Do I Have to Hashtag?

Amanda Gay, Planit

Findability.

A dreadful word that will cause anyone who remembers how to search through a dictionary manually to groan. Suppose you’re the person in your company charged with managing the social media accounts and wondering how, when, and why to use hashtags. You may want to grab a Gravol and digest it for a minute.

Findability is what you should be thinking about when considering hashtags for social media posts. Your best and most engaged audience is those actively looking for your specific content. If you want potential clients to discover your gorgeous kitchen photos, you need to hit them where they’re searching—in hashtags.

Twitter and Instagram are particularly good at encouraging users to follow hashtags according to their interests. Let’s say, for example, Lauren, who happens to be planning a kitchen renovation, is scrolling through her Instagram feed and ‘likes’ a photo of a stunning modern kitchen. Instagram will then sneak some related accounts and hashtags into her feed to encourage her to follow them. She may decide to follow #modernkitchens and will then regularly see posts containing that hashtag.

Using hashtags may seem ridiculous, but research has shown that posts containing hashtags have better engagement. They help you reach your potential clients who aren’t yet following you.

It’s important to note that for LinkedIn and Facebook, hashtags currently offer no real advantage and may even work against your post.

You should use no more than two hashtags for Twitter, while Instagram has no saturation point. Plenty of free tools are available online to help you figure out which hashtags to use. Search for ‘hashtag tool’ and use the one that’ll help you find your most relevant and most popular hashtags and help you manage and save them for future use so you don’t have to think about it too much next time.

Embrace the ‘ole pound sign for findability.

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