How to Use Hashtags for Social Media


Social media isn’t just a way to distribute content, it’s a platform for creating conversations. One of the best ways to bring your company into these conversations is by learning how to use hashtags for social media.

For our new report, The Best Hashtag Strategies for Social Media, we analyzed over 65,000 social media posts to find the best number of hashtags and the best hashtag length for Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

Here, we’ll look at why hashtags are important for your marketing strategy, and give you a sneak peak at the results of our research.

Download The Best Hashtag Strategies for Social Media report now!

What is a hashtag?

A hashtag is created by using the number sign (#) before a word, term, or group of letters that links to a live feed of all social media posts use the same hashtag on that social platform. The word, term, or group of letters ends once broken up by a space or symbol, and not all social media platforms use hashtags.

Three of the most widely used social media platforms that have a hashtag functionality are Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, which we focus on in our report.

Why are hashtags important?

In marketing, hashtags can be used to pull your social media posts into topic-specific feeds, which can reach audiences beyond your current followers.

For example, by using the #marketing hashtag in a tweet, that tweet would not only appear in the home feeds for your followers, but also in the #marketing hashtag feed on Twitter.

For events, marketers use hashtags to create a real-time forum and conversation with participants and followers around specific events.

On Twitter, social media marketers also use hashtags to create Twitter chats, or regularly scheduled conversations around a specific topic, often moderated by a leader.

To learn more about Twitter chats, check out our list of the top 35 Twitter chats for marketers (and free downloadable calendar!).

How to use hashtags

Learning how to use hashtags for social media comes best with practices, but to give you a head start, we researched best practices for you, pulling from the TrackMaven database.

Here’s a sneak peak!

For example, the best number of hashtags to use for Twitter is one, with an average of 90 interactions per post.

Posts with more than one hashtag see a decline in engagement, correlated to the number of hashtags used.

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