Social media has become much more than just a place to live vicariously through your friends who have a much more exciting life than you do. It’s become a platform to elevate businesses, corporations, and brands to stratospheric levels.
To begin, were you aware that the social media platform Twitter executes more search queries per month than both Bing and Yahoo combined? No? Neither did we until we started doing a little bit of digging. The reason it receives so many queries is that Twitter has 328 million active users each month. Each of those unique users typically chooses people, brands, and corporations to follow based on hashtag category search results. Oh, and by the way, for those not in the know a hashtag is simply a word that following the pound sign (#), like #rockstar, #entrepreneur, #hustle, etc.
While Twitter was the hashtag pioneer, they’re not the only platform that employs hashtags to conduct search queries. In fact, Facebook, Instagram, Google+, Pinterest, Tumblr, and YouTube all allow users to search for different categories of interest via a hashtagged word. For example, if you enter the term “#business” in the search bar of any of those platforms, you will find that your results lead to many other relevant categories. You’ll also hit on the latest posts, news, and be able to find relevant people and companies to “follow” within the business category.
But there is a fine art to the hashtagging of words on any of the platforms though. Tag too many words and your message becomes unreadable. Don’t tag enough words and your message won’t be seen by enough people to make a difference. So, let’s look at a good example of how to choose the right keywords to hashtag.
To start, there are a lot of sites that can help you select the most relevant words to hashtag along with your primary message – one of our favorites is the site Hashtagify.me, which provides the “All-time Top 10 Hashtags” related to your query. So, going back to our example of “#business,” when you enter the word business into hashtagify.me’s search bar you receive the following terms in return:
By now, you should get the basic idea of what hashtagging is. But that’s not all you can do with them. Some of the most famous brands and people in the world create entire campaigns just by creating a hashtag and asking people (whether they are brand loyal or not) to send in a quote or photo of themselves in a hashtagged post. Kit Kat chocolate bars is just one example. Their #mybreak campaign has Twitter users around the world sending in pictures of themselves with Kit Kat bars. This is a recipe for free marketing on a massive scale and instant sales as people race out to buy a Kit Kat bar to submit their entry in the hopes of making the official Nestle Kit Kat Twitter feed.
There is a lot that can be done with hashtags on the social media platforms that employ them so do yourself a favor and explore the different uses on various sites. What works on Twitter might not work on Facebook, but it might put you over the top on Pinterest. Play around with them and watch your analytics for each platform to see what works best. If you’re really not sure how to use all the different social media sites, or you just don’t have the time, you can always hire a social media writer to manage your accounts and tweak your hashtags for you—were here to help.