Goodbye pound symbol, hello hashtag – the tool used across social media platforms to help group, or “tag” posts by adding a ‘#’ symbol before a word or phrase.
But, what are hashtags good for?
Well, it turns out that it depends – on platform, on publisher, and on purpose. In our report, we look at how hashtags can be used in a variety of ways.
On Instagram, influencers use multiple hashtags tacked onto the bottom of their captions, or in separate comments, to drive views and gain followers.
Hashtags are able to gain traction on Instagram as users are able to “follow” a specific hashtag. However, publishers, brands, and individuals on Instagram who already have dedicated large fan bases including National Geographic and Kim Kardashian, limit most posts to 1-3 hashtags.
In contrast, on Twitter and Facebook, hashtags are most often successful when they tap into an event and begin to “trend”. As a result, most successful posts don’t include more than one or two hashtags. Furthermore, using multiple hashtags in text-based media can reduce readability and viewer engagement.
Playing the platform is thus essential when making hashtag decisions. In this report, we dive into how different hashtag strategies can help generate engagement on across social.
Understanding hashtag traction on Twitter around events
Tapping into current events with a hashtag can give a post traction on Twitter. From holidays to sporting events, a hashtag can help consolidate tweets about a topic that many are already posting about. By including current-event hashtags in posts, brands and publishers can increase the relevancy of their content.
As a result, understanding how to time event-oriented hashtag use on Twitter is essential to driving velocity in posts.
We examined Tweets that included #USOpen during the events 6-day period to analyze when the hashtag was used the most. After steady days of buildup since that began in the days leading up to the event, the hashtag #USOpen peaked on the final day of the tournament.
For further insights on how to best use hashtags to build your audience, check out our full report.