As a content writing company, we’re familiar with the ins and outs of social media, which is something we take pride in when it comes to giving clients great, unique content. Still, it’s beneficial for any client to understand exactly what they need in terms of their social media content, and this includes the concept of hashtags.

Hashtags are a recent social media phenomena. Used mostly on Twitter and Instagram, hashtags collect site content containing the same word marked with the pound sign (#) and make them easy to search through. It’s likely you knew all this, but it’s equally possible you don’t fully understand just how important they are.

Social media used to be about hanging out with friends, family, acquaintances and co-workers in an online forum, but it’s expanded into a way to connect with strangers from around the world. The ability to reach large audiences is why social media is such a powerful marketing tool for businesses, especially those that can’t afford flashy commercials or huge billboards to showcase their wares and services. If you buy social media content, you’re spending a lot less than you would be on these kinds of mainstream advertising, and you reaching a much larger audience: the globe.

The Two Types of Hashtags

Hashtags come in two forms, and these are useful to distinguish when it comes to crafting unique content where social media is concerned. Let’s break them down:

  • “Dictionary hashtags” are when buzzword phrases or nouns are used as hashtags instead of just unformatted words. Examples include #content, #writing, #blog.
  • “Creative hashtags” utilize manufactured phrases into sparking a conversation based on the hashtag itself. Examples include #YourDailyInspo, #WritingChallenge, #CustomContent.

The uses for these two forms of hashtags can be both very different and very similar. All hashtags are used to let others have the opportunity to easily locate your tweet or Instagram post. “Dictionary hashtags” are very in tune with this purpose. Their direct intention is to cast a very wide and general net.

“Creative hashtags”, however, offer a more unique content experience to Twitter browsers. These require online concepts such as “going viral.” No one is likely going to search directly for these hashtags, but they do start a specific conversation that can easily be referenced and associated with a brand or situation.

Both of these methods of hashtagging can be utilized by any business, but does this accurately explain why they’re so useful in the first place? Why hashtag when Twitter has a search feature?

The answer to this is quite simple: consolidation. Doing a search for a subject on twitter can bring you a wide array of tweets, and a lot of them will probably not be at all what you’re looking for. Hashtags group everything together neatly. Any and all tweets and Instagram posts with this hashtag will show up, and that’s exactly what you need from your social media content.

Quick Tips

  • Hashtags can be abused and tossing five or six in every tweet isn’t acceptable. Try not to go over two or three if you’re really trying to reach a wide audience. Inserting too many in a tweet is awkward and obvious.
  • Instagram and Twitter have different hashtag cultures. While the above is true of Twitter, many Instagram posts are littered with 10 or more hashtags. Try to keep a good, even range of six to eight for your own content.
  • A constant goal to keep in mind is to keep your content easily accessible, no matter where you’re posting it. Social media isn’t an exception; in fact, your social media accessibility is arguably the most important of all your unique content.