History of Hashtags
The year is 2018 and hashtags are now a part of everyday vernacular. You probably have even commented the words #burn on a savage comeback post somewhere on social media. Hashtags have found an irreplaceable place in pop culture and even our lives – redefining the ways we consume online content. Millennials are more familiar with the #ThrowbackThursdays than basic national history.
The profound effect hashtags have on social media and the categorization of posts on your feed is uncanny. An integral part of modern day marketing, an advertiser should have the basic understanding of the best ones to use for promotions. For this reason, I believe it is time we had a deeper look into this seemingly innocent bunch of words preceded by a “#” symbol. Let’s find out how it all came to be!
The First Hashtag Ever!
Twitter is the birthplace for the first every hashtag. This is no surprise as Twitter is a social media platform the literally revolves around this concept of tags that trend. 2007 saw the first ever tweet that used a hashtag.
Chris Messina is an American technology evangelist who is an advocate for open source and open standards. Messina is best known for proposing the use of the hash character on Twitter as a way of grouping messages. It was only after 2 years in 2009 that Twitter officially made hashtags a part of their social media culture.
What is it all about?
It’s simple. Reach.
More than 75% of people on social media use hashtags. Of course, more than half of the audience use them haphazardly and without proper context – you know just so they fit in or look cool. The small percentage that does use it for the intended purpose usually do reap the benefits. “Intended purposes, you know-it-all? What’s that all about ?”, you might ask. Yeah, hashtagging generally serves three purposes. You use them to Categorize your post, for Discovery among peers or to Join the Conversation on trending topics.
Suppose you are doing a photoshoot based on a Halloween theme. The best way to file all those pictures up for future reference is by hashtagging them something like – #Halloween2018. By doing this all your posts and any other similar ones are given an identity. Something that you or your followers can use to reference them whenever they want to. This makes things so much easier for your audience to find specific content on your feed.
This particular feature is especially relevant when we take it in terms of Instagram. Instagram has an explore page that is dedicated to just that, discovering similar content that aligns with your tastes. The usage of proper tags can get your post out there and land on someone searching for the exact same idea. Trending topics and relevant pictures can shoot your posts to absolute viral fame.
Being a part of the Conversation
The efficient usage of hashtags can make you a part of something bigger. Twitter is the home ground of all kinds of debates on social and political issues. One of the best platforms for mini news-bytes on the internet, you can get updates on the most recent issues just by checking out the trending tab. A good example of good group conversations is how #IndiaForKerala got trending during the floods. Loads of communication and life-saving information was transferred through social-media just through hashtags.
Tips on Getting the best out of Hashtags
Every social media platform is different. This means that the same strategy that you use for one place will not in another. Let us take a look at how we can get the best out of hashtags on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
Being the first platform to implement the entire concept, Twitter is where hashtags rule as king. It’s an integral part of the entire network, a hub for all its posts. Twitter even houses Trending Now tab dedicated to hashtag usage.
One thing where Twitter stands apart from all its competitors is how relevant you hashtag must be. You can’t go around tagging 5 or 10 topics as you wish. This is going to come off as very amateurish or opportunistic. The best way to get the most out of your post is by using one or two extremely relevant hashtags. That’s it. Don’t go overboard.
Instagram is the only platform doesn’t punish its users for excessive hashtag usage. You can have fun here and try out all the fancy ones you need. Go ahead and create your own hashtag too. Grow your followers with the best trends. The data on the exact number of hashtags for maximum engagement is variable. But a ballpark number suggest that you can get the best reach when you use between 7 to 11 hashtags. The best part about using hashtags on Instagram is how you can find similar users and posts that adhere to your complicated tastes. The platform does a good job of keeping a list of the kind of content you like. This means you are going to see a better looking explore page too.
Although being the biggest social network, hashtags are not the first thing going through your mind when you think of Facebook. The rare usage of hashtags on the platform means that using them unnecessarily seem very pretentious or fake. A BuzzSumo study of one billion posts came to the conclusion that tagged posts actually performed worse than untagged ones. Now THAT is some really unexpected information. Of course, it is not true for all cases. Even if you decide to go with the usage, make sure that you stick with just one or two. Nothing more.
Now we have learned about the origins of hashtagging. The basics of proper usage on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook can help you understand how to make sure that your killer content reaches the audience. Let’s get your social media game started. A digital marketing expert who can do hashtag research and get you trending is what you need. Look no further, Adhuntt has got your back. Good luck with your brand. Ciao!