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How to Use Hashtags Across All Social Media Networks [Ultimate Guide]

Alexandra

Alexandra

CONTENT WRITER

Almost anyone knows how to use hashtags nowadays, but there is more to this social media practice than meets the eye.

While most people use hashtags for the fun of it, marketers use hashtags to boost the visibility of their brand and increase their reach on social media.

And judging by the article you are reading right now, you are less interested in the fun side and more eager to learn how to improve your social media copywriting with the help of hashtags.

Luckily for you, we have prepared a complete guide that will teach you:

  1. What is a hashtag
  2. The most common types of hashtags
  3. The benefits of using hashtags
  4. Hashtag dos and don’ts
  5. How to research and use hashtags on every social media platform

Let’s get started!

Improve Your Social Media Hashtag Strategy with SocialBee!

Social Media Platforms

What Is a Hashtag?

Social media hashtags are made up of two elements: the hash symbol proceeded by keywords. Together they form a completely new element used to describe and categorize social media posts based on different topics. 

Basically, the role of a hashtag is to organize content across social media and help users find the information they need in a fast and easy manner. 

Social media users can find posts about a certain topic by:

  1. Searching for a hashtag with the help of the search bar.
  2. Clicking on a hashtag from a social media post they saw on their feed.

No matter how they choose to search, they are ultimately redirected to a new page that shows all the posts that contain the same hashtag.

social media hashtags

In addition, users also have the option to follow a hashtag if they want to see those posts directly on their social media feed.

We should mention that to use hashtags correctly on social media you have to avoid at all costs:

  • Punctuation
  • Spaces
  • Special characters

Also, you can capitalize certain words, but only if you want to improve readability.

Types of Hashtags

There are no rules when it comes to what hashtags you can use on social media. After all, any word can become a hashtag if you just add the hash symbol in front of it. 

However, that wouldn’t be wise, especially if you have a business account you want to grow through your content strategy.

So, the best way to use hashtags in your favor and increase the visibility of your posts is to think about search intent — what would your customers search for if they were looking for your type of content, products, and services.

To help you better understand what hashtags you should be using, we wanted to briefly talk about different hashtag categories you can play with.

Here are the seven types of hashtags:

  • Industry-specific hashtags – These hashtags describe your business, industry, and profession (e.g., #socialmediamarketing, #projectmanager, #sales).
  • Niche hashtags – These are still industry-related hashtags, only they are more specific and better describe your specialty. For example, if you own a business consulting firm, but you focus on small businesses, your niche hashtag would be #smallbusinessconsulting.
  • Community hashtags – Any business or person on the internet is part of a community that shares their passions and hobbies. Community hashtags are used to describe the aspects that bring you closer to your audience. For instance, if you own a clothing store you could use hashtags like #fashionenthusiast.
  • Event hashtags – If you are running an event or just attending one, let your audience know by creating/using a specific hashtag. In this way, you can connect with members of your community and let them know where they can find you (e.g., #Lollapalooza, #TEDx).
  • Location hashtags – As the name says, these hashtags are used to help your customers find your business. Location hashtags have quite a low competition, which means that your potential customers will find your business easier under location tags than under any other industry terms (e.g., #Chicagotattooartist, #Bostonpizzeria).
  • Branded hashtags – Hashtags that contain the name of your business, your slogan, or your products and campaigns are considered branded. They are mostly used to build brand identity and encourage user-generated content through contests and giveaways (e.g., #fentybeauty, #alsbucketchallenge).
  • Celebration hashtags – Any business on social media has dedicated posts to celebrate national or international holidays. This is the perfect opportunity to add hashtags and celebrate the occasion with your online community (e.g., #thanksgivingready, #NationalHuggingDay).

The Benefits of Using Hashtags in Your Social Media Strategy

You might think that hashtags are just a small part of your social media strategy. However, they play an important role in your content’s performance. 

And speaking of social media strategies, download our editable template below and use it to create your own marketing strategy faster and easier than ever.

Free Editable Social Media Strategy Template

 Get the social media strategy template you need to audit and plan your marketing efforts for maximum results.

The key is to create a healthy mix of popular and specific hashtags that can boost the visibility of your posts and help your potential customers find your content online.

SocialBee hashtags

With SocialBee you can create hashtag collections and organize them in different categories based on social media platforms, popularity, and more. As a result, you will diversify your hashtags and customize them for each social network.

Start your 14-day free trial today to improve your hashtag strategy!

