#Stop #Using #Excessive #Hashtags

#Hashtags are an ingrained part of our culture, but that doesn’t mean they should be a feature of every post you make on every platform you use. 

A huge red flag when we look at prospective clients’ current social media strategies is excessive hashtagging across every platform. Even though the message might be the same on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn – posts must be changed for each platform to optimize your organic results. 

Hashtags can play an important role in your social media strategy. They allow users to see your posts easily even if they don’t already follow you. Internally, a branded hashtag can help individual members of your team promote your organization through their only social media accounts – growing your reputation and reach even more. 

Hashtags also give you the opportunity to listen in on social trends, the Trending bar on Twitter being the prime example. We’ll explore that more in another post. 

But not every platform works the same way. There are some obvious differences in creative needs across the platforms – optimal image size, text length, posting times, etc. But too many organizations overlook the differences in hashtagging across platforms. Let’s dive into the differences. 

#Facebook

Facebook was a late adopter of hashtags – the feature wasn’t even available on the platform until 2015. 2016 was the last time Facebook updated their hashtag policies. This lack of hashtag support is reflected in the Facebook algorithm that determines which posts are seen. 

According to a study by Sprout Social, user engagement decreases with every additional hashtag. This means that when you’re posting the same copy to Facebook and Instagram, you’re tanking your Facebook posts while boosting your Instagram. This not a wise decision for most organizations.

#Instagram

Twitter made hashtags popular, but Instagram took them to the next level. Instagram supports up to 30 hashtags in the original post, but you can squeeze in even more in the first comment. 

According to Hootsuite’s 2019 report, Instagram posts with 9 hashtags perform the best. So, for the sake of your accounts, please use different copy for Facebook and Instagram. 

Even though it’s easy to cross-post on the two platforms, it’s devastating to your results. 

#Twitter

As the founders of hashtags, Twitter takes them very seriously. Their “Trending Now” feature is largely driven by hashtags, and the Twitter team even has recommendations on hashtag use

Twitter copy is limited to 280 characters, so you should already have differentiated Twitter posts – but if you’re looking for the magic number of hashtags, it’s 2. Twitter will downthrottle your visibility by 17% per hashtag after this threshold. 

#LinkedIn

Your LinkedIn deserves extra attention by your digital provider. As a professional platform, it requires a special touch of professionalism in the copywriting and creative. 

Sendible, a favorite here at Converge Digital, recommends limiting your LinkedIn hashtagging to 3 per post. As always with LinkedIn, keep them professional – LinkedIn even helps with this by recommending hashtags for your post. 

Wrapping Up

Social media is constantly evolving. If you don’t stay up to date with best practices and platform optimization, your organization is left behind. At Converge Digital, we take care of that for you, so get in touch and get social media off your plate.