Hashtags: How They Work Across Platforms

Fadoua Hakimi | @FadouaHakimi Hashtags have become a part of everyday conversation. They allow you to better define your idea and link it with similar posts others are writing. They help categorize content on social sites. They expand your reach to people who are interested in the same topic. But how you utilize hashtags will change depending on which platform you're using.

Twitter: Tweets with hashtags generally get about two times more engagement (reply, retweet, favorite, clicks). For instance, 25 percent of tweets without hashtags get retweeted while 40 percent of tweets with hashtags get retweeted. It’s best not to use more than two hashtags in one tweet, however, because statistics show that doing so brings engagement down by 17 percent.

Instagram: Instagram is really big on hashtags but in a different way. Interactions are the highest on posts that have a whopping 11 or more hashtags. So the more hashtags on Instagram, the merrier.

  • 0 hashtags: 18 percent interaction per 1K followers
  • 5 hashtags: 43 percent interaction per 1K followers
  • 10 hashtags: 22 percent interaction per 1K followers
  • 11 hashtags: 79.9 percent interaction per 1K followers

Facebook: The addition of hashtags on Facebook were strange at the beginning. Posts with hashtags got a 0.8 percent median viral reach per fan while posts without hashtags got 1.3 percent median viral reach per fan, but as the concept of hashtags on Facebook progressed, so did engagement. Much like Twitter (even though there isn't a character limit on Facebook), a great number of hashtags still does not boost interactions.

  • 1–2 hashtags: 593 average interactions per post
  • 3–5 hashtags: 416 average interactions per post
  • 6–10 hashtags: 307 average interactions per post
  • 10+ hashtags: 188 average interactions per post

Google+:  Unlike on other platforms, hashtags are already built into Google+ posts. This platform also has “related hashtags” that offer a brainstorming opportunity for marketers to discover new content ideas and measure interest levels of specific topics. You are able to go in and edit them as you please. There is also the option to add hashtags in your comments to increase the chances that users will find your content.

As you can see, there is no one-size-fits-all rule for hashtags, so be sure your business is using them in the most strategic manner to increase overall engagement.

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