Improve Your Social Media Hashtag Strategy with SocialBee!

Social Media Platforms

Increase Reach & Engagement

Nowadays, people use social media networks as their primary source of information. Why? Because social media is the place where content is much shorter, more visual, and straight to the point.

For instance, why would someone read through a detailed long recipe that also contains the cook’s life story, when they can find the same recipe on Instagram in a short, simple and visual format?

Using hashtags will help your target audience find your content and interact with it, meaning that you will reach more people, increase your engagement and hopefully gain new followers as a result.

People that follow hashtags that you use in your content will see your posts on their feed even if they are not following you. That is why using relevant hashtags is so great, you get to expose your brand to a larger audience besides your followers.

Build Brand Awareness

As we said before, using hashtags promotes your content to a larger audience outside your follower base. 

The simple act of popping up on the screen of your potential customers brings value because they become aware of your brand. Although it doesn’t seem like much, this is the first stage of the marketing funnel. Without the essential step, conversions aren’t possible.

So, try to use hashtags that best describe both your content and your industry and connect with your online audience.

Add More Context to Your Posts

On social media, shorter captions with a clear message tend to perform better. So, if you want to give more context to your posts without packing them with too much information, hashtags will do the trick.

Also, many social media platforms have a limited character count.

For instance, on Twitter, you can’t write more than 280 characters. In this case, using a few hashtags instead of writing a couple of sentences will add context to your post without taking too much from the character count you can use for your main message.

Best Practices for Hashtags

Before we talk about how to use hashtags on each social media platform, let’s take a look at five general best practices you should include in your marketing strategy.

1. Respect the Hashtag Requirements of Each Platform

Not all social media channels are the same — they have different requirements that affect the way content is presented on their feed, and ultimately, its performance on the platform.

For example, Instagram has specific image and video sizes to ensure that every post looks visually pleasing and that there is a sense of consistency when users scroll through their feed.

Great social media tools allow users to deal with this aspect and make post customization simple and easy.

SocialBee Post Editor

With SocialBee you can customize your content for all your social media platforms from one place. Adjust your word count, add different hashtags, and change the size of your visuals with just a few clicks.

Start your 14-day free trial today to diversify your content marketing strategy with ease!

When it comes to using hashtags, each platform has its own rules.

While on some networks it’s better to use 10 or 20 hashtags, on others, you might only have to use two or three.

So, make sure you understand the way hashtags are used on each social media platform and most importantly, how your target audience uses them.

We will discuss in much more detail how hashtags work on each social media channel later in the article. So, keep on reading to find out more!

2. Research Relevant Hashtags

Think about adding hashtags to your content the same way as adding spices to your food — you want to find a balance that will complement your posts and make them better than before.

More specifically, you want to add both popular and niche hashtags that will increase your audience reach. Not only this, but you should also aim to find the right hashtags that are relevant for your business and your potential customers.

Research is the only way you can find out these details, and it’s the practice that will make or break your hashtag strategy.

3. Use Niche & Industry-Specific Hashtags

As more and more people have started to search for products and businesses on social media, you must do your best to increase your visibility on the platform by using hashtags that best describe your business.

Think about what your audience would search for to find the type of products and services you are offering. What are the most obvious keywords they would go for?

By combining both niche and industry hashtags you manage to:

  1. Use industry terms your audience will most likely search for to find your brand.
  2. Mix popular and obscure terms that increase your social media reach.

4. Create Branded Hashtags

Through your own hashtags, you get to develop your brand identity and encourage your customers to get involved in your campaigns and join the conversation.

While it might not seem obvious, hashtags really do poses this power. For instance, let’s say you are a business consultant and you create a marketing campaign to increase engagement and connect with your customers.

So, you start a challenge to encourage your audience to tell a story of how they overcame a business issue. To participate, they have to post their story online, tag your account and add the branded hashtag you created specifically for this.

As a result, you will:

  • Get more exposure.
  • Create buzz around your brand.
  • Encourage user-generated content you can now share on your socials. 

Here are examples of branded hashtags we use for our business: #SocialBee, #LifeAtTheHive, #SocialBeeOffice, SocialBeeTeam, #KeepBuzzing.

5. Keep Your Hashtags Short

Long hashtags tend to get confusing for people, especially because there are no spaces to separate the words.

Keeping your hashtags readable will make it easier for your audience to understand the context of your posts. Not only this but avoiding long hashtags will improve the esthetic of your social media content.

