Why are Hashtags so Important?

Ah, those famous hashtags! #throwbackthursday #nofilter # ad… We see them go by, we use them, but are they really useful? The answer is: yes. But you have to know how to use them properly.

Why are hashtags so important?

1. To increase engagement

By using a hashtag, you are taking part in a “conversation”. Your post (text, image or video) will therefore be present in the hashtag’s “conversation thread” and will encourage engagement, which means more “likes“, comments and shares. It is also possible to subscribe to a hashtag so that you never miss anything on the subject.

2. To build your brand

Creating your own hashtