The social networking sites have always launched or added something new and different to keep the users interests intact. These additions or changes have been witnessed to be as big as an entire pro life-overhaul or as small as a peanut. One of such introductions include the hashtags. Its popularity proliferated after a few years of its inception on social media, but when it did, it was in an eye-wink-time.
Hashtags are represented by the pound sign, #, on social media. Similar conversations can be easily tied by using this hashtag sign, which can be prefixed, suffixed or used anywhere in between your posts.
Now, how hashtags work on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. A well- elaborated explanation on hashtags usage with respect to the three popular sites is given below.
- Hashtag on Twitter: Twitter is one such site that initially made hashtag usage very likeable. Using a hashtag on Twitter to get involved in any conversation or to start a fresh one is very simple. It’s like tweeting with a hashtag sign affixed with a word or phrase in that tweet. The account must be public for it to be visible in the searches.
In case, you want to find hashtags on Twitter, you can use any of the options offered by the site that suits you the best.
- Using the search box present on the top right corner of the page for any simple search of any hashtag.
- Availing the Advance Search option for gathering detailed results on the search, that offers to search for tweets with certain phrases or words, in a particular language, from some accounts, from specific locations, published on specified dates, even with emoticons.
- Third party tool for monitoring hashtags such as by way of HubSpot’s Social Inbox.
- URL Search by way of directly typing a hashtag into the URL.
- Trends, for searching popular hashtags, under the trending topic bar. Twitter customizes these trending topics as per your profile information and also tailors such searches as per your instructions that you can provide after clicking on the “Change” button.
For any word or phrase that’s hashtagged, related contents appear under a few streams on the screen, such as,
- Tweets from big brands or renowned personalities- both with numerous followers- that appear in the Top stream,
- Tweets from everyone that are live or most recent about the particular hashtag presented under the Latest stream,
- Top Twitter accounts listed as per the hashtag shown to follow under the People stream,
- Photo-clusters or collages in tweets using the hashtag that is shown under the Photos stream,
- Videos in tweets relating to the hashtag under the Videos stream, and
- A menu that drops down with a click showing various options (including the option to save your search), shown under the More
Apart from the above streams, there is a column on the left- hand side of the screen that provides you with unofficial hashtags.
Hashtags can further be used for live Twitter Chats. This is another interesting feature on Twitter. Twitter Chats are made on extremely diverse topics. Look for the TweetReports’ Twitter Chat schedule if you are planning to get involved in such chats. For starting your own Twitter Chats, you can submit them for consideration.
- Hashtags on Facebook: Hashtag, here as well, functions similar to how it does on Twitter. However, there is a limitation latched to its usage. As most of the accounts on Facebook and posts by people are not public, this makes such hashtags unsearchable, unless they are not published by brands, influential personalities, publishing professionals, etc.
Using a hashtag on Facebook requires you to publish a post that includes a hashtagged word or phrase on Facebook Page or timeline. In order to make the hashtag searchable, the post needs to be public, that is, visible to everyone and not just your friends. Once the post gets published, the hashtag works as a link that directs you to hashtag page.
In order to find a hashtag, either of the following three easy ways can be used.
- Search Box option, showcased at the top- left corner of the page, for searching any hashtag you are already aware of.
- URL Searches by way of typing the hashtag into the URL.
- Trending Topics, shown on the left- hand side of the screen, is another option to search for popular topics. But this option is subject to its availability to certain countries.
The hashtag stream on Facebook is a bit similar to that of Twitter to the extent of certain heads, namely, Top, Latest, People, Photos and Videos that perform almost alike functions on Facebook as they do under the Twitter streams. There are, however, a few more options available (not under any “more” stream), such as,
- For selling the product through Pages created on Facebook to the Facebook users, the Shop is the specified stream,
- On specific topics related to the hashtag, Facebook Pages provide you with knowledgeable stuff,
- For places that are associated with the hashtag, Places stream is present,
- Names of groups that are officially associated with the hashtag lie under the Group stream,
- Certain Facebook apps under the Apps stream associated with the hashtag, and
- Under the stream Events that is related to the Facebook events associated with the hashtag.
- Hashtags on Instagram: A hashtag on Instagram also works like it does on Twitter and Facebook. To use a hashtag on Instagram is very simple. It only needs you to make an Instagram post that includes a hashtag. Your hashtag will appear in searches as long as your account is public. Once you start to typing in a hashtag while writing a post, Instagram will provide you the suggestions about the hashtags based on their popularity levels.
For finding a hashtag on Instagram, there is only a single search mechanism. Go for the simple search by clicking on the magnifying glass on your mobile screen. This leads you to the Explore tab. From here, you can type the hashtag you want to search for, by viewing the “Tags” option, or look for the popular hashtags from scratch that are liked by people whose posts are liked by you or the posts that are liked by all people on Instagram at large.
There are just a few major streams on Instagram for any hashtag, making it’s way simpler than those of Twitter and Facebook, such as,
- The stream Related Hashtags shows all the hashtags that are related by some sort and mean the same,
- For posts by big brands and influential individuals that show the high level of engagement under the Top Posts (limited to nine posts), and
- For the latest posts from everyone relating to a particular hashtag, the Most Recent
Hashtags are a good way to increase visibility and upsurge engagements. But also understand that using them too much will only irritate the viewers and users.