How many people use social media hashtags as part of their posts? There are so many rules and guidelines on what to use, what not to use. Instead, let’s discuss the what, why, where and when of using social media hashtags.

If you don’t know what a hashtag is, do you remember the # symbol? It used to be called the pound symbol, but then Twitter reinvented it to the hashtag and here we are.

What Are Social Media Hashtags?

When you use a hashtag in a social media post, that means you put a word or keyword phrases behind a # symbol. There are a few rules:

  • They always start with a # symbol.
  • Hashtags can only have letters and numbers with no spaces or other types of characters.
  • Once you finish the hashtag, the entire tag including the # symbol will highlight
  • You are limited as to the number of hashtags you can use
  • Make sure your post is public (look at next reason why)
  • Hashtags are searchable by the user, but only if your post is public.

Where Do You Use Hashtags?

Use hashtags in your posts. But make sure they complement your post and not just random. Such as if you have a post about a screen enclosure make sure to use #screenenclosure and not just #screen. The word screen can apply to computer screens, phone screens and so much more. Targeted marketing is equally important in the world of hashtags.

The number of hashtags are also important. One to five are suitable for most posts, but Instagram allows you to add 30.  Personally, I think that’s a bit overkill.  Remember, targeted marketing is where the money is.

When Do Use Hash Tags in Social Media Posts?

The first rule is using social media hashtags when it makes sense. Don’t force your hashtags just because you can list 30. It might also alienate your audience. Therefore, make sure the hashtags you use are natural and relevant. I’m sure you’ve seen many posts where there is “hashtag stuffing.” It’s not necessary. The purpose of using hashtags are to search content that relate or use that same hashtag.


Why Use Hashtags

There are a few reasons people use hashtags are two fold:

  • increase engagement with your followers
  • increase brand awareness
  • show support for important causes or social issues
  • help your audience find you by using relevant hashtags

If you’re new to social media, hopefully, this has been helpful when trying to figure out the what, where, when & why. There are so many other nuances of hashtags, but I wanted to give you the basics first.

Just remember, hashtags are meant to enhance your social media post, not over take it. If you have any questions about using social media hashtags, please reach out to me. I’m happy to help.

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