A symbol that was once used to check our voicemails is now a valuable social media tool that has revamped the way users search and produce online content. Say hello to the #hashtag.

Hashtags were introduced by Twitter back in 2007 as a way to help categorize content for their audience. Since then, various social media platforms have obtained the hashtag, but Twitter and Instagram remain the top dogs.

Users like hashtags because it helps them find posts that are relevant to the topics they are interested in, whereas businesses like hashtags because it allows them to be a part of a popular conversation and gain greater visibility, which leads to more followers, which then often leads to better business.

Where To Use Them

The most effective social media platforms to use hashtags are Twitter and Instagram. Both of these platforms allow their users to search hashtags, which gives them access to any content that has that hashtag in its post.

How To Use Them

When using hashtags on Twitter it is best to keep them general and non-specific. Using general hashtags, like #summer, or special events like, #July4th, allows you to reach audiences outside of your followers. Utilize the Explore tab on Twitter to see what others are talking about in the world.

On the other hand, Instagram hashtags perform best when they are specific. Using hashtags on Instagram allows users to discover different profiles based on content that is connected to the hashtag being searched. It also helps build a brand for your personal account or business. The best way to use hashtags on Instagram is to use the ones your audience is already using so you know it will stay relevant and perform well within your circle.

How Many To Use

The amount of hashtags that should be used vary based on the platform. On Twitter users should use only 1 or 2 hashtags, but on Instagram users should use 10+ to be most effective.

When posting hashtags keep it memorable, unique and relevant.

Using a catchy hashtag is a great way to make sure your audience remembers your content. It’s also important that you don’t make it too long that people get irritated with it. Hashtags with 1- 4 words perform best. Remember to capitalize the first letter of each word in a hashtag that contains multiple words and don’t use spaces or symbols as this will break the hashtag.

Relevance is the major key when it comes to using hashtags properly. We all want more followers, more likes, more shares and more business, but staying on brand is critical when it comes to using hashtags. Users will notice if you are throwing in random, popular hashtags just to receive more views and won’t respect it. Ask yourself if the hashtags you are using are relevant to the image and message that you are putting out with your content.