Born on Twitter, hashtags are becoming more and more prevalent. For those of you who don’t know what a hashtag even is: “The # symbol, called a hashtag is used to mark keywords or topics in a Tweet. It was created organically by Twitter users as a way to categorize a message,” (www.socialcaffeine.com). Hashtags have even been adopted by Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Instagram.

So should you be using them? The answer is yes, definitely yes.  Consider the following:

  • Tweets that contain one or more hashtags are 55% more likely to be retweeted (or shared) than those that don’t.
  • Tweets that use up to 2 hashtags have a 21% higher engagement rate.
  • When tweets include more than 2 hashtags, there is a 17% decrease in engagement.
  • Hashtags are now applicable to Facebook and other social media channels as well.

Other than increased retweets, why are hashtags important?

Hashtags give you the opportunity to direct buyers to your content and allow you to engage with consumers based on shared interests. These two things mean that including hashtags increases potential interest in and traffic to your site.

Hashtags have become so popularized that they’re even being teased about on Saturday Night Live. Check out Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake with their hilarious verbalisation of hashtags:

[youtube width=”640″ height=”480″ id=”57dzaMaouXA”]