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The Ultimate Guide to Hashtags

Ahhhhh…the inevitable conversation about hashtags. It seems hashtag strategies, hashtag theories, and hashtag guides are always different depending on who you talk to. Not to mention different platforms utilize hashtags in different ways… 

One Social media expert believes one thing, while another social media expert believes another, and a social media influencer thinks they have the perfect strategy…cue the confusion…now you’re overwhelmed and don’t know what to do!!!  

Pause. Take a deep breath. And brush the confusion away…we’ve got you covered!! We created the ultimate guide to hashtags so you can put all of your hashtag questions to rest. First thing first? 

Instagram Hashtags

Woman from Tron shaking her head and saying Reasons do matter for the Ultimate Guide to Hashtags

Instagram hashtags are perfect for three reasons:

  • They ACT as a reference for the Instagram Algorithm
  • They FUEL search results for the Explore Page
  • They HELP Instagram label and categorize content to show to relevant users

To put it more simply, Instagram hashtags are imperative in ensuring your content is seen on Instagram. But you don’t need as many hashtags are you think you do…

You see, Instagram gives you space to include 30 hashtags in one post, but the truth is Instagram recently released the sweet spot for hashtags is 3-5 hashtags per post. 

This isn’t to say the more hashtags you use, the more you will be seen, this fact still reigns true. A study done by Later found that the reach rate increases by 11% when you increase from 1 to 30 hashtags.

But more isn’t always better. 

If you are looking to reach your hyper-local audience and boost potential leads, it may be a better tactic to only include 3-5 hashtags on each post (not to mention this strategy will benefit from the introduction of Instagram’s soon-to-come “suggested” content feed…but that’s a topic for another day).

Now with all this talk about Instagram, you are probably starting to wonder…with only 140 characters…

“What to #Tweet?”

brown haired with with a white shirt pointing down to twitter dos and don'ts for the ultimate guide to hashtags

You’ve spent time perfecting your content on Twitter but how does it reach the right audience? With hashtags of course!! 

There are 3 very important dos and don'ts concerning Twitter Hashtags. Fortunately for you, we decided to outline them below. Read on for our Twitter secrets!  

Twitter Hashtag Dos:

  • Use hashtags consistently
  • Use the Explore tab to see what hashtags are trending
  • Use branded hashtags

DFY hack: Using branded hashtags will increase the amount of attention your tweet will see by 10%

Twitter Hashtag Don'ts:

  • Use more than 1-2 hashtags per post
  • Use all caps locks if it isn’t an acronym
  • Force your brand slogan into being a hashtag (If it’s not inclusive, shareable, or discoverable it’s not going to work…try to modify it or use something else related to your brand!)

See? We told you it would be easier than you thought! Soon you’ll be the tweeting expert you’ve been trying to become. Now for the real question…

Does Facebook even need hashtags?

Short answer…yes! Long answer…well it’s a little more complicated than that. Because Facebook hasn’t updated its hashtags guidelines since 2016…there is a lot of gray space…for a lack of better words. 

Regardless of updates or not, posts with hashtags on Facebook receive 12.6% more engagement than those that don’t. 

So how do Facebook hashtags work? In a similar way to Twitter, Facebook uses hashtags to categorize its content. For example, if you search for #MotivationalMonday, it will not only come up with content that includes the hashtag, but the platform will pull content that is associated with the hashtag as well! 

Don’t go too crazy though…did you know maximum engagement on Facebook occurs with ONLY 1 hashtag? Better make it a good one!

Forewarning though, the hashtag you use on Facebook may not be ideal for the next social platform we are going to discuss.

Keeping your hashtags professional on LinkedIn

There are 2 important things you always need to remember about LinkedIn: It is a professional networking site and the age of its users is a little older than sites like Instagram or Twitter. 

This means they may not get hashtags like #ICYMI or #TFW (on another note, #caturday may also not be appropriate either). So before you add a hashtag on LinkedIn, think about how your audience will receive it.

Something else to think about: If you are trying to get a brand's attention, consider @ them rather than using a hashtag. It will get their attention easier AND give you that hashtag space back.

That being said, we recommend limiting your hashtag usage to 5 hashtags or less on LinkedIn. Any more will cause you to sound less professional (and LinkedIn could flag your post as spam)...

So when is too much…too much?

Jimmy fallon using his fingers to make a hashtag symbol while saying hashtag for the ultimate guide to hashtagsh

To recap, here are the recommended amounts of hashtags for each social platform:

  • Instagram: 3-5 Hashtags
  • Twitter: 1-2 Hashtags
  • Facebook: 1 Hashtag
  • LinkedIn: No more than 5 Hashtags

No need for long hashtag paragraphs in the first comment of your post anymore!! Keeping it short and sweet will get you the same (if not more) engagement than if you were using 30 hashtags on Instagram for example.

The Real Truth About Hashtags? 

Kardashian saying hashtag fact for the ultimate guide to hashtag

As long as you #do #not #hashtag #each #word, you should be in the clear. 

And FYI…since you are representing your brand, you want to ensure you are using hashtags to facilitate your post, not compete with it. Pick out what is most important in the content you are sharing and find a hashtag that best fits that message. 

Enough of us talking though, It’s time to get to it! You’ve got hashtags to modify!! 

Not sure where to start after reading this? Trust the DFY experts to help you manage your social media…we’ll ensure you get the right eyes on your content. Check out DFY Unlimited Social Media Management services today!  

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