How To Use Hashtags On Social Media Networks


The dictionary definition of a hashtag is : “A word or phrase preceded by a hash sign (#), used on social media websites and applications, especially Twitter, to identify messages on a specific topic.”

Not everyone knows what hashtags are or what they mean on social media channels. In fact, where and when each hashtag is used is critical to strengthening a brand or message online. Hashtags change the way we communicate different messages on social media.  So how do you use hashtags properly? Below, you will find some valuable information about the use of hashtags in a way that helps strengthen communication, build community and – as a result – generate sales.

Hashtags In Branding

Nowadays, brands define themselves not only by what they say about themselves aloud but also by what hashtags they use to mark themselves. By creating your own original hashtags, you can increase your chances of standing out from the crowd. Many prominent companies choose to go down that path, Calvin Klein being one of them. Calvin Klein marks all their commercials and publications with the hashtag #myCalvins, making it their trademark.

Hashtags In Social Media

Using hashtags is a very effective way for generating traffic, promoting campaigns and tracking the results. It is very important to use hashtags that precisely match not only your brand but also the focus that is being brought up. There is no easier way to gather all the mentions on a given event or post than using one specific hashtag. It enables them to share information, remarks, posts or to ask and answer questions.

You want to be easy to find by the public eye, but we also want to be able to find specific content and fast. AirBnb is a master at building user-generated content. The company runs ongoing campaigns using their hashtags and encourages their users to publishing pictures of places they’re staying tagged #AirbnbExperiences which connects guests with people and the unique activities happening in their area. The best of them are selected and posted on the company instagram, what makes the account interesting and unique.

Hashtags on Twitter

Twitter is where hashtags originated from. Even though it’s been over 10 years, they are still a very important aspect of communication on this platform. The algorithms and rules of applying hashtags change very dynamically. Currently, it is recommended to use one or two hashtags per tweet. Interestingly, while this number can significantly increase your content reach, more than this amount brings the risk of drastically reducing how many people will see your content.

Hashtags on Instagram

It’s a much younger platform than Twitter, but both marketers and its users claim Instagram to be a much more popular place to use hashtags. Instagram allows and even recommends using more of them in the descriptions. As research shows, the optimal number is 11 hashtags.

According to Instagramers, spammy, inappropriate, offensive hashtags will be blocked. It gets a bit tricky at times, as sometimes the phrases that are blocked do not seem provocative at all. For example, the #kansas hashtag has been blocked because people who used it were allegedly violating the platform rules.

Hashtags on Facebook

As for Facebook, we just do not use hashtags here. Though indicated in the previous two platforms, Mark Zuckerberg did not take on the idea. Not only it is more difficult to find posts with hashtags but it’s making the posts almost invisible.

Hashtags on LinkedIn

LinkedIn administrators encourage using hashtags, everywhere. In the description of your profile, in posts, in comments, articles on LinkedIn Pulse, on private and company websites. On LinkedIn, you can use it literally everywhere and it does pay off. When you look at how LinkedIn currently rewards its active users with increased reach, it’s truly worth it to additionally boost it with hashtags. An additional advantage is being much easier to be found within the context of the topics and discussions in which we engage.

Hashtags are certainly powerful in strengthening brand communication. Although some people think that it’s nothing but a spontaneous use of phrases preceded by a cross, remember that from the point of view of marketing, the use of hashtags definitely requires a fully-built strategy.

Audrey Boyer