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Food for Thought: The importance of a #hashtag

May 05, 2017




There are normally a lot of questions surrounding the infamous hashtag key; when is it appropriate? How many words shall I hashtag? What keywords do I need to hashtag?

It’s merely a symbol on your keyboard located just next to the enter button. How it differs from numerous other symbols is the fact that it has the power to open a lot of doors for a business wanting to get noticed. ‘Hashtagging’ words can open you up to conversations happening on Twitter or Instagram around the world. 

Hashtag is the Key to Engagement

The reason behind why hashtags are so beneficial is simple, yet complex. Once you hashtag a word it allows all users to see it. It goes into the world of hashtags. Think of it like categorising your posts and archiving them into a virtual library. They allow users who are not yet following you to see your tweets and content potentially. You are one hashtag away from millions of people seeing it. Make each post relatable and ‘retweetable’ to get more engagement.

 However, it has been recommended not to over hashtag, using only 1-3 words in each post will stop your company looking like spam. After all, you want your content to direct the user back to your website or the link you are promoting. So, keep monitoring the trending topics on Twitter and join in with the conversation! Another idea would be to search relevant hashtags to your business to keep an eye on the latest news and competitors in your area. 


Twitter and the hashtag



Twitter and hashtags go together like fish and chips at the seaside. You are more than likely to have come across a hashtag on Twitter within the first 3 seconds of using the platform. Twitter is home to #MondayMotivation, #humpday and #FridayFeeling- there’s a hashtag for everyday of the week! These are great to tweet about if you are struggling on something to tweet; they are relevant and are almost always trending. Which brings us on to trending topics; they are displayed in the side bar on Twitter and are the top hashtags being used nationally right at that moment. If you are wanting to stand out however, creating a more niche hashtag would be better. This is because so many users will be tweeting with the trending topic hashtag that yours may not even be seen! Here are some tips on nailing the hashtag on Twitter:

  • Be relevant – check the trending topics
  • Start a conversation with a hashtag
  • Keep your tweets simple with only 1-3 words hashtagged
  • Make some tweets relatable to other people to prompt them to retweet and share


Instagram and the hashtag



Using a hashtag on Instagram is the best way to build up a following. It can help to expose your company to a wider audience. In fact, using a hashtag will increase your chances of attracting new followers and getting more likes all by using a hashtag.

Unlike Twitter, there is no limit on the amount you can use. Using simple hashtags such as #love (the most popular hashtag on the ‘gram!), #dog and #girl will get you more likes but it’s not going to build your following up for the long run. The best way to build up a following is to do some research into your audience; what are they hashtagging? At what time are they posting and will therefeore most likely see your posts? You need to be able to target your posts to your audience. For example, let’s say we’ve just posted a new website we’ve built, instead of just tagging #website (1.8 million) we could also tag #websitedesgin (184k) and #websitelaunch (38k) to really reach our target market.

The more engagement your post get the more likely your post will be featured on the explore page, where you are more than likely to gain more attention! This won’t happen overnight so be patient and set it as a goal for the near future so, you have something you want to work up to.

  • Why not create a unique hashtag to your brand? It’s a good way of categorising your images under one hashtag, if not with the hope that people outside your company will use your hashtag to get your attention as well.
  • On the opposite end of hashtags are community hashtags. These connect like-minded users around a specific subject; popular ones include #fromwhereIstand and #throwbackthursday. Like Twitter these ‘trending’ hashtags are a great way to join in the conversation and improve the SEO of your posts.
  • There’s a word such as regram, which means to use someone else’s post and upload it on to your profile. For example, a customer has tagged you in a post featuring your product/ work.Why not thank them on your page?  (‘#UGC – user generated content).


Facebook and the hashtag



There’s really not a lot to say about Facebook and hashtags because no one really uses them! Facebook now has become a stream of visual content rather than the traditional status upload! You’re welcome to add them though.  Hashtags, just like on the other platforms, categorise your posts. However, we don’t know anyone that searches through a hashtag on Facebook, so keep it visual on this platform with maybe a few hashtags just in case!

Quick Recap:

  • Hashtags are a way of categorising content.
  • They can open up your company up to a wider conversation and in turn connect with a wider audience.
  • On Twitter, keep hashtags to a minimum of 1-3. With Instagram go, crazy hashtag as much as you wish and Facebook, well, people tend not to use them on here so keep them to a minimum!
  • Building up a following can take a while so, don’t expect numbers to increase overnight…be persistent!
  • Ask yourself what type of hashtags your audience and competitors are using?


A *special prize for anyone that can guess how many times we’ve used the word hashtag in this post! **it’s so special there is no prize 

Category: Social Media

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