What is a hashtag? and what do you do with hashtags?

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Do you know how to lớn use hashtags? How about how not to use hashtags? Read on for all the DOs & DON"Ts before you get started.

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Whichever social truyền thông platforms your brand uses as part of its social truyền thông media strategy, knowing how lớn use hashtags will help boost your brand’s social truyền thông engagement.

But if you’re sticking with #ThrowbackThursday posts on Twitter, unsure of how else to lớn use hashtags, stay right here. Your brvà can vị a lot more.

This post breaks down the basics of effectively using hashtags on social truyền thông & why you should use them.

You’ll also learn:

how lớn find hashtags that will work best for your brandwhy using only popular hashtags isn’t the right approachessential tips for using hashtags on every social truyền thông media platsize out there

Let’s get started.
Bonus: Read the step-by-step social truyền thông strategy guide with pro tips on how to lớn grow your social media presence.


What is a hashtag?

The pound symbol on your keyboard—also called an octothorpe— was initially used to mark numbers.

They were first used as hashtags in the summer of 2007 by Chris Messina. That’s when the web kinh doanh speciacác mục walked into Twitter’s offices with an idea. Because of the platform’s brevity, he suggested the company start using the pound symbol to group related Tweets together.

This was the first-ever use of the hashtag:

how vày you feel about using # (pound) for groups. As in #barcamp ?

— Chris Messina (
chrismessina) August 23, 2007

Since then, the use of hashtags, their reach, và their effectiveness has only grown.

Think of hashtags as a way lớn connect social media nội dung lớn a specific topic, event, theme or conversation. They also make it easier to lớn discover posts around those specific topics, because hashtags aggregate all social truyền thông media nội dung with that same hashtag.

They’re not just for Twitter anymore, either. Hashtags are effective on other social truyền thông media platforms too. (Find more details on how lớn use hashtags for each platsize below.)

Hashtag basics

They always start with #
but they won’t work if you use spaces, punctuation or symbols.Make sure your accounts are public. Otherwise the hashtagged nội dung you write won’t be seen by any non-followers.Don’t string too many words together. The best hashtags tend to be relatively short và easy to remember.Use relevant và specific hashtags. If it is too obscure, it will be hard to lớn find & it won’t likely be used by other social truyền thông users.Limit the number of hashtags you use.

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More isn’t always better. It actually looks spammy.

Why use hashtags?

Increased engagement with your followers

Including hashtags in your posts means taking part in a conversation happening on that social truyền thông platkhung. And most importantly, it makes your posts visible in that conversation.

This can lead lớn greater engagement, boosting your brand’s social truyền thông engagement through likes, shares, comments, & new followers.

An opportunity to build your brand

Creating a branded hashtag can be an effective sầu way lớn promote your business và drive conversation.

For example, the Raptors’ branded hashtag #WetheNorth lit up during the team’s winning 2019 season. It has universal appeal, và was one of the most-used hashtags by Canadians in the first half of 2019.

YOUR 2019
NBA CHAMPS! #WeTheNorth pic.twitter.com/3mNvchZqzT

— Toronkhổng lồ Raptors (
Raptors) June 14, 2019

Another example is Cheergame ios and its #CheeriosHeartHuntSweepstakes campaign. This condemo encouraged followers khổng lồ purchase Cheergame ios products and also spread awareness of the brvà by posting photos on social media.

— Cheertiện ích ios (
cheerios) October 15, 2019

A way to show support for social issues

Using a hashtag that’s connected to lớn an issue beyond your br& is a way khổng lồ mobilize behind an important cause or issue.

For example, #EachforEqual and #IWD20trăng tròn were used across social truyền thông media platforms, including LinkedIn, on International Women’s Day.

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Brands can also create a branded hashtag that also shows its connection to a social issue.

For example, the Canadian telecommunications company Bell uses the branded hashtag #BellLetsTalk khổng lồ promote mental health awareness.

Double T Ranch integrates horses inkhổng lồ therapy to support those recovering from addiction và trauma. Learn more. #MentalHealth #BellLetsTalk https://t.co/mUz54SeguJ

— Bell Let's Talk (
Bell_LetsTalk) February 26, 2020

Add context lớn a social truyền thông media post

On Twitter, you don’t have sầu a ton of space khổng lồ write a caption. You have sầu 280 characters, khổng lồ be exact.

On Instagram, longer captions aren’t always the most effective sầu. Same with Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn or any other platform—sometimes less is more.

Using a hashtag can be a simple way to lớn contextualize what you’re talking about, without using up valuable characters or writing repetitive captions.

For example, NASA celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing in July 2019. Using the #Apollo50th hashtag was part of its digital chiến dịch. On World Emoji Day, which is also in July, NASA posted one of the most popular tweets:

☄️ . * . * *