The Importance of Hashtags
Depending on when you were born, the # symbol can rather mean “pound,” “hashtag,” or even just a tic-tac toe board. Over the course of the past decade hashtags have taken over any campaign to promote products, music, etc. Its primary use is to boost reach and impressions on a post, while also programing a platforms algorithm to optimize a search to your post.
Hashtags play a vital role in improving a brand/person’s recognition and visibility. In today’s day and age social media can make or break an artist, so optimizing your hashtags can improve your target audience and make sure your work stays relevant.
What is a hashtag?
In the rough definition, a hashtag is a label for content on blogs, social media, and all parts of the internet. It helps people quickly find content just through searching an app, search engine, etc.
In its most basic form a hashtag is the symbol followed by a word or sentence without spaces. A hashtag can look something as small as #music, as long as #InTheLoop, or even #😀 (with some sites/platforms supporting emoji hashtags).
Hashtags are often used on social media platforms such as TikTok, Instagram, and In The Loop! With its relevance and use stemming from Twitter.
How does a hashtag work with algorithms?
Hashtags often allow sites to recognize when a topic is trending. Algorithms want to make sure relevant topics are always being viewed on a platform to keep users engaged and active. When big events happen, such as the activism from #BlackLivesMatter in mid 2020, topics around the subjects of racial and systematic oppression were trending worldwide constantly. And with the hashtags trending during the peaceful protests anyone with internet access were able to view live footage of the organized marches and police brutality.
Hashtags are not limited to big stories or events, creators and artists can use them to market themselves, while also optimizing who their work will reach. In most cases today the proper use of hashtags can make a person’s career because you never know who will be watching/listening.
What is Search engine Optimization (SEO)?
SEO is simply the process of improving your visibility within a search engine. The better visibility you have in searches, the better exposure you will have when people search your work. Music labels will often pay for ads based on words the general public would likely search for when wanting to hear new music from a rising artist just to make sure the link is the first one you see. A great example of an artist using hashtags to improve their SEO and relevance would be Lil Nas X.
Lil Nas X’s social media presence is a major factor in his success as he uses hashtags and his posts to promote his work uniquely from other artists in the industry. He started social media with a fan page to Nicki Minaj, but rose to stardom with his viral hit Old Town Road. For his recent releases he is using #FreeLilNasX in regards to his legal battle with Nike and #Montero the name of album and his own legal name to promote his music. Simply using these hashtags causes people to look up why he needs to be free or even just organically optimizing the word/name Montero which keeps himself more relevant in their minds while also promoting any work he currently is releasing.
Now that you know what SEO is and how hashtags are used successfully to improve it, how exactly does it work?
Search engines such as Google use bots to read through pages, blogs, posts, etc. to ollect information that may be relevant to searches being made by a user. Algorithms analyze the keywords and tags in addition to a plethora of other variables to determine the positioning of pages in the search results. SEO also factors in user experience where if a word/phrase is searched and the 3rd link is constantly clicked on, its positioning will move to the top.
Within social media platforms, hashtags help the search tool show your accounts when a keyword is searched if you are using a unique hashtag constantly.
How Should I use Hashtags on social media?
This is dependent on your current following. If you are just starting your social brand, the key thing is to bring in followers that would resonate with your niche. If you are a punk rock band, you would be more successful using #punkrock vs #music. Being specific with your hashtags when you first start off will help grow your audience and gain followers more likely to interact with your posts.
As you become a bigger artist, hashtags are best used when releasing snippets of an upcoming album or promoting a project you are working on. This is because when your social following make many posts with #youralbumname or #campaignname, more people will be inclined to view the hashtag and move to your account. Also when your fans and audience use the hashtag it will help your SEO organically.
Some other tips for hashtags:
1. Limit the amount of hashtags
You don't want to have posts where the entire caption is flooded with hashtags
2. Hide the hashtags
#this #at #the #end #of #your #posts
This helps keep your content clean for your audience.
3. Use insights/analytics
Use the analytics to find out which hashtags are connecting with the community
How Hashtags will be used on In The Loop
Tagging will be made by you, the user, and it will help group together loops within similar genres. This will help our algorithm with providing content related to your viewing habits and also provide similar content to artists and producers within the same genre. With the hashtags, people can search for the tags to see related content.
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