Everyone knows what hashtags are in 2017. They’re used constantly, particularly on the platforms Twitter and Instagram. But where should they go? Do you prefer to turn existing words in the post into hashtags, or add them to the end? Does it make a difference whether you’re using Twitter or Instagram? Does it make a difference in general?
This poll question sprouted from an internal debate our Executive Editor, Kelsey, and I were having:
I prefer to tack them on the end (with the occasional exception). Having hashtags intermixed disrupts the flow of reading for me. Kelsey felt the opposite—that it looks cleaner (and takes up less space) if you use existing words in the text and turn them into hashtags. Here at SEJ we vary between the two.
So what do you do when you have a debate? Go to the Twitterverse for answers.
Search Engine Journal’s Twitter audience weighed in in an #SEJSurveySays poll. And it was neck-and-neck! Up until a few hours before closing the options “add them to the end” and “existing words” were tied.
— Larry Kim (@larrykim) January 24, 2017
— Damon Gochneaur 🏆🏆 (@DamonGochneaur) January 24, 2017
— Jose Miranda-Alvarez (@jmirandalv) January 24, 2017
In the end though, 41% prefer adding hashtags to the end of a post. Creating them from existing words came in close at 38%. The final 21% shared they had no preference in this hotly contested hashtag debate.
So, really, it’s a win-win. Make sure you’re following the best practices of hashtag usage and whether you add them mixed in your post, or tack them on the end, you’re good to go.
But we all know hashtag spamming is a very real thing—and it can cause very real trouble. Don’t overpower your post with hashtags; keep them relevant; and make sure you’re (always) publishing creative, useful content.
Don’t be the user that posts: “Check out the #new #SEO #article I wrote! #Learn all about #contentmarketing here.” and you’ll be well on the way to making the # proud.
Have Your Say
On Twitter and Instagram, do you prefer to turn existing words in the post into hashtags, or add them to the end? Share your thoughts in the comments below and have your say in the next survey by checking out the hashtag #SEJSurveySays on Twitter for future polls and data.