Hashtags #LookLikeThis. You’ve seen everyone on your favourite social media app use them and I’m sure you’ve wondered why. In this article, we’re touching on the tip of the iceberg; that is the importance of hashtags and how your social media presence can improve just by adding them to your posts and comments online.
A hashtag is a metadata tag that is prefaced by the pound sign or hash symbol, #. Hashtags are used on microblogging and photo-sharing services such as Twitter, Instagram and WeChat as a form of user-generated tagging that enables cross-referencing of content; that is, sharing a topic or theme.
Key things to remember about hashtags
i. To increase engagement with your followers
Using hashtags in your posts increases your chances of being seen by other users. If you joined a conversation online, adding hashtags to your comments helps the algorithm prioritize you and show your comments to more people. Adding hashtags to your comments and posts can lead to greater engagement, through likes, shares and comments.
ii. Build brand awareness with branded hashtags
Creating a branded hashtag can be an effective way to promote your business and drive conversations. For example, someone came up with the phrase ‘local is laka’ or ‘support local’ in recent years and it’s become a household phrase attached to the pride people feel when they talk about their culture or tradition. It was easy to attach #localislaka and #supportlocal to any local brand online and be seen immediately by other people looking for local brands.
iii. Show support for social issues
Brands can also create a hashtag to promote a product or service. For example, MTN, a telecommunications company, uses the hashtag #EveryWhereYouGo to symbolize how many parts of the world they operate in.
iv. Using hashtags so people can find you
On Linkedin and Instagram, users can follow a hashtag to see comments from different people all over the world. Using a few popular hashtags can be another way to help new users find your brand.
For example, if you use #foodie on your Instagram posts, someone who follows that hashtag will see your recent post in their feed and will be enticed to follow you if they like what you’re offering. This is a great way to gain new followers.
iv. Hashtags aid your Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Adding hashtags to your social media posts will mean you have more opportunities to place your content in Google search results. If you place your hashtags well in your blog titles, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter posts you will create an additional way for users to search and discover your brand easily.