I have recently been talking to a number of my clients about their twitter and Instagram accounts and mentioning “hashtags” and “hashtag hours”. For many people that has been met with a bit a blank look. This blog explains how and why hashtags for twitter and instagram are useful and provides you with some useful hashtags to use.
Hashtags for Twitter
Hashtags are essentially an online social media filing system. It is an easy way for online content to be categorised, enabling people to find conversations on topics that they are interested in. People use the hashtag symbol (#) to highlight a relevant keyword or phrase in their Tweet. Most importantly, this makes them more searchable and easier to locate within the system.
Take for example the Great British Bake Off. During the programme people join the twitter discussion about the events of the week using the hashtag #gbbo. This hashtag can then be searched by any user which highlights the tweets which have been grouped by the hashtag. These tweets can then be responded to, beginning a discussion, retweeted and thus shared by other twitter users and liked as is seen in the tweet below by @BritishBakeOff. This is a useful tool that can also be used for business to connect and promote your services via social media.
Above: An example of a tweet using the #GBBO hashtag. Notice it has 20 comments from other users, has been ‘re-tweeted’ or re-shared by 81, and ‘liked’ by 580 people.
Above: Screenshots from the #GBBO twitter discussion.
Hashtags on Instagram
Hashtags are also used on Instagram, however in a slightly different way. For optimum engagement on twitter you should use no more than 2 hashtags. On Instagram it seems about 5-11 hashtags on your Instagram posts allow your posts to reach as many people as possible, however you can use up to 30.
Above: See how this instagram user has used descriptive hashtags of their image and placed four spacing dots between their caption and the block of hashtags. This means that they don’t appear on other users feeds without them clicking ‘see more’, whilst still utilising the engagement with a wider audience.
Twitter hours offer an opportunity for businesses to connect and discuss a specific topic. They are fantastic in increasing awareness of your business and what you offer within the local area, in addition to building relationships with other users within the hour. They are often location specific, so we have curated a list which may be relevant to your business here in York.
All Day #WeddingWednesday
#WeddingMarketChat (For wedding professionals. Different weekly topics)
9-10pm #Weddinghour (Advertise business, blogs, competitions, ideas and inspiraion
#weddinghour (Inspirational networking hour for Brides, Grooms and wedding industry internationally)
If you’re intrested in looking at a more comprehensive list, there’s one at https://tillison.co.uk/blog/complete-twitter-chat-hours-directory/
Other hashtags to use
Other than participating in Twitter Hour Chats there are countless hashtags you can use in every post.
Hashtagging your business name can be useful if potential clients want to receive information about you, and also prompts others to use it too when they interact with your business. Highlighting the focus of your tweet or post, for example an event, location or product. This will help bring people to your page and hopefully spread the word!
Wedding Related #hashtags
As another example we will look at hashtags which are associated with the wedding industry, illustrating how diverse they can be. If you are unsure what hashtags to use for your business, take inspiration from other social media users. Explore what businesses like you are using and consider adding to these hashtags.
I hope that this blog post has been useful in understanding how to increase the reach of your social media accounts using hashtags!