How to Use Hashtags in 2021 on every network (1/3)

How to Use Hashtags in 2021

Do you know how to use hashtags? How about how not to use hashtags? Read on for all of the DOs and DON’Ts before you get began.

What’s a hashtag?

A hashtag is a phrase or word preceded by the pound symbol.

On social media, it serves as an indication (for customers and algorithms) {that a} piece of the content pertains to a particular topic or belongs to a category.

Hashtags assist make content discoverable in on-platform searches and, effectively, reach more individuals.

Hashtag basics

  • They always begin with # however they won’t work in case you use spaces, punctuation, or symbols.
  • Ensure that your accounts are public. In any other case, the hashtagged content you write won’t be seen by any non-followers.
  • Don’t string too many words together. The perfect hashtags are usually relatively short and easy to remember.
  • Use relevant and particular hashtags. Whether it is too obscure, it will be hard to search out and it won’t likely be utilized by different social media customers.
  • Limit the variety of hashtags you utilize. More isn’t always better. It truly looks spammy.

The history of hashtags

The pound symbol on your keyboard—additionally known as an octothorpe— initially use to mark numbers.

They were first used as hashtags in the summer of 2007 by Chris Messina. That’s when the web advertising and marketing specialist walked into Twitter’s offices with a concept. Due to the platform’s brevity, he advised the corporate to begin utilizing the pound symbol to group associated Tweets together.

This was the first-ever use of the hashtag:


Since then, the use of hashtags, their reach, and their effectiveness has solely grown.

Hashtags are a method to connect social media content to a particular topic, event, theme, or conversation.

They’re not just for Twitter anymore, either. Hashtags are efficient on different social media platforms too. (Discover more particulars on how to use hashtags for each platform below.)

Why use hashtags?

Enhance engagement with your followers

Including hashtags in your posts means participating in a conversation occurring on that social media platform. And most significantly, it makes your posts visible in that conversation.

This can lead to better engagement, boosting your model’s social media engagement via likes, shares, comments, and new followers.

Construct model awareness with branded hashtags

Making a branded hashtag could be an efficient method to promote your business and drive conversations.

For instance, the Raptors’ branded hashtag #WetheNorth lit up during the team’s winning 2019 season. It has universal attraction and was one of the most-used hashtags by Canadians in the first half of 2019.


One other instance is Cheerios and its #CheeriosHeartHuntSweepstakes campaign. This contest encouraged followers to buy Cheerios merchandise and in addition, spread awareness of the model by posting images on social media.


A method to present assistance for social issues

Utilizing a hashtag that’s linked to an issue beyond your model is a method to mobilize behind a necessary cause or issue.

For instance, #EachforEqual and #IWD2020 were used throughout social media platforms, including LinkedIn, on International Women’s Day.

Rio Tinto post on LinkedIn using hashtag #eachforequal

Manufacturers may create a branded hashtag that additionally exhibits its connection to a social issue.

For instance, the Canadian telecommunications firm Bell uses the branded hashtag #BellLetsTalk to advertise mental health awareness.


Add context to a social media post

On Twitter, you don’t have a ton of space to write a caption. You might have 280 characters, to be exact.

On Instagram, longer captions aren’t always the most effective. Similar to Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, or any other platform—generally less is more.

Utilizing a hashtag could be an easy method to contextualize what you’re talking about, without utilizing up valuable characters or writing repetitive captions.

For instance, NASA celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon touchdown in July 2019. Utilizing the #Apollo50th hashtag was a part of its digital campaign. On World Emoji Day, which is also in July, NASA posted one of the most popular tweets:


Hashtags contextualize this creative Tweet, making it clear that NASA is celebrating each anniversary and participating in the World Emoji Day conversation.

Assist your audience find you

On Linkedin and Instagram, customers can follow hashtags in addition to different customers. Utilizing a number of popular hashtags could be one other method to assist new customers to find your model.

For instance, in case you use #travel on your Instagram posts, somebody who follows that hashtag will see your current post in their feed. You may gain some new followers in this manner.

Travel hashtag page on Instagram with 377,000,000 posts

Disclose sponsored partnerships

This part is for influencers and manufacturers who work with influencers.

When working with manufacturers, influencers should let their audiences know {that a} piece of content is sponsored. It’s the law — the FTC (Federal Trade Commissions) launched detailed advertising disclosure guidelines for online influencers in 2019.  Failure to conform can result in excessive fines for each influencer and the model.

So, influencers: all the time add hashtags clearly indicating a sponsorship to branded posts.

Manufacturers: just remember to look for such hashtags when reviewing and accepting influencer content.

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