5 min read

Your Guide to Using Hashtags

Published on
June 24, 2024

Hashtags can significantly boost your brand’s social media reach and engagement. If you use social media to market your business, leveraging hashtags is essential. However, using hashtags effectively goes beyond past trends like #MotivationMonday or #ThrowbackThursday. This blog will give you the answers to all your hashtag questions, including:

What are hashtags?

Why to use them?

And how to use them effectively!

We'll break down the basics of hashtag usage, their importance, how to find the best ones, and provide platform-specific tips to enhance your social media strategy.


What are Hashtags?

Hashtags are a way to group social conversations around particular topics, making it easy for people to find content that interests them. The hashtag symbol (#), also known as an octothorp, was initially used to mark numbers. Its first appearance on social media was on Twitter in 2007. Since then, hashtags have expanded to nearly all social platforms, linking content to specific topics, events, themes, or conversations. In 2024, it is estimated that over 125 million hashtags are tweeted daily and a solid social media strategy should include a mix of popular, relevant, and branded hashtags to maximise reach and engagement.

Hashtag Basics

Here are some essential rules for using hashtags:

- Start with #: They won’t work if you use spaces, punctuation, or symbols.

- Public Accounts: Ensure your accounts are public so that non-followers can see your hashtagged content.

- Keep it Short and Memorable: Avoid stringing too many words together.

- Be Relevant and Specific: Too obscure hashtags will be hard to find and unlikely to be used by others.

- Limit Usage: More hashtags can look spammy. Aim for quality over quantity.

Why Use Hashtags?

Using hashtags is more than just a trend; it's a strategic tool that can significantly enhance your social media presence. Hashtags serve several important purposes, helping you to connect with your audience, increase visibility, and engage more effectively. Here’s how:

Increased Engagement: Hashtags allow you to join ongoing social media conversations, making your posts visible to a larger audience and leading to greater engagement.

Build Brand Awareness: Creating a branded hashtag promotes your business and drives conversations around your brand.

Add Context: Especially on platforms with character limits, hashtags add context without using up valuable space.

Help Your Target Audience Find You: Popular hashtags help new users discover your brand and content.

Capitalise on Trends: Participating in trending topics increases your visibility and engagement.

How to Find the Right Hashtags

Finding the right hashtags is crucial for enhancing your social media success and ensuring your content reaches the right audience. This process requires a combination of research and strategic planning. Here are some effective tips to help you find the perfect hashtags for your brand:

1. Monitor Social Media Influencers and Competitors: Start by doing a competitive analysis on social media. Gather intel about your competitors and any relevant influencers within your brand’s niche. Take note of which hashtags they use most often and how many hashtags they include in their posts. This will help you understand how they engage with your shared target audience and which keywords are effective.

2. Know What’s Trending: Use tools like RiteTag to get trending hashtag suggestions based on your content. These tools can show you the best hashtags to get your post seen immediately as well as over time. This real-time data helps you stay updated on the latest trends in your industry.

3. Find Related Hashtags: If you already know which hashtags are working well for your brand, consider using related hashtags. These might be a bit more specific than the popular ones you’re already using, which could help you connect with a more targeted audience. Start typing a hashtag into the platform’s search bar and see what search terms are suggested.

4. Analyse Past Posts: Keep track of which hashtags you’ve used on past posts. Analyse which posts have been most popular and identify any trends with the hashtags you’ve used. If some of your most popular posts consistently include the same hashtags, make a point to include those in your future posts.

5. Use Hashtag Generators: AI tools can be your friend for this. Get inspiration and generate new hashtags based on your draft post.

By following these strategies, you can ensure that your hashtags are effective in reaching and engaging your target audience.

Platform-Specific Hashtag Tips

Different social media platforms have unique practices and optimal strategies for using hashtags. Here’s a detailed breakdown of how to use hashtags effectively across various platforms:

Platform-Specific Hashtag Tips

Platform-Specific Hashtag Tips

Platform # of Hashtags Usage Tips
Twitter/X 1-2 Anywhere in the post Stick to two hashtags per tweet. Include in replies and comments.
Instagram 3-5 Captions or comments Post hashtags as the first comment. Use Insights to track performance.
Facebook 2-3 Posts or comments Track engagement with the search bar. Note the privacy limitations.
YouTube 3-5 Video titles or descriptions Hashtags in descriptions show above titles. Use the search bar for tags.
LinkedIn 1-5 Posts Keep hashtags professional. Follow relevant hashtags.
Pinterest 2-5 Pin descriptions Use searchable, specific hashtags.
TikTok 3-5 Video descriptions Use niche and trending hashtags. Create branded challenges.

Hashtag Effectiveness

While popular hashtags might seem like the best way to get noticed, they often lead to your posts getting lost in the noise. Here’s why relying solely on popular hashtags may not be the best strategy for your brand:

- Oversaturation: Highly popular hashtags attract a lot of content, making it hard for your posts to stand out in a crowded feed.

- Relevance: Niche or moderately popular hashtags connect better with your target audience, ensuring your content reaches those genuinely interested.

To optimise your hashtag usage, consider implementing these essential strategies:

1. Location-Based Hashtags: Promote physical locations and drive real-world traffic. Use hashtags specific to your area, such as #NaplesRestaurants or #LondonEvents, to attract local audiences.

2. Branded Hashtags: Build brand awareness and encourage user-generated content. Create a unique hashtag for your brand or campaign, like #JustDoIt or #ShareACoke. This helps foster a community around your brand and makes it easy for users to engage and share their experiences.

3. Community Hashtags: Unite followers around a common value or topic. Use hashtags that resonate with your community, such as #Fitness or #Swifties. These hashtags can help create a sense of belonging and encourage users to participate in conversations relevant to their interests.

4. Holiday Hashtags: Associate your brand with holidays and cultural events. Hashtags like #MerryChristmas or #HappyThanksgiving can help you tap into the festive spirit and increase your brand’s visibility during these times.

5. Niche Hashtags: Connect with specific, passionate communities. Hashtags like #VeganFood or #CoffeeLover allow you to target a dedicated audience interested in niche topics. This can result in higher engagement rates and more meaningful interactions.

6. Social Movement Hashtags and Challenges: Raise awareness for important causes and create engaging, viral content. Hashtags like #MeToo or #BlackLivesMatter have shown the power of social movements on social media. By participating in these conversations, your brand can demonstrate its values and support for significant issues. Combining social movement hashtags with engaging challenges, like dance or activity challenges, can help your brand reach a broader audience and encourage users to engage with your content creatively.


Hashtags are a powerful tool for enhancing your social media strategy. They can ignite movements, drive conversations, and promote products or events. By understanding the basics, researching effectively, and using platform-specific tips, you can harness the full potential of hashtags to boost your brand’s reach and engagement. Start experimenting with these strategies and watch your social media presence grow!

If you wish to review your hashtag strategy or deploy a new one, contact B3 Marketing for expert guidance and tailored solutions. Let’s take your social media marketing to the next level!

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