Hashtags - How to Use Them Correctly


Hashtags are such a prominent part of digital culture these days; it’s rare to find anyone who doesn’t know what they are.  But how to use them correctly? Many people don’t quite get it.

Hashtags address the need to organize and make sense of the overwhelming social media content. They are the most popular method of categorizing content on social media to draw attention, organize and promote.

Hashtags make your content discoverable by others and help you find relevant content from other sources. They also make it easier to connect and engage with other social media users with a common interest or theme.

The popularity of hashtags in social media started on Twitter. Twitters’ own research confirms there’s a significant advantage to using them. Individuals could get up to a 100% increase in engagement, while brands can see a 50% bump.

Research says you should be using hashtags

If you’re looking for a quick answer as to whether you should be using hashtags, here it is: You should. Their use has become so widespread on Twitter that support for hashtags has been added to all influential social media platforms.

However, while hashtags have the same fundamental purpose of content tagging and discovery on all social networks, keep in mind that how they’re used varies a lot from one social network to the next.

Here’s an overview of how to use hashtags correctly on the most popular social media platforms.

Hashtags on Twitter

  • Keep it to a maximum of two hashtags per Tweet.

  • Keep appropriate hashtags in mind when posting, especially

  • Picking the appropriate hashtag is important if you’re looking for a spike in the number of people engaging with your Tweets.. Hashtagify is a useful tool that tracks trending hashtags and shows “related” tags for any basic terms you provide.


  • Instagram is a platform where the use of hashtags has taken off.

  • Interactions are highest on posts with 11+ hashtags. You can add up to 30 to each photo by listing your hashtags in the comments. You can even tag photos after you publish them. (Note: This only works for your own uploads.)

  • Instagram hashtags are proven to increase your following dramatically, especially if you use popular or trending hashtags.

  • Use Websta to track popular and trending hashtags on Instagram.


On Pinterest, the experts recommend brand over bland.  Your hashtags should be branded for #yourcompanyname, not broad terms like “#marketing.”

When a hashtag is clicked on, Pinterest searches for pins either with that word used in the pin description or in the URL the pin links to.  Ideally, when someone clicks on your hashtag, most of the results that appear would be pins that link back to your website or blog.


Facebook is the exception to the rule when it comes to hashtags. One research study says they have little to no effect on a post’s visibility. Another study concluded posts without hashtags fared better than those with them.  With organic reach well under 10% for brand pages, you might not bother wasting your time with hashtags on Facebook.

Bob Levy