Engagement is the name of the game on social media. So what if I told you there was a quick, simple way to double your engagement in seconds?
That’s the story behind hashtags, those little # signs you see all over Twitter, Instagram, and more recently Facebook. Hashtags allow you to tag your posts with information indicating the area of interest associated with what you’re saying, which in turn lets people find your material when they’re searching for information on that topic.
Done right, a hashtag gives social network users valuable information about subject matter and trending topics. Hashtags have driven incredibly powerful social engagement in the face of world events such as the 2009 Iranian protests, the recent Superbowl, and the Ferguson shootings. When used well, a hashtag allows people to amplify their voice by finding one another and speaking together.
This works because hashtags, as information tags, are visible to anyone searching for them, even people outside your particular network. That’s a huge boost. But be careful – you might be tempted to add dozens of hashtags for maximum exposure. However, as you can see in the infographic, it turns out that people are turned off by multiple hashtags cluttering up their text.
Take Twitter, for example. On Twitter, simply using one to two hashtags is optimal, netting users 21 percent higher engagement (retweets, favorites, click-throughs, and replies). You’ll quickly see the difference – where 25 percent of un-tagged tweets are retweeted, 40 percent of tweets with hashtags get a retweet.
Facebook operates similarly, in that one to two is still the optimal range. Posts with one to two hashtags average almost 600 interactions per post, but that drops rapidly when you start seeing six or more hashtags.
Instagram is the exception here. The visually-oriented photo sharing site thrives on hashtags for sorting and finding the images. You get your best engagement with eleven (!) hashtags on a shared photo.
Google+ does all your hashtagging for you – which makes sense given Google’s penchant for information management – but you’re free to modify the hashtags to suit your own purposes. This is worth noticing, as hashtags are now built right into Google searches and Google remains the king of search.
Neil Patel created a quick cheat sheet for his blog to help you identify exactly the right hashtag to use in any given situation on a particular network. Take a look at the following infographic, and before you know it you’ll be hashtagging like a ####### pro!
This article was syndicated from Business 2 Community: What The #### Are Those Social Media Hashtags All About? [Infographic]
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