Share

Share on twitter
Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on email

How to Use Hashtags on Each Social Platform

 

Hashtags, formerly known as “pound signs”, are a relatively new trend in the past 5 years (#Hashtag…Meta).  This functionality was originally adopted on Twitter and it has since been adapted on several other social platforms including Instagram, Google Plus, Pinterest, Facebook, Tumblr and Flickr.  Some of my personal favorite hastags include #blessed, #instagood, #sorrynotsorry, and #thingslongerthanakardashianmarriage.

Hashtags have been successfully utilized by both users and businesses in order to generate a following around a particular subject matter or topic.  Sometimes are effective for viewing amazing and creative trending topics, and sometimes they are more playful than functional.  In this blog, we’re going to take a look at how hashtags work on each social media platform.

Twitter

Rules

  • Twitter hashtags only support letters, numbers and underscores.  Any other special characters are not allowed.
  • There are no limits to hashtags, whether its the number of hashtags you use or the length of the hashtag, as long as its below 140 characters.

How to See What’s Trending

  • Search a hashtag in the search box at the top of the page.  The default results will come up with the most popular tweets using the hashtag you’ve searched. You can switch the results by clicking All to sort by date showing the most recent first.

Screen Shot 2015-02-18 at 5.18.26 PM

Hashtag Tools

  • Hashtagify – tracks trending hashtags and shows related hashtags for any base terms you provide.
  • TwChat – allows you to participate in conversations, as well as host Twitter chats.  It also allows you to monitor and/or archive any hashtag streams.

Instagram

Rules

  • Instagram hashtags only support letters, numbers and underscores.  Any other special characters are not allowed.
  • You can add up to 30 hashtags for a single post. You can even add more hashtags as a comment after you make it live.

How to See What’s Trending

  • Search a certain hashtag by entering the hashtag into the search feature, and it will populate with results sorted by most recent.

Hashtag Tools

  • Websta – allows you to track popular or “hot” hashtags on Instagram

protip1

Google Plus

Screen Shot 2015-02-18 at 5.19.25 PM

Rules

  • One rule and one rule only for Google Plus: don’t use spaces.  If you try to use characters that aren’t numbers, letters or underscores, you might run into a wall because the platform may attempt to drop it.

How to See What’s Trending

  • Google Plus has a much different perspective on hashtags, and it will actually auto-hashtag updates when a topic is clearly discerned. Hashtag search results are ranked by popularity and relevance.

Hashtag Tools

  • Cyfe – the only tool that allows searching and archiving Google Plus hashtag results.

Pinterest

Rules

  • While hashtags aren’t widely used, they’ve been “quietly supported” for some time.  What this means is you’re able to click on the word that appears after the “#” and only if it appears in the description of the pin.

Screen Shot 2015-02-18 at 5.20.10 PM

How to See What’s Trending

  • Pinterest hashtag support isn’t fully available, so if you search a hashtag on Pinterest, the results you’ll get will be words, phrases and other derivatives of your original search query.

Hashtag Tools

  • Since hashtags aren’t fully integrated into Pinterest, there are no tools that currently monitor or archive hashtag streams and pins.

Tumblr

Screen Shot 2015-02-18 at 5.23.44 PM

Rules

  • Tumblr hashtags work very similarly to WordPress tags. You can only link them in the tags field, and if you try to add a hashtag to the content, it will not be clickable.
  • Using Tumblr hashtags do help to improve the visibility of your updates across the entire platform.
  • There are no limitations as to how many hashtags you can use on Tumblr, but only the first five hashtags you implement are searchable.

How to See What’s Trending

  • If you search a hashtag on Tumblr, the query results will display users who recently used those hashtags, giving you the opportunity to follow them.  This allows for easy acquisition of new, relevant followers.  After it displays the users, it will show the most popular, followed by the most recent uses of the hashtag.

Hashtag Tools

  • TagSleuth – allows you to monitor metrics and analytics from hashtags on Tumblr and other social networks.

Flickr

Rules

  • Flickr allows you to put almost anything after you type in your “#”, but it will only actually link letters and numbers.

How to See What’s Trending

  • Flickr hashtags are a bit atypical compared to the other social platforms.  For example, clicking on a Flickr tag brings you to a search page where you can filter by license, search for groups and more.
  • If you click on a Flickr hashtag, you will land on an explore page, which shows related hashtags and photos with the same tags. Results are sorted by most result as the default, but you can change the search results to “most interesting.”

Hashtag Tools

  • Let us know if you have a good monitoring tool for Flickr!  We haven’t found one yet.

Facebook

Rules

  • Facebook hashtags support letters numbers and underscores, as the other platforms do.
  • There are currently no limitations to the number of hashtags you can add on a Facebook update.

How to See What’s Trending

  • If you search for a hashtag in the Facebook search bar, make sure to be patient and not click on the first result, which is likely another user’s profile or a Facebook page.  You have to look at the bottom of the search results for your hashtag, and click.

Screen Shot 2015-02-18 at 5.13.52 PM

  • You can also search a hashtag by going to facebook.com/hashtag/x (e.g., facebook.com/hashtag/california.

Hashtag Tools

  • Keyhole.co – allows you to track hashtags in real time.
  • Rowfeeder – generate reports for hashtags, usernames and keywords.

The one real time for hashtags on any platform that I can give you is to make sure your hashtag has purpose.  Don’t just go through your social posts and start hashtagging any words, because that’s not going to provide you with results.  Do your research and have an objective behind its use.

#SigningOff,

Erica Weatherstone