Hashtags by definition are: “a word or phrase preceded by the symbol # that classifies or categorizes the accompanying text” (https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hashtag)
Hashtags are part of our culture, even if you haven’t used one you are aware of what it is. Starting out on Twitter as a way to categorize posts the use of hashtags on various platforms has now exploded and they are part of our world regardless if you are on board with using them as part of your content strategy or not. (If not we need to talk)
An excellent example of this is The Tonight Show. Not only do they showcase a funny panda bear named Hashtag in their skits, but they also solicit engagement from all of us on a weekly basis via Twitter. Selecting a hashtag of the week, sharing it on the show then every Thursday Jimmy Fallon reads it on the show has turned out to be a weekly favorite of the audience but an excellent way to keep The Tonight Show valid in the social space consistently. It has also established relevance within the social and digital space. It is always humorous, including viewers who are not in the audience to be part of the show. Brilliant marketing strategy.
Almost every social platform fell in love with the hashtag, now we use them on LInkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Since each platform is unique the way you use hashtags on each platform is equally unique. Here are a few tips on how to use hashtags on Instagram and LinkedIn, these platforms are important for different reasons depending on your strategy.
Follow Hashtags: Yes you can! Just like an account, you can follow hashtags. For example, #kansascitystyle will show you everyone who uses this hashtag and their content. As a business, you can follow your competitor's hashtags to see what they are posting without following their actual account.
Don’t copy and paste your hashtags into each post. The algorithm knows when you do this. If you think getting your content into the feed is tough now, wait until it believes your posts are not genuine enough because you use the exact same hashtags in the exact same way for each piece of content that you post.
Use the communities feature (left-hand side of the page), pin the hashtags you use frequently to ensure you are following the ones needed for your marketing strategy.
Do your research. This is non-negotiable. Look at industry driven hashtags, competitor hashtags and personal branding hashtags, make sure you use the relevant ones with each piece of content you publish on this platform.
No matter what platform you use hashtags on please I beg you, do your research. PLEASE. Even normal hashtags can be misleading. It is better to be safe than sorry! Tools such as Hashtagify.com are life-changing, Use them!