I really want to gripe about the overuse of hashtags again, but I will save you from that and redirect you back to a blog I think covers that issue pretty well. Today, I want to talk about where to use hashtags because some people seem to think they belong everywhere. They don’t. Hashtags are great for compiling posts and content about a particular subject in one place to follow a certain conversation or event. Some social media platforms have adopted the hashtag and gracefully integrated the feature in their own way, others, not so much.
They just don’t belong here. I’m sorry Facebook, but stop trying to make the hashtag work, it’s not going to. For starters, hashtags look out of place on Facebook. More importantly, the integration is not great. People don’t use hashtags on Facebook as frequently, or with as much urgency as they do on Twitter. Facebook just doesn’t operate that way and the use of the hashtag on this platform feels weird. The only exception to this rule for me is in promoting or supporting an event. Multi-channel marketing for an event will use platforms like Twitter and Instagram as well, if you’re using a hashtag for your event on one, it should be visible on all. The Facebook hashtag isn’t completely useless, but it isn’t nearly as effective as it is on Twitter. I won’t hold it against you if you use the hashtag on Facebook but personally, I’m not a fan.
Hashtags simply do not belong here. No exceptions on this one I’m afraid. They don’t serve a purpose and look unprofessional in your posts and updates.
I don’t want to hear it. A well-timed quip including #blessed can be funny, but using them in regular conversation just makes you sound silly. Leave the hashtags online where they belong.
So, where can you use hashtags? Most obviously, Twitter. If you aren’t familiar with how to use the hashtag on Twitter, head over to this blog for some pointers. Other than the obvious there are a few other social platforms that have done a good job of using the hashtag in their own way.
I really believe hashtags should stay put on Twitter, but if you’re using them on G+, it’s somewhat acceptable This isn’t their home by any means, but they do make topics easier to search. Using the platform can be a little confusing but the hashtag helps to bring content under one topic together. The hashtag on G+ isn’t as widely used as it is on Twitter, but if the search function is letting you down and you can’t find anything valuable in your groups, try out the hashtag and see where it gets you.
I will give Instagram props on their integration of our dear friend the pound sign. Instagram adopted the hashtag in two ways. One, the hashtag is almost as much about being a description as it is a tool for compiling like thoughts. Two, it’s cool to look at a collage of photos under a tag and see all of the different photos associated with it. It’s almost like looking at a scrapbook of all the photos taken in a certain place or on a certain topic. The visual aspect of Instagram has made the hashtag unique on the platform, in a way that it doesn’t really do on Twitter.
No matter where you use the hashtag, don’t abuse it. It’s a powerful little sign that can do wonders for your event or ongoing conversation but it shouldn’t be part of your oral vocabulary and if I had things my way, never used on Facebook.