Hashtags were first used on Twitter in 2007, but today, they’re an essential part of nearly every major social media platform. It can be tricky to know the best ways to use hashtags and figure out which ones are the most effective for spreading your message and reaching new people. The team at Origo created this general guide for best hashtag practices across Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
General Hashtag Best Practices
The best way to use hashtags can vary by platform, but here some general rules of thumb for using them across social media platforms:
- Don’t string too many words together. Use hashtags that are short and easy to remember. Avoid writing sentences that consecutively use hashtags.
- Use relevant and specific hashtags. Pick hashtags that are likely to be used by other social media users.
- Limit the number of hashtags you use. More isn’t always better. Check the optimal number of hashtags you should use by platform.
Why Use Hashtags?
Hashtags are a staple of social media. They create online discussions, increase brand visibility, and bring people together. They’re also useful for:
- Increasing engagement with followers
- Building your brand
- Showing support for social issues
- Adding context to a social media post
- Helping your target audience find you
Knowing what hashtags to use can be one of the most challenging aspects of using them. Because anyone can hashtag anything, some hashtags can become overwhelmed and overused, making them less effective. Here are a few tips for finding the right hashtags:
- Monitor social media influencers and competitors. Which hashtags do they use most often? How many hashtags are in their posts? Learning how your competitors engage with a shared audience will help you know what hashtags to use.
- Use Hashtagify.me. This website helps you find the best Twitter and Instagram hashtags. Their search tool for finding relevant hashtags is free, but some features require a subscription.
- Keep an eye on trending hashtags. Use a platform like RiteTag, which helps you identify trending hashtags based on your content.
- Find related hashtags. If you know a hashtag that works well for your brand, using related hashtags might extend your reach even more.
Hashtags on Twitter
As the first platform to use hashtags, they’re an essential part of the platform today. You can use hashtags anywhere in your tweet, but it’s best to limit them to 1-2 per tweet. Twitter even created an article about how to use hashtags, so it’s easy to know the best hashtag practices on the platform.
- Watch for the character limit. Hashtags count towards Twitter’s 280-character limit, so make sure your hashtags fit within that parameter.
- Keep branded hashtags unique. If you’re trying to build engagement with a new a branded hashtag, make sure it’s not being used by someone else.
Hashtags on Facebook
Hashtags aren’t as widely used on Facebook, but they still have the same function as hashtags on other platforms. The optimal number of hashtags for Facebook is 1-2, and they can be used in posts and comments. You can search for a hashtag in the search bar, click on a hashtag to see a feed of it, or search hashtags in groups.
- Avoid using hashtags that you intend to monitor. It’s more challenging to track hashtag usage on Facebook because many profiles are private.
- Easily track hashtags posted through public profiles. You can monitor your brand’s hashtags and see which public profiles engage with it by using facebook.com/hashtag/[insert hashtag without the #]
Hashtags on Instagram
Many brands, creators, and influencers have found great success in using hashtags to their advantage on Instagram. It’s best to keep the number of hashtags you use to 5-10 per post.
- Strategically place hashtags. Consider placing the hashtags as the post’s first comment so followers can focus on the caption while still allowing the post to enter the conversation through the hashtags in the comments. If you put the hashtags in the comments instead of the post, keep in mind that Instagram has a 30 hashtag limit.
- Use insights to your advantage. Go to the Instagram Insights section of an Instagram Business account to see how many impressions your profile received from hashtags.
Hashtags on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is known for connecting professionals and networking. Hashtags on LinkedIn can help further your brand’s online reach in your industry. Use hashtags anywhere in a LinkedIn update or article, and limit the number of hashtags you use to 1-2.
- Keep the hashtags professional. LinkedIn is a site for professionals and networking, so it’s essential to keep your hashtags relevant to the platform.
- Follow hashtags. Hashtags you follow on LinkedIn will come up on your feed. Follow hashtags that interest you to get the latest news about an industry or company or find inspiration from hashtags in your field.
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