Moreover, considering that many social media channels have character limitations, using more short hashtags instead of a couple of long ones will increase your online reach without taking too much from your post copy.

Avoid These Hashtag Mistakes

Now that you know how to use hashtags properly, let’s also discover the practices you should avoid at all costs.

1. Adding Spaces & Punctuation

Adding spaces or punctuation between words in your hashtags will affect the way social platforms recognize them.

For example, writing your hashtag like this #marketing tips means that the social media platform you are posting on will only consider #marketing as a hashtag. 

2. Using Too Many Hashtags

There is a difference between using multiple hashtags vs using too many hashtags.

While we know that it might be tempting to add as many hashtags as you can to boost your reach, this can easily backfire.

Using hashtags instead of words looks spammy, affects readability, and might even drive your audience away.

Just #try to #read this #sentence without #sounding like a #robot in your #head.

3. Make Sure Your Account Is Public

This might sound obvious, but including hashtags in your posts while having a private account will do nothing for your social media reach and engagement.

The main reason people use hashtags in their posts is to reach more users that don’t already follow their page. 

However, if you have a restricted account that only allows your followers to view your posts, then hashtags won’t have any positive impact on your post’s performance.

How To Find & Use Hashtags For Each Social Media Platform

There are two main things you must master in order to get the most out of using hashtags on social media:

  1. How to research the best hashtags for your business.
  2. How to use hashtags in your social media posts on each platform.

For this reason, we will go through all you need to know about researching and using hashtags effectively on all the main social networks: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and TikTok.

Let’s get started with the research process.

Top 3 Tools You Need to Use for Hashtag Research

The goal of your research should be to find valuable hashtags and organize them in collections depending on their topic and popularity. You can easily do this by using a social media management tool.

SocialBee hashtag collection

With SocialBee you can create hashtag collections and organize them in different categories based on social media platforms, popularity, and more. As a result, you will diversify your hashtags and customize them for each social network.

Start your 14-day free trial today to improve your hashtag strategy!

Why should you mix both popular and niche terms? Because popular hashtags increase your post visibility while niche hashtags attract your target audience.

Furthermore, there are two ways in which you can research hashtags:

  1. Manually looking for hashtags on each social media platform (we will discuss this later in the article).
  2. Using social listening tools.

Before we get into how to manually search for hashtags on social media, let’s learn about the fastest and most effective way of researching hashtags: social media listening tools.

Here are three tool picks you should try:

  1. BrandMentions – BrandMentions allows you to discover what hashtags your audience uses the most so you can add them to your content and bring them closer to your business. Moreover, this social media listening tool also has tracking features that can monitor hashtag popularity over time on multiple social media platforms.
  2. HashtagifyHashtagify offers you hashtag suggestions for your tweets and insightful information about their popularity. Plus, the platform updates you daily, weekly or monthly (depending on how you choose) regarding new trending hashtags. Also, Hashtagify allows you to track the performance of your hashtags over time.
  3. Brand24 – Brand24 is a social listening tool that reveals how many times a hashtag has been used, its reach, and sentiment. Not only this, but it also informs you about the most influential profiles that use the hashtags you are interested in, and it sends you periodical reports that track the performance of your hashtags.

How to Find Hashtags on Facebook

The main way you can find hashtags on Facebook is to go to the search bar and type keywords that you are interested in using. As you start writing your hashtags, Facebook offers you other recommendations you could use in your posts. 

facebook hashtags

This type of hashtag search allows you to check:

  • Hashtag popularity
  • The context in which people use certain hashtags

Moreover, you can go through some of the posts that appear during your search and see what other hashtags are used that could also work for you.

How to Use Facebook Hashtags

When it comes to adding hashtags to Facebook posts, the opinions are split. Some marketing experts recommend using hashtags, while others disagree.

Here are the main reasons some people choose not to use hashtags on Facebook: 

  • People are not used to searching for information on Facebook by using hashtags.
  • Most businesses that use hashtags on Facebook share that same post across all their social media channels — which can be interpreted as a lack of care or knowledge. So, even if you customize your posts and add hashtags specifically for Facebook, others still might think you don’t know how to post on Facebook.

However, just because hashtags haven’t been used in the same way as on other platforms, it doesn’t mean that it’s always going to be this way, especially when Facebook hashtags work the same as on any other platform.

Another thing you should keep in mind is that Facebook and Instagram have become more and more alike in the past years. This means that people will start using both platforms the same way.

