will be from Jeep.

Jeep #Stayofftheroad

How Should Businesses Use Hashtags?

Glad you asked. I want to show you before I tell you. This is a slight plug for our Fadr products…. Ber(ry) with me. 

No boosted posts, no like campaigns, just pure hashtag discovery. 

As of Jul 22, 2021 (when we launched with products), we intentionally created posts with general hashtags to increase profile visitors. 

Hashtags like #vegan and #summer has increased our likes by 60% since our first post.

But moving forward, with a larger audience, these hashtags will be replaced with more specific, campaign driven tags. For example: #Vegansupplements #SummerisforSleeping. Follow the Fadr journey at @getfadr… #plugged. 

If you are operating a new account, hashtagging is your new BFF. Whether you place them in the caption or in the comments, they will still be visible and searchable. But here are some notes:

  • If you place them in the comments section instead of the caption, make sure you do it in the same hour the post went live. 
  • Follow that hashtag… incase of a PR scandal or to engage with your audience, you want to stay up to date. 
  • Do not use hashtags that aren’t brand related (see examples)

Let us add some more context to that last bullet. In the past, using the hashtag #like4like or #cutie would get you a lot of double taps. But today we see a lot of bot comments.

Honestly, nothing drives us up a wall like bot accounts. But, we like taking advantage of the Instagram comments algorithm to engage. Comment below if you’d be interested in reading about social media algorithms.

Fun fact for you, you can only add 30 hashtags to your post and 10 to your story. So here’s a rule of thumb:

  • Don’t overdo it on the hashtags… it’s annoying to read and they most likely won’t all be quality ones. Stick to 5 – 10 strong searchable ones.
    • Tip: Use google analytics for top keywords.
  • Don’t keep them on your story post. 
    • Tip: Color match the background or move them so they’re hidden. 
  • Don’t recreate the wheel.
    • You know OOTD stands for ‘outfit of the day’. Don’t try to make it stand for ‘open outside to dogs’ or some weird brand concept. Your content will be drowned out by the masses. 

The use and interpretation of hashtags will always be up to you. However, we know one thing for certain. This trend won’t be dying out anytime soon. It’s functionality is too powerful for brand awareness and reach. Use them wisely and for more helpful tips and a free consultation, call us at 561.299.3381 or email team@intotheblueagency.com. To learn more about our awesomeness visit https://intotheblueagency.com