Just a short while ago, the symbol # was known to represent numbers. Today, it’s the international symbol for hashtags.
If you’re confused about what a hashtag is, it’s essentially a searchable keyword that plays a profound role on social media, particularly on Twitter and Instagram. Use it in conjunction with your posts/tweets so others will discover you. By searching for or clicking on that particular hashtag, one can see all of the posts associated with it.
The hashtag was invented on Twitter, and is still very relevant there. Its use on Instagram, however, is even more significant, especially as that platform has emerged as one of the leading social media platforms focused on community.
By clicking on a particular hashtag, you can view the content of others, allowing you to seek relevant content that can inspire, educate, or at the very least, be of interest to you.
Using hashtags properly allows for others to find your content and land more eyes on your posts. This is important when it comes to building your audience, extending your reach, and fostering a sense of community.
On Instagram, you can use up to the limit of 30 hashtags. The more you elect to include, the further your post will go. Instead of cluttering up your caption, post them as a comment below your post; it will work the same. Choose a variety of hashtags, from very broad to very niche.
With Twitter, limit your usage of them to only a minimum, preferably no more than 2-3. Using too many will make your tweet messy and distracting. Be strategic with your choices. Broad hashtags, like #vegan or #animalrights will work, but getting too specific might lead you to using hashtags that no one uses which will be of little benefit. Additionally, you can reach a whole new audience by writing tweets using trending hashtags -- hashtags that are being used widely at that particular moment.
Beyond just being a tool to get more eyes on your posts, a fun use of a hashtag is by making it the exclamation point on a sentence. Finish your tweet or Instagram post with a single hashtag that is meant to drive home a point. For example, your tweet could look something like this:
Milk comes from abused cows who experience trauma throughout their lives. #DitchDairy
Properly using hashtags will maximize your ability to communicate on animal advocacy and is an effective way to come together to collectively create a kinder world for animals.
John Oberg is a social media pro, dedicated to making the world a kinder place for animals by utilizing the power of social media. He recently launched his own independent project for animals through Patreon. Prior to that, he served as Director of New Media for the international animal protection organization, The Humane League. And prior to that, John served as Director of Communications for Vegan Outreach. In both of these roles, John oversaw social media for the organizations which led to a tenfold increase in following in both, as well as over 1 billion views of content posted to these pages.