How hashtags on social media support SEO

By Vicki May 11, 2018

In this day and age, social media reigns supreme. So it’s no wonder that businesses of all sorts, large and small, are looking towards Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to help grow their brand. One strategy for effectively building a strong social presence is to make use of hashtags.

What is a hashtag?

Before looking at the specific platforms and how the hashtag can help boost your presence on them, let’s take a look at what a hashtag really is. A hashtag, or as it is seen on social media, #, is used to tag your content with a specific keyword or phrase, related to your post and brand. This allows users to find your content, even if they don’t follow your page, by searching or clicking on a hashtag that you use. Hashtags allow you to expand your audience outside of those that are already connected with you, giving your posts further reach.

Hashtags on Twitter

Twitter was where the hashtag was first brought to popular light on social media. While it had been seen around the web in other forms, the hashtag as we know it now was introduced on Twitter by Chris Messina in 2007. Since then, the platform has evolved the concept, being able to pick out specific trending words or phrases without a # in front of them. And, while Twitter can now identify trends without the use of the hashtag, that doesn’t mean the symbol has lost any of its power. Using hashtags, as well as talking about trending topics, can help your message reach a much wider audience than an uncategorized post that will only make it to your list of followers.

Hashtags on Instagram

Instagram is where the role of the hashtag really shines. As with Twitter, clicking on a hashtag will take you to a feed of photos and videos under the same tag. This allows you to see related content. Recently, Instagram made hashtags even more important by introducing a feature that allows you to follow specific hashtags, enabling you to see all the content being posted under the tag without having to manually search it. Thanks to its popularity and success on the platform, hashtags on Instagram have become a go to tactic for businesses looking to get their brand out there.

Hashtags on Facebook

Hashtags are a little harder to utilize on Facebook. Unless your readers know where to look, the use of hashtags gets kind of lost in the shuffle of the main news feed. However, there are still those who go searching for hastags. Clicking on a hashtag on Facebook will take you to a trending section of the site, and allow you to see posts that are trending with the tag. While not as widely utilized as on Twitter and Instagram, using hastags on Facebook can still be done effectively.

How hashtags help SEO

So how do hashtags help you with SEO? Put simply, hashtags help to grow your social media accounts, and a strong social media presence helps to boost SEO. The more followers you have on social media, and they more they engage with your content, the better the chance they will click a link to your site. Having a strong social media presence also portrays a level of expertise and legitimacy to potential clients or customers, and hashtags can help you build that positive presence.