So, be ahead of the competition and start using all the features Facebook provides to improve your strategy.

After all, there is no harm in adding a limited amount of hashtags in your posts if done right. 

facebook post

Here is what you have to do:

  1. Don’t use more than two or three hashtags per post.
  2. Only use hashtags related to your content.
  3. Go more for branded hashtags and try to encourage your audience to use them through challenges and giveaways.

How to Find Hashtags on Twitter

To find hashtags on Twitter all you have to do is:

  • Use the search bar and the autocomplete feature.
  • Look through the posts from your searches to discover other related options.
  • Include the hash symbol (#) while writing a tweet and see what Twitter suggests you use.
  • Go to the explore page and identify trending Twitter hashtags.

How to Use Twitter Hashtags

Twitter is known as the first social media platform that started using hashtags to organize content.

So, in this case, we know for sure that hashtags have a significant impact on the way content performs on the platform. 

Not only this but hashtags have become a way for people to join conversations. When a piece of news is trending on Twitter, chances are, there is already a hashtag people use to express their opinions on the matter.

Also, Twitter promotes hashtags on their explore page by showing the ones that are trending on the platform.

twitter hashtags

Twitter recommends using no more than two hashtags per post. This makes sense considering that you can only include 280 characters in a tweet.

So, to make them count you have to be careful about the type of hashtags you use and how you include them in your tweet.

There are no rules when it comes to adding hashtags to your Twitter posts. You can either place them at the top to emphasize the topic of your tweet, somewhere in the middle of your post by replacing a word with a hashtag, or at the end if you want to add a little more context to your text. 

Another thing you should consider is researching hashtags on Twitter before using them in your posts to make sure you use them in the right context. You never know when something is trending for the wrong reasons.

How to Find Hashtags on Instagram

To find hashtags on Instagram is very simple. All you have to do is go to the search bar, select tags and enter the keywords you want to use as hashtags.

Instagram will then generate thousands of results and suggestions you can choose from and use in your Instagram posts.

How to Use Instagram Hashtags

The main thing you have to remember about using hashtags on Instagram is that the platform doesn’t have much tolerance for repetitive content — this aspect is even mentioned in Instagram’s community guidelines.

So, to avoid this, you have to mix up your content, as well as the hashtag you add to every post. A great way to do this is by:

  1. Creating multiple hashtag collections specifically for Instagram posts.
  2. Organizing them based on topics and popularity.
  3. Taking one hashtag from each collection and adding it to your content every time you post on Instagram.

SocialBee has a specific feature that can help you maintain an effective hashtag system for your content strategy.

SocialBee hashtag dashboard

Research hashtag ideas ahead of time and save them in SocialBee hashtag collections. When it’s time to post you can just add them to your posts with a single click.

Start your free 14-day trial today and enjoy SocialBee’s hashtag functionality!

Although Instagram allows users to add up to 30 hashtags per post, they recommend users add between three to five hashtags to each post.

This is quite a recent change that aims to get rid of spammy content and improve content categorization. 

Since Instagram wants to provide more customized content for their users, they urge creators to use fewer hashtags that best describe their posts in order to boost their content to the right audience.

SocialBee hashtag collection

And in case you don’t know, Instagram has a helpful feature that allows users to measure the reach they gain just from using hashtags on each post. 

To check your hashtag analytics, all you have to do is click on the “View Insights” button from the bottom of your posts, and just like that, you can track the performance of your hashtag strategy.

instagram's hashtag analytics

You might have seen Instagram users that don’t add hashtags in the post caption, but they include them in the first comment under the post. The main reason some creators tend to do this is to avoid crowding their posts with hashtags — strictly for esthetic purposes.

However, Instagram revealed that this practice doesn’t improve post performance in the same way as adding hashtags directly to your caption.

So, if you don’t like the look of hashtags in your Instagram posts, you can simply hide them at the bottom of your caption. Just place three dots on individual lines before adding them to your post.

Improve Your Social Media Hashtag Strategy with SocialBee!

Social Media Platforms

How to Find Hashtags on LinkedIn

Like on any other social media platform, LinkedIn allows users to discover hashtag ideas by using the search bar. The autocomplete functionality will generate more LinkedIn hashtags related to the keywords you choose to add.

LinkedIn hashtags

You can also follow hashtags, see the posts that include them and find out how many times they were used on LinkedIn.

