how to use hashtags

How To Use Hashtags On Every Social Network – A Guide

Remember when a hashtag was merely a symbol you placed before a number? Ah! The good old days. Now, it is a tool used by social media marketers to improve their brand’s visibility. However, only those who know how to use hashtags properly are able to reap benefits.

After years of experience as a digital marketer, I can safely say that I now know how to use and not use hashtags! And I have decided to impart this wisdom onto today.

Let’s start with the basics first.

What is a hashtag? Well, in today’s world, it is more than the # symbol. Introduced by Twitter, hashtags are used to group and categorize the content.  

Why should you use hashtags in your campaigns?

I have a one-word answer for this – engagement. Regardless of what social media you consider, the use of hashtags, when done correctly, tends to boost the engagement and reach of a given post. For instance, according to Inc., tweets with hashtags are fifty-five percent more likely to be retweeted.

hashtag stats

Therefore, your hashtag game must be strong for each of the social media platforms you are active on.

Demystifying how to use hashtags

According to Statista, there are over 3.78 billion social media users in the world. And certain social media platforms continue to amass a significant chunk of these users. It is imperative for you to use hashtags properly in these mediums.

Let’s first begin by knowing how not to use hashtags. Don’t:

  • Overstuff your content with hashtags.
  • Use tags that are irrelevant to your brand or vision.
  • Hashtag every word.

Now, here is a rundown of how to use hashtags for each platform.

How to use Twitter hashtags

Let’s begin with the introduction of hashtags – Twitter, which is a social media platform with over 193 million active users. A lot of brands use Twitter to communicate with their customers, as well as to promote their brand.

Using hashtags on Twitter is a tad tricky. While using relevant hashtags can help boost engagement, going overboard with the activity can end up reducing your engagement. Generally, two hashtags per tweet tend to be enough. According to Digital Information World, this can help boost engagement by 21 percent.

Strategies to Use

  • Add relevant trending hashtags in your post to get involved in a conversation.
  • Create a customized hashtag for your influencer marketing and aim for the trending list to further increase the hype of your brand.
  • Make sure to use relevant hashtags only. For instance, if you are a shoe store, you cannot hop onto a trending hashtag regarding makeup.

Examples around You

KFC makes use of #NationalFriedChickenDay, a user-generated hashtag to celebrate the day of fried chicken, and tailors it to its content and product. See how the brand uses relevant popular hashtags to further its reach.

kfc tweet

However, there are certain conversations that transcend niche relevancy. For instance, the recent highlighting of racial injustice saw many brands use the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter to channel their support. Here is how Ben & Jerry’s voiced their opinion.

black lives matter

Similarly, see if you can tailor a given popular hashtag to align with your brand. NASA did this impeccably by connecting its Apollo mission anniversary to the world emoji day!


How to use Facebook hashtags

Now, using hashtags on Facebook is quite tricky. Some studies say that the act is not as effective as posting hashtags on other platforms. Therefore, it is best to keep the use of hashtags on Facebook to a minimum. At most, add a maximum of two hashtags.

Strategies to use

  • Encourage users to use your customized hashtags in public most to improve the visibility of your brand.
  • Use Facebook hashtags to monitor what public profiles are joining in your conversation or campaign.
  • Only use relevant and related hashtags. Don’t hashtag random words. It will only annoy your customers.

Examples around you

Just like Twitter, brands that do use Facebook for hashtags tend to either use popular tags or create their custom ones. However, regardless of the types of hashtags used, observe how most brands stick to a single hashtag.

Here is a customized hashtag found in the posts of Orlando City Soccer Club.

orlando soccer

And here is a social community hashtag used by Loot Crate – a subscription box service.

Loot Crate

How to use Instagram hashtags

Instagram is quite the rage right now, both among users and brands. Using hashtags on the platform is also quite common – more so than on Twitter! All thanks to its Discovery section, which functions solely on hashtags. Therefore, you must know how to use them.

