#Hashtags are everywhere. They crept up on an unsuspecting world like QR codes promised to but kind of failed.
I can say that with authority because there is a QR Codes for Dummies but not a Hashtags for Dummies…
And yet hashtags are on the rise and QR Codes on the decline (according to Google Trends hashtags surpassed QR codes in popularity in June 2013 and are still rising).
All the major social networds use them:
- Twitter (obviously!)
- And let’s not forget Instagram
Google+ is interesting because it auto-tags stuff for you. You can tell the difference between ones you add and auto-tagging by the colour of the tag (blue for Google’s contribution).
If you don’t like Google’s cheeky additions you can remove them (if you’re the author of the post).
You can also opt out completely using the option in your Google+ settings page:
Google will only add hashtags to NEWLY created posts, so don’t worry about your old stuff (at least that seems to be the idea).
Leaving the auto-generated hashtags in is a good idea since it helps your posts get discovered (it’s not just you linking out!).
Quicksprout claim that adding 1 or 2 hashtags to your Tweets gives them twice as much coverage but warn you not to add more than two.
Whereas 11 hashtags produce (by far) the most interactions on Instagram (almost doubling the number of social interactions when compared to using just 2 tags).
The following infographic from Quicksprout is a great mini guide on the subject: