When people think of expanding their business reach, it is inevitable to imagine using social media. Over time, these platforms have added to the benefits of digital marketing where community engagement such as likes, followers, and shares can be monetized. Business experts execute this by converting viewership into purchases and follows into loyal customers. Since there are over millions of people worldwide using social media, you can only imagine how much a business can make if every user becomes a buyer.
With this marketing strategy in mind, the next thing you may wonder is how you can get higher viewership ratings when social media algorithms vary across different platforms. The answer to this is by using hashtags (#). While this is accessible to all businesses on social media, there are proper ways to employ hashtags. One way to do so is by avoiding the integration of banned hashtags into your content. This article will discuss how you can stand out in the competition with hashtags and how you can free yourself of the corresponding consequences from banned hashtags by avoiding them altogether.
A hashtag is defined as a type of label created with the “#” symbol widely used in social media platforms. Hashtags help users find posts containing relevant information and posts of specific themes. Successfully creating a hashtag requires using the correct keywords without spaces in between them. An example of this would be #SummerBody, #TooTired, #OOTD. The hashtags you can type on your keypad are limitless.
Hashtags play a crucial role in today’s world of social media users. By searching with hashtags on a platform, you will find various types of information tailored to your needs and interests, without the hassle of going over every single post containing the keyword you’re looking for.
Let’s say you want to find affordable private beach resorts: try the hashtags #AffordableBeachResort, #BeachResorts, #AffordableResorts. After hitting the search button, you will find posts related to the topics above instead of having to wade through thousands of public posts. To target a specific audience, remember that the hashtags you use should be relevant to the type of content you’re publishing.
Aside from the search result filtration, hashtags can also provide a break for social media posts with a text-heavy appeal. It may capture the attention of your target audience, explain the entire caption, or cut through the clutter and focus on the information that is asked for.
One example of this is a baby essential business brand that launched a campaign called #MommyDecides. Merely looking at that hashtag can already pique the interest of the brand’s market. To recap, here are the four main reasons why you should try using hashtags or keep using them if you’ve already started:
- It quickly processes the results people are trying to find: Aside from searching by category (e.g., images, videos, locations), you are searching based on keywords associated with you and the information. To better understand keywords, you can always apply some SEO techniques and Amazon suspension tips. These can also redirect users properly to your shop.
- It promotes users to take action: The hashtag system is designed so that you can satisfy the time and energy users exert into finding a post similar to yours. All you have to do is guide their journey to the purchase stage.
- It attracts various viewers to visit your pages: Whether you’ve published an organic or sponsored post, users are more likely to be curious about what your brand is all about. This is where building awareness comes in: the more familiar and invested people feel about your brand, the more they consider following and purchasing.
- It promotes brand creativity and engagement: Unique hashtags are not something only you can post. If more users add your hashtag to their feed and stories, it would be beneficial on your end. Your goals should also be anchored on incentivizing people who talk about your products and brand. This reward system can be done in the form of exclusive giveaways and discounts.
Do hashtags work the same way across all social media platforms? Apparently not. Depending on the channel, you’ll need to adjust the quantity, choice of words, and positioning of your hashtags (e.g, top of caption, comment section, shared public post). Let’s take a look a closer look at each platform and see how they diverge from each other:
Hashtags are a focal point for Twitter since it makes up for the limited character count of the site. Twitter is also where hashtags were popularized and used to increase community engagement by capturing statements with eye-catching abbreviations, instead of presenting a massive load of information.
For this application, you can apply up to thirty hashtags. Still, it should not translate to overcrowding your social media captions. You can keep your posts and stories clean by adding the other hashtags in the comments, which has the same function as including it in your post description. For IG, try to balance niche and popular hashtags.
Even though hashtags are relatively new tools on Facebook (it started in 2013), their effectiveness manifests in people who utilize them. When creating hashtags for this platform, reflect on particular topics that will spark interest.
- Google Plus
Should you decide not to add hashtags to your post, Google Plus automatically does it for you based on what it has analyzed from your text. It may add words that you commonly use or detect the subject of your content. Although this seems useful, the downside is that you do not always get the results you want compared to when you create or add your own hashtags.
For posts related to recruitment or job hunting, LinkedIn incorporates hashtags on posts or comments that will place your career in the spotlight for employers and employees looking at your business or profile. This is an opportunity for many sellers who are expanding their networks by hiring specialists to handle business concerns.
When dealing with Pinterest, think of a minimum of four hashtags that would best capture the message you want to impart. These hashtags will be reflected on your feed. While Pinterest lets you use a limitless number of hashtags, using a maximum of twenty strategic hashtags is highly recommended and (as research indicates) may even double your reach.
Unlike other social media platforms, YouTube permits hashtags on video descriptions and titles. Up to fifteen penalty-free hashtags can be used for each video, excluding tags (which cannot be cited in the description)..
Even if hashtags are widely applied in digital content, this does not mean that businesses are free from the consequences of bad hashtag usage. Every year, each social media site bans a set of keywords, and using these can lead to suspension or legal action. You’ll need to ensure that these issues do not happen in your company lest you get a reputation. In the next section, we will look at the definition, types, and consequences of using banned hashtags.
Avoiding Banned Hashtags
Banned hashtags refer to a category of hashtags that violate a social media platform’s guidelines, community standards, or terms and conditions. Should you go against the rules, your post will be taken down from the web. You may also face a legal investigation, depending on the type and severity of the offense.
The set of banned hashtags change every year and may limit your organic content. Still, it is meant to be updated alongside the ever-changing interface and amendment of site policies. Banned hashtags are also created to shape the community culture of the platform; some websites allow sexual innuendos, others don’t.
There are also “innocent” hashtags found within the banned grouping. These hashtags are there because of the number of times they’ve been used to spam pages, with or without the presence of bots. Keep in mind that social media platforms are responsible for trimming down spam messages and eradicating fake accounts for the safety of real users.
List of Banned Hashtags
Worried about what hashtags are on the list? We’ve gathered the complete list of 2021’s banned hashtags for Instagram and Facebook to diminish your worries (note that these banned words may also be applicable to other platforms):
List #1: Letters A-D
List #2: Letters E-K
List #3: Letters L-R
List #4: Letters S-Z
Thinking of a creative way to present your hashtags may be tedious and time-consuming, especially if you’re managing a business on your own and juggling digital marketing with online selling. However, you don’t need to deal with the consequences of mere hashtag usage, especially if they are avoidable.
Was it your first time hearing about banned hashtags? Did you see anything you used in the past 3–5 months on the list? Let us know what you think about this article by commenting below. We would love to hear from you!
Author’s Bio : Jayce is the managing director of Seller Interactive, the number one Amazon advertising agency based in Canada that helps brands build their business on Amazon. His content marketing expertise has led him to work with brands such as Toyota and GoDaddy, producing content that has reached over 20M views in a month.