Using hashtags on #Google+ is different than using them on Twitter. Unlike clicking on a Twitter hashtag that takes you to a different hashtag-specific stream, when you click on a Google+ hashtag it will take you to other similar hashtag posts in the stream. Google+ will also show you related hashtags.
You can also search for Google+ hashtags, and all of the relevant posts will appear in the stream. The Google+ platform has a couple of options for viewing hashtags. You can arrange them in chronological order, or you can see the “Best of” posts. The “Best of” posts are qualified by the amount of engagement they receive and their timing.
Google+ also intuitively adds hashtags to posts if it thinks they’re relevant to the post. Google explains how these hashtags are different from those you add yourself in the support pages. The hashtags that are gray are the ones added by the user, and the hashtags that are blue are added by Google based on the content of the post. Even though Google will suggest hashtags, it’s important that you use hashtags in all of your Google+ postings.
Be sure that the hashtags are relevant to the topic. Short hashtags work the best. And the best practice is to include three hashtags. The first three hashtags are displayed at the top of each post and will affect what searches your post shows up in. Put your hashtags in order, beginning with the one that is most important or relevant.
To join conversations, search for and use hashtags that are popular and relevant. Keep in mind, that the way that posts with hashtags are displayed in the stream puts them in competition with each other. Users who only have enough time to read one article will flip through a couple before choosing the one they want to read. This is why it’s very important for you to look at your competition’s hashtag content before you post yours. In addition, make sure that your content is attractive with a nice image and a catchy title.
In order to appear in the “Best of” stream, your content will have to be very good. You can also experiment with the timing. You can join a conversation during its peak or you can enter a conversation as it’s dying down. The best timing will depend on the type of conversations you join.
Starting conversations is great, but you need to stay up-to-date with what’s going on currently in your industry. Reacting to current events is a brilliant strategy. This is where related hashtags become more important. You should also use your conversations and hashtags to lead into a subject that can help promote your brand.
Google+ hashtags are still new to the platform. The marketing strategies for hashtags on this platform are still evolving and can change with time. However, the way related hashtags are displayed in the stream allow for a lot of options to experiment with the best way to use hashtags.