While you can use up to 30 hashtags on the platform, it is best to have the upper limit of eleven hashtags. Remember, don’t just add tags with the most posts. This is because the more popular a tag is, the more likely your content will be overlooked due to the vast influx of posts.

Strategies to use

  • Use the discovery tab to see popular tags used by influencers and competitors.
  • Mix and match between popular, relevant, and customized tags.
  • Run a pilot campaign to see the right number of hashtags for your brand.
  • Encourage users to use your custom tags in relevant content to boost reach and authenticity.

Examples around you

There are a plethora of brands using hashtags on Instagram. One of the most clever campaigns was conducted by Ryu, which used #WhatsInYourBag to encourage users to take part in its photo contest.

Whats In Your Bag

This branded hashtag allowed Ryu to improve its follower count by over 20,000 as well as boost its brand awareness while relaying a fun brand image.

How to use YouTube hashtags

When you think of using hashtags on social media, YouTube often slips the mind. This is quite a grave error, considering that as per HootSuite, there are over 3 billion logged-in users on the platform.

There are two ways you can use hashtags on YouTube – in the video description and in the comments. In the video description, you can add as many as fifteen hashtags. The first three will be reflected above your video title.

Strategies to use

  • Use hashtags to categorize your content and make it easier for users to find relevant videos.
  • Use trending videos to find popular hashtags. Use the upload date filter to find the latest trending hashtags.
  • Use up to three hashtags in your description.

Examples around you

Adidas is quite active on its YouTube channel. Depending on the campaign at hand, it creates a custom hashtag which is the only tag that is included in its description.

For instance, see how it categorizes its collaboration with celebrities under #ImpossibleIsNothing

YouTube hashtags

Similarly, it has another separate series for ending plastic waste with a single hashtag as well.

plastic waste

This helps the brand discretely categorizing its content.

How to use LinkedIn hashtags

With over 600 million users across 200 countries, LinkedIn is a professional social media platform that is ideal for B2B players. While the user base may differ, hashtag tips for the platform are not entirely so.

Again, the optimum number of hashtags to use is two. However, you can choose to add more and see if it benefits your brand. You can add your tags in either your post description or within a long-form article that you write.

Strategies to use

  • Since LinkedIn is a professional platform, keep your hashtags professional too. Avoid use witty hashtags.
  • Use the “News and Views” section to find trending hashtags.
  • Mix and match popular and niche hashtags.

Examples around you

Here is an example of Digital Marketer – a company which offers digital marketing solution. See how it uses hashtags in its About section.

Digital Marketer

Similarly, Adobe employees all use a custom hashtag in their posts about the company. Therefore, by clicking on the hashtag, users can effectively see the various facets of Adobe – an excellent way of conducting employer branding.

terrance moore

How to use Pinterest hashtags

I won’t go into too much detail about Pinterest because this isn’t a platform that brands tend to use. However, for those of you wishing to conduct personal branding, the platform may be of help.

After all, there is no better way to make your work more searchable on Pinterest than by adding relevant hashtags.

Strategies to use

  • Don’t use broad hashtags. Be as specific as possible.
  • Include relevant keywords in your hashtags.
  • Add up to five tags in your description. Don’t overdo it.

How to Find Hashtags?

Merely knowing how to use hashtags is not enough. Instead, you must ensure that you add the right words. This requires the right tools and resources.

  • Use the social media platforms themselves to find trending hashtags. Simply type # in the search box and see the top results.
  • Monitor your competitors and influencers to find hashtags to incorporate in your content.
  • Use tools like BundlePost, Hashtracking, Hashtagify, and TweetBinder.

Ending Remarks

Now that you know how to use hashtags on different social media platforms, you might realize that this tactic is much more technical than merely stringing up words after a #. Make sure you use the available tools and this guide to master this art or hire a social media expert to find the most effective hashtags for your social media platform so your content can get found . After all, compared to all other digital marketing efforts, hashtags are considerably easier to implement!

Once you do so, you are likely to see better engagement in your post. Please share your journey with us all when you do!

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