We all know hashtags are popular right now. Twitter and Instagram seem to have trained users to know how to use them for their sites. But, what if you don't get it? What if you don't get how to use hashtags on Instagram vs Facebook? What then?
Well, you're in luck! While we might not be discussing Twitter in this article, we will be addressing how to use hashtags on the Instagram and Facebook platforms. Hint, they have very different uses on each platform.
In short, biggest difference lies in how the two platforms have set up hashtags to function on their platforms.
Instagram uses hashtags like a categorizing index. Users add hashtags in front of a word or phrase as a way of labeling their images and captions so other users will find them. Instagram is set up so that if a user searches for a specific hashtag they will find a feed with images that have used that hashtag in their "directory" of hashtags on their post.
This is a very formal way of looking at it, but that's not usually how users decide on them. They often use the hashtags more as a summary of what the image is, who they are, and how they want followers to feel or how they feel about the image.
Instagram allows up to 30 hashtags per post, so there can be a lot of categories touched each time an image posts. We can talk about optimizing hashtag use later, but currently posts seem to get the most reach, right now, at 8-11 hashtags per post.
Facebook does allow minimal searching for hashtags on the platform, but since they aren't as commonly used, they don't often return much in search results.
Facebook often use hashtags to be a bit more tongue in cheek with their use. Using hashtags as a way of conveying feelings, using them like a cartoon thought bubble, and often as a way of tagging personal events or people.
Using custom hashtags on personal posts allow users to search through their memories more easily to bring up everything they and friends post about an upcoming wedding or baby. People often use them as a way of tagging their children, by using a nickname in the hashtag, so they can flip through images and memories of their kids as they grow.
In general, Facebook hashtag use is much more personal, while Instagram uses them as a service to followers and potential followers to find information they want, quickly and easily.