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How to Use Hashtags in Facebook, Instagram and Twitter : A Beginner’s Guide

Kate Williams

8 April 2024

7 min read

We are in 2020, and you already know what hashtag is.

What you don’t know is how to use hashtags properly to promote your brand, business, and boost engagement for each social media post.

Hashtags started as a feature on twitter; they aren’t just a trend anymore. Nailing the use of hashtags opens a gate for you to engage with your audience and to have high social authority. Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram, whatever social media platform you are, using hashtags should be a vital part of your marketing strategy.

However, if you are misusing hashtags, it can cause negative impacts. It can wreck your social media activity and credibility.

If you are stuck with #OOTD or #ThrowbackThursday posts on social media, consider this as your ultimate beginner’s guide to know the proper use of hashtags.

What is a Hashtag?

A hashtag is a keyword phrase (without spaces) introduced by a pound sign (#). It’s used in various social media platforms within a post to help people find what they are looking for. If I explain it technically, hashtags are meta-data tags, used for categorizing every social media content.

Let’s use an analogy to explain the hashtag. In a library, you have bookshelves to organize different genres of books. A reader can easily find their favorite books from the bookshelves. Similarly, on social media, the hashtag helps to organize various topics of content in groups to help the users find content quickly.

Hashtag 101

Hashtags are so common that anything can be a hashtag, and anyone can make one! And, if you want your content to perform well on social media by using hashtags, you should take a quick look at some basic information on hashtags.

Don’t stuff too many words together. While using hashtags, follow the formula of less is more. Keep the hashtag short and easy-to-digest.

The number of hashtags depends on the platform. In most of the social media platforms, two or three hashtags can make a huge impact.

Always keep your social media accounts public. Using hashtags in private accounts is like banging your head against a brick wall.

Use specific and relevant hashtags. No one searches for irrelevant and broad hashtags.

Hashtags always start with the # sign. You can add numbers with hashtags, but space, symbols, or punctuations are a strict no-no!

How to Use Hashtags on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram

Here, you’ll find a simple, easy-to-grasp guide for using hashtags on every social media platform.

How to Use Hashtags on Facebook

You can use hashtags in any part of your Facebook posts or comments. Hashtags are also proven useful for private Facebook groups. Use Facebook’s search bar for searching a specific hashtag or simply click on a hashtag to see multiple posts or a feed under the same hashtag. Also, you can get what you are looking for by using ‘search this group’ bar under the private Facebook group’s menu.

Important Facebook Hashtag Tips to Swear By

  • Remember, as more and more users are shifting to Facebook’s private groups, it’s difficult for you to find how your audiences are interacting with your hashtags.
  • You can search for your brand’s hashtags by using the URL the keyword you want to search at the end).

The ideal number of hashtags to use

1-3 hashtags are best to boost engagement on Facebook.

How to Use Hashtags on Instagram

You can use hashtags literally everywhere on Instagram. Select a video or photo, write a catchy caption, and finally add relevant hashtags. You can use hashtags both in Instagram posts

and in the comment section too. Also, it’s okay to use hashtags in your Insta profile bio and stories.

Important Instagram Hashtags Tips to Swear By

  • You can search for your required hashtags by typing the # symbol and your keyword in the search box.
  • You can follow any hashtags on Instagram. If you follow a hashtag, you will never miss any post from any content creator, as long as they are using the same hashtag you’re following.
  • If you are using Instagram Business account, then you can track how much traffic is coming from your used hashtags. Simply go to the Instagram Insights and check the Impressions section.
  • Here’s a trick for you. Try to include hashtags in the first comment of your post; this way, your followers can read your captions without any distractions.
  • If you want to add hashtags to your stories, you can include it by using the hashtag sticker. Also, you can use the text tool and type the # symbol to include hashtags on stories.

The ideal number of hashtags to use:

5-11 hashtags are enough to grab attention on Instagram.

How to Use Hashtags on Twitter

Hashtags can double your reach and engagement on Twitter. You can include hashtags anywhere on twitter. Use them in the beginning, end, or even in the middle to highlight any particular keyword related to your content. The comment section and your profile bio are also a perfect place to add hashtags.

Important Twitter Hashtags Tips to Swear By

  • You can use Hashtags while retweeting any Tweets.
  • Use Twitter hashtag tracker to analyse their performance
  • You can use any hashtag you want, but keep it short and within the limit of 280 characters.
  • If you want to create a personalized hashtag on Twitter, do some research to ensure you are the first one to use it.
  • Search for hashtags in Twitter’s trending section.
  • Want to search a specific hashtag? Type the hashtagged word in the search bar, and there you’ll have it.

The ideal number of hashtags to use:

1-2 hashtags are perfect to use on Twitter.

Things You Should Look for in a Hashtag

What are the essential metrics you should look for while searching for a hashtag? Here is a short guide to clear your confusion and help you choose a perfect hashtag for all of your social media platforms.

Popularity: Always use a popular hashtag in all of your social media posts. The most used hashtags are the most searched hashtags, so it’s better to use trending hashtags.

Interaction: While using hashtags, don’t forget to track how people are interacting with them. Hashtags with the highest retweets or comments are ideal for grabbing more audience.

Reach: Experiment with the hashtags. Observe how many people are actually searching for the hashtags you are using. On Instagram, you can always go to the Instagram Insights section to track if your post is getting enough reach or not.

Users: Not only the reach and followers matter, but you also have to track who is using the hashtags. Make sure to use hashtags that are popular within your target audience.

Types of Hashtags You Should Be Aware of

Content Hashtags

Content Hashtags are basically the keyword hashtag you include at the end, middle, or beginning of your every post. For example, if you are posting a video about How to Bake a Cake, your content hashtag will be #Recipe.

Before posting, you should track which is the most followed hashtag. There are several tools available to track popular hashtags without a hassle. RiteTag, Keyhole, and Hashtagify are some great monitoring tools to check out trending hashtags.

Campaign Hashtags

Hashtags that are a reflection of your brand voice are known as Campaign Hashtag. A campaign hashtag has a short life-span and generally used for launching a product, marketing, or collaborating. It’s crucial to use campaign hashtags in your content marketing strategy for curating content effectively.

Some great examples of campaign hashtags are #ShareACoke by Coca-Cola, #NationalFriedChickenDay by KFC, #OreoHorrorStories by Oreo.

The ShareACoke campaign was one of the popular hashtag initiatives taken by any brand. With this hashtag, Coca Cola encouraged people to tweet their own #ShareACoke stories with the world. This Campaign hashtag gained thousands of tweets and a chance for the company to create more campaigns in the future.

Community Hashtags

Community Hashtags are not limited to any brand or a person. You can use these hashtags within a broad online community. For example, hashtags like #WritersofInstagram #photooftheday are community hashtags.

Niche Hashtags

Niche Hashtags are a part of the community hashtag. You can use a niche hashtag to grab the attention of your target audience.

Reasons Why You Should Use Hashtags in Social Media Platforms

Hashtags are super relevant to increase your social media visibility. Especially in the ever-changing digital world, hashtags are beneficial for the brands to make a commanding presence. Furthermore, using hashtags in your comment section and social media bio is an effective way to increase visibility and engagement.

Boost Organic Reach

Hashtags are powerful tools for social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Use hashtags in your post and share it with the digital world to get organic reach.

You can keep track of your target audience and engagement numbers using relevant hashtags. Hashtags can influence your audience to follow your page and content updates on social platforms.

Track Potential Users

The Internet is an ocean with millions and millions of connections. Your presence is like a drop of water amid the big ocean. There’s a big chance for you to get lost in the giant internet web. This is where hashtags come to the rescue.

You can use hashtags to help potential users find you, your business, or services quickly. These potential users can interact with your brand and increase the chance of tracking relevant conversations.

Enable Your Research Power

Hashtags are a great search-engine-friendly tool for researching anything online. Type a hashtag, and you’ll find multiple relevant blogs, videos, podcasts, and image content. If you are looking for what people are talking about this is the perfect way to know that.

Boost Engagement

Social media posts with relevant hashtags get more engagement than posts without a hashtag. Business owners can use hashtags to boost their click-through rates and consider getting some likes (Instagram) for increased customer engagement. However, overloading your posts with multiple hashtags will make your content look spammy. So, make sure to use minimum hashtags on every social media platform.

Build a Community

Apart from boosting your social media appearance or promoting your services, you can build a loyal online community with the hashtags. Your personalized hashtag can be the voice of your brand. You can post different content to inspire and influence your community to take actions. Most importantly, you can add value to the community with the help of a hashtag.

Wrapping Up

The goal of a hashtag is to help the users discover various content, information, and trending topics, on social media. However, every social media platform comes with its own rules for using hashtags. While relevant hashtags can increase your online presence, hashtag overload can damage your brand’s image.

A good rule of thumb, use hashtags that go well with your brand voice, social media posts, and marketing campaign.

If you want to leverage the use of hashtags properly, it’s vital to learn the ins and outs of hashtags in every online channel.

Now that you’ve learned everything about hashtags, you should start testing its value on your social media platforms.

Kate Williams

Content Marketer at SurveySparrow

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