A simple guide on how to use hashtags in 2021

Oct 19, 2021

Category: Social Media

What is a hashtag?

Firstly, if you’re new to posting on social media or just need a bit of a reminder, a hashtag is a word or short phrase preceded by the hash symbol on the keyboard. It allows for you, the brand, to partake in algorithms and find your target audiences who are looking for content surrounding or relating to a specific topic or category. Therefore, using hashtags means you become more discoverable and are able to reach new social media users.

Quickfire round rules of hashtags

  • They always start with #.
  • They do not work or become ‘live’ if you use spaces, punctuation or symbols.
  • If you have a private account, it will not reach as many people. So, ensure your account is public.
  • The best hashtags are usually one-word or short phrases.
  • Do not associate with not-relevant hashtags on your social media posts, this can lead to your account becoming ‘spammy’ meaning your account will be hard to find by users. For example, if you’re sharing a post about jewellery do not hashtag #harrystyles - just because it’s popular that day.

Why use hashtags?

  • They can boost engagement. By using relevant hashtags you join a conversation within social media, by simply being visible you can increase likes, shares, comments, retweets - the lot!
  • Building brand awareness. By using a branded hashtag, people are more likely to find your brand as this will instil brand recognition in users. For example, if anyone posts about your brand they can use your hashtag furthering your brand recognition.
  • Supporting causes. Much like the ‘join the conversation’ point, by supporting social causes your brand not only becomes connected to important issues beyond your brand but encourages discussion, creates a brand community, and allows users to rely upon and trust your brand.
  • Find your audiences. As touched on previously when you pair relevant content surrounding or relating to a specific topic or category, you are able to target your audience. By using a hashtag rather than a lengthier caption you contextualise the content and create brand awareness. For example, if you are hosting a competition, by hashtagging the word ‘competition’ you immediately draw in an audience to this post.
  • Ads and sponsorships. In regards to advertisements, under the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) and the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP), ads “must be obviously identifiable as such.” So by using #ad or #sponsorship you clearly state to users the purpose of the post without being deceitful or breaking any rules. CAP has produced a helpful guide to establish the rules regarding advertisements on social media, click here to read.

Social media platforms and hashtags

Our previous blog in 2019, which features the optimum number of hashtags for social media platforms is here. But an updated version can be found below!


  • The optimal number of hashtags to use: 1-3
  • You can use hashtags anywhere in your Tweets, for example, at the end for context, or in the middle of your social media post to highlight a keyword - a great way of staying within the 280-character limit too!


  • The optimal number of hashtags to use: 5-10
  • One of the catalysts for hashtags is Instagram; Instagram hashtags can make or break your Instagram marketing strategy. Use them correctly and you’ll get your posts seen by more people. We suggest putting them after your written caption and, unlike Twitter, avoid adding hashtags in the middle of your captions as this could potentially make your content less accessible for people using text-to-speech readers.


  • The optimal number of hashtags to use: 1-3
  • You must remember LinkedIn is a professional platform used for connections and networking between businesses and professionals. This means the use of hashtags needs to stay professional too. There is no limit on where you can place LinkedIn hashtags.


  • The optimal number of hashtags to use: 2-5
  • As pins in Pinterest are all about finding content and inspiration, using the correct hashtags is vital, especially when using Pinterest for business. You should include hashtags when writing descriptions on your pin when you are repinning.

How can The Creation Lab help?

If you’re looking to boost visits to your site, establish trust with your clients, position yourself as a brand leader, reach new customers and create a voice for your brand, then you should be thinking of starting a company blog. Get in touch today with us here at The Creation Lab. We can help you transform your business and its social media with the help of the correct hashtags and content marketing!

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