For those that are new to the world of social media, it can be quite hard to understand how hashtags work. Wherever you look nowadays, be it Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or even LinkedIn, hashtags have become a ubiquitous part of the social media landscape, which sends us to the next question, how do hashtags work?
Hashtags became popular with the emergence of Twitter, largely regarded as the second biggest social media platform after Facebook. Hashtags are basically used for highlighting certain keywords.
Using hashtags properly is very important as it opens up the doors to many new potential customers. When you make a post on Instagram or Twitter, you want to make sure that the keywords in your post have a hashtag. The reason for this is that is now possible to search topically on social media. What this means is, that people now also search for topics and keywords, much like they do on search engines, instead of just using social media to find users and pages. If you use a hashtag on a specific word, your post will appear on the search listings of anyone who searches for that word. For example, if you want to write a post about Cristiano Ronaldo and make it visible to people interested in Cristiano Ronaldo, you could make it visible by using a relevant hashtag, such as #CR7, #Cristiano or #RealMadrid. People searching for this keyword will then be able to view your post. Thus is a great way to reach many new potential customers.
When many people in one region use a certain hashtag in a short period of time, it is considered to be ‘trending’. Trending hashtags are usually displayed to the right of the page. The good thing about trending hashtags is that you can use them in reverse. If it is Valentine’s Day, it is likely that #ValentinesDay will be trending. Using this hashtag in your post will therefore allow you to reach a lot of new people. Many topics are trending every day, so sometimes you need to be a bit creative to make your message fit with the ‘topics of the day’.
The ideal use of hashtags is to find ones that are likely to be searched by many, but without too much competition. Carefully targeted hashtags are also most effective for being viewed by people who will most likely convert into customers.