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#Hashtags: Are You Using Them Correctly?

Whether you refer to it as an octothorpe, pound sign, or hashtag, this symbol is all over today’s most popular social media platforms. The sign first emerged on Twitter in 2007 as a way to create groups. Since then, the hashtag has become a widely used component of social media content.

If you aren’t using hashtags on social media, you’re missing out on an opportunity to boost your posts to a large group of users that otherwise might not interact with your content. Although incorporating hashtags into your social media posts is important, the correct usage can vary depending on the social media platform you are using. Take a look at some tips for using hashtags on various social media sites.

Don’t Flood Your Facebook

Less is more when it comes to hashtags in your Facebook posts. Research shows there is more engagement with posts containing between one and three hashtags. Posts with more than three hashtags began to show a decline in engagement.

In addition, your hashtags aren’t doing any good unless your Facebook profile is public. Ensure that your profile is public and that users can follow your page, or your posts are limited to your friends and followers. If your profile is private, your inclusion of hashtags will not increase engagement with your post.

Take it Easy on Twitter

Using hashtags on Twitter can increase engagement by about 21 percent, so do try to incorporate them into your tweets. As with Facebook, it seems that the ideal amount of hashtags on Twitter is 1-2. This amount will still allow other users to engage with your content and improve your odds of receiving a retweet without making your tweets look spammy.

To really boost your engagement, look into the current trending hashtags on Twitter. Those hashtags are actively receiving the most attention from users, so incorporating this hashtag will enable more users to see your post.

Implement Hashtags on Instagram

The “less is more” approach to hashtags on other social media sites is irrelevant on Instagram. Posts that include at least one hashtag result in 12.6 percent higher engagement on average, making them an essential additive to your Instagram captions.

Instagram posts containing 11 or more hashtags receive the most engagement, so hashtag away! 30 hashtags is considered the upper limit, so don’t go too crazy. It typically isn’t necessary to include this many hashtags, but it can certainly be done.

Go For It on Google+

There isn’t much research on the effect that hashtags have on your Google+ posts, but it is recommended to include hashtags since they have a relatively large impact on this platform. Also, hashtags on Google+ can provide SEO benefits. When users search for a hashtag on Google, a sidebar appears that includes related Google+ posts.

As with Facebook and Twitter, it is recommended to limit your hashtags to 1-3 on Google+.

Be a Leader on LinkedIn

LinkedIn recently began supporting hashtags on LinkedIn again, so using them can be a great addition to your profile. The platform uses hashtags to generate more relevant content for users, so this can be helpful for exposure and your own feed.

It is recommended to use hashtags on your business profile to increase your visibility to users. If you write LinkedIn Publisher posts, also include a few hashtags throughout the posts. This allows LinkedIn to classify your post into specific groups and show it to users interested in these topics.

Since hashtag usage is relatively new on LinkedIn, there is not necessarily a limit to the number of hashtags that should be used. To increase engagement without looking spammy, it is recommended to stick to the 1-3 rule, as with Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

With these rules in mind, go ahead and incorporate hashtags into your social media posts! This one symbol can easily help you increase your exposure, gain new clients, or simply get a few more likes on that great #selfie.
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