To access all the hashtags you follow with ease, you can simply click on the hashtag shortcut placed on the left side of your LinkedIn homepage.

How to Use LinkedIn Hashtags

Since people use LinkedIn for professional purposes, there is no need to go for trending hashtags the same way you would do on Twitter, for example.

It’s best advised to stay true to your niche and industry when adding hashtags to your LinkedIn content.

Due to the nature of the platform, this is the perfect environment for you to start using branded hashtags and create buzz around your business.

Luckily, LinkedIn has revealed the best way to use hashtags on their platform, so you don’t have to wonder about the best way to incorporate them into your content.

According to LinkedIn, only 1-2% of users are creating content on the platform. This means that there’s way less competition on LinkedIn than on other social networks. 

Therefore, by using the right hashtags, you can:

  1. Reach more people on LinkedIn than on any other social media channel.
  2. Build a meaningful platform for your business.

The best way to use hashtags on the platform, according to LinkedIn social media specialists, is to:

  • Only use three hashtags.
  • Add hashtags at the end of your posts.
  • Mix two popular hashtags and one niche hashtag.
  • Add keywords that emphasize the topic of your post.
  • Only use hashtags in posts, not in the comments.
  • Avoid using hashtags in LinkedIn articles as they don’t appear in hashtag feeds.

LinkedIn post

How to Find Hashtags on TikTok

TikTok is one of the platforms that fully embrace hashtag usage. Almost all posts contain several hashtags in the post description. Moreover, when you click on the discover page, you can see that all the trending TikTok videos the platform recommends are organized based on popular hashtags. TikTok trending hashtags

This is because TikTok creators come up with new challenges and trends every week. 

To share their ideas, they come up with specific hashtags that other creators can use to signal the fact that they take part in a challenge or trend. The most popular trends end up being featured on the discover page along with their hashtag.

Similar to other platforms, you can also use the search bar to discover hashtags — just add keywords, select the hashtag menu, and TikTok will provide you with ideas that include your desired keywords.

Once you click on a hashtag, you are redirected to a new feed of videos using that specific hashtag. 

TikTok even allows you to save hashtag ideas by clicking the “Add to Favorites” button.

The platform also helps you find hashtag ideas while writing your caption. All you have to do is add the hash symbol (#), and the platform will generate hashtags automatically. It also has the same autocomplete functionality used in the search bar.

How to Use TikTok Hashtags

As we said before, hashtags are a big part of TikTok content because they are also associated with popular trends.

A great way to gain visibility by using trending hashtags is to actually participate in the challenges that come with them. After all, popular hashtags are valuable indicators of the content you should be making on the platform.

For instance, Fenty Beauty used the #euphoriamakeup hashtag to take part in viral trend where creators replicate creative looks from the HBO hit series Euphoria.

Fenty Beauty post

Moreover, you can even start your own challenge and create branded hashtags that will increase brand awareness.

Since TikTok only allows 100 characters for captions, it’s better to go for two or three hashtags per post.

Make sure to mix popular and specific hashtags to reach more people and increase the visibility of your posts.

Bonus: Do Hashtags Work on Pinterest?

Over the years, Pinterest has had an on and off relationship with hashtags. 

Once upon a time, Pinterest hashtags worked as on any other platform, they were clickable, and they lead to a separate hashtag feed. Now hashtags work as normal keywords, and there isn’t really a clear distinction between the two. 

Apart from the fact that users can search for content using hashtags, there is nothing else we can say about the topic.

However, just because hashtags are not a thing on Pinterest anymore, it doesn’t mean that you should forget about keywords as a whole. After all, Pinterest is a search engine, and including specific terms will allow your content to get discovered easier on the platform.

Our advice is to use very descriptive terms (in both titles and descriptions) that best define your posts, as well as phrases that your customers might use to search for your products and services. 

Keep your keywords simple, intuitive, and oriented towards search intent.

Improve Your Social Media Marketing Efforts with Hashtags

Well, our journey has come to an end, which means that you are ready to use your hashtag knowledge to boost your social media reach and expose your brand to a larger audience.

Now that you know the best ways to research and use hashtags on each social media platform, all that is left for you to do is:

  1. Create your hashtag collections.
  2. Share posts that contain the right mix of hashtags.
  3. Enjoy your results.

So, start your free 14-day SocialBee trial today to organize your hashtags in collections, add them to your posts with the click of a button and monitor your social media progress regularly from one place.

Improve Your Social Media Hashtag Strategy with SocialBee!

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