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A guide to using hashtags

Updated: Dec 12, 2022


We’ve all heard about hashtags but do you know how to use them for your business and the ways they can help increase engagement?

In this post we will learn about:

What are hashtags and how do I use them?

Hashtags started on Twitter in 2007 as a way to group related tweets together and read about that subject area. Since then, they have expanding across social media platforms and their effectiveness and popularity has grown.

Using hashtags in your social media posts can help increase engagement and reach a new audience outside of your following, but don’t forget your account has to be public for people to see these posts. Hashtags can have a positive impact on your personal brand or your business brand. Whether you are looking for help in a certain topic area, showcasing your skills and growing your network or increasing brand awareness and driving conversions then hashtags can help.

Some basics around hashtags and how to use them. Don’t include any spaces, punctuation or symbols, keep them short and simple to use, don’t make them too hard or obscure and more isn’t always better!

How to find the right hashtags for your content

As well as following accounts on social media you can also follow hashtags. Finding the hashtags that are relevant for you can then help put you in front of this new audience to help increase your followers and engagement.

They are also useful for events you are likely to be at or showing support on a particular topic or concern. These might not be directly related to your business but something in your business values you are passionate about. An example of this might be a charity event or a local community group you are helping.

Using a hashtag can help those who don’t follow you see the context of the post and what you are talking about. This can be particularly relevant for Twitter when you have such a small character limit.

What hashtags should I use?

When it comes to selecting the right hashtag for your content you need to make sure its relevant to the topic. Selecting some of the most popular hashtags but then having content on something completely different might get you the views but wont increase engagement or help.

Think about the channel you are posting to and the topic area. Do your research on that channel and search for different hashtags, if your post appeared under one of these hashtags would it fit in and be relevant? Look at social media influencers and your competition to see what hashtags, content and engagement they are getting for ideas.

You can also find suggestions from social media platforms. For example, when you look at a hashtag on Instagram it shows you related hashtags that you might also want to follow. LinkedIn has a similar concept with their ‘discover new hashtags’ giving you similar hashtags to what you have searched for.

For most social platforms its suggested to use 1 or 2 hashtags per post and keep them relevant to the content. These can either be in the content or at the end. For the likes of Twitter its hard to get past this with the character limit and you tweet to still make sense! For Instagram you can use more aiming between 5 to 10 per post. Its also recommended to add these to the end of your caption as a group.

Monitoring hashtags

If you are going to start using hashtags in your social posts make sure you are monitoring them to see if they are working and how successful they are. Look to see the interaction you are getting on posts and whether this increases through the use of hashtags. You might be able to see trends of certain hashtags that increase engagement so learn this is a topic of interest for your audience.

If you see no additional engagement through a hashtag then you know this isn’t relevant and can try something else. Keep track of these stats so you can adapt your strategy as you go along. Remember this is a learning process to understand your audience better and trends can change over time so monitoring needs to be consistent.


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