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  • Hayotha Thill

Do Hashtags Even Work?

Although hashtags can seem strenuous and inefficient, more and more social media platforms are integrating them. Depending on which social media platform you're using, hashtags can have a significant impact on your growth and engagement.



Some platforms require hashtags, like Twitter, which relies mainly on hashtags to get topics trending and transforms Twitter into a place for discussion, regardless of who you are and where you're from in the world. Other platforms, like LinkedIn, tested hashtags before declaring it a bust. So it's essential to learn how hashtags are optimized and not-so-optimized for the top three social media platforms that use them:

  1. Twitter

  2. Instagram

  3. Facebook

We've summarized how and why hashtags can help or hurt your business, so you can stay on top of what's #trending! Blitz Marketing are the experts of social media marketing, with access to experienced experts and networks of influencers, we are your best option for any digital marketing.


Twitter


The platform attributed to the creation and success of the hashtag has proven the effectiveness of their repurposed number sign. Used as a way for interested consumers to find relevant content, hashtags are essential for brands and users alike, grow engagement of content and increase their chances of virality. Beyond that, hashtags allow users to engage in conversation, whether it's to learn more about a topic, discover new perspectives and opinions, encourage content, or even discourage content. These hashtags have also lent themselves to important social movements, inspiring and sharing historical collective action.


There is valuable data to consider before you start going #crazy with #hashtags. According to two separate studies, Twitter's own and Buddy Media's, hashtags are proven to boost a user's content engagement by 100%, and brands by 50%. However, these engagement percentages are the average, in reality, using a hashtag can induce virality that knows no limits, see KFC's use of #NationalFriedChickenDay. However, there are caveats you should know while using two hashtags can increase engagement by 21%, and applying more than two can decrease involvement by 17%. Many make the mistake that more is better, so keep this in mind before you overload your next tweet with #TooManyHashtags!


Instagram


Though hashtags function in similar ways through social media platforms, the impact of hashtags can be vastly different due to differences in internal algorithms and whatever else is happening behind the scenes. Since Instagram focuses on visual content, there is less emphasis on conversations and more on trends/movements. The top 10 most popular hashtags on Instagram are as follows: #love, #instagood, #photooftheday, #fashion, #beautiful, #happy, #cute, #tbt, #like4like, #followme.


Instagram hashtags are explicitly used to reach interested audiences. This directly affects how hashtags impact engagement and work very differently from Twitter. When including 1 to 10 hashtags, your engagement level can fluctuate from around 20% to 50%, but weirdly enough, if you've covered 11 hashtags in your post, your engagement can skyrocket to 80%!


Though you can face the disapproval of your existing audience for oversaturating their feeds or coming off desperate, hashtags can vital to your success on Instagram. Try to balance out the pros and cons of hashtags and decide for your brand what strategy would work best for you. Regardless of your take on hashtags, the critical factor to remember is that your hashtags should be relevant to your content. Don't view hashtags as a way to broaden your reach, but rather to get in front of valuable users who would be interested in your brand.


Facebook


Facebook is trickier than the above two, and hashtags' effectiveness seems to be up in the air. Studies have gone so far as to prove that hashtags have no impact on your content's engagement, and your content may even do better without hashtags. Other studies have shown that it is more dependent on the content and type of hashtag, pointing out that longer hashtags fare better because of more specificity in content. Although this information can seem slightly useless, it goes to prove how important it is to track engagement and learn what works best for your brand personally. General information is great, but the best thing you can do for your brand is to understand your audience, knowing the who, what, where, why and how of it all.


Contact Blitz Marketing if you want the best team for your brand; We are methodical, experienced, and creative, and will explode your brand, step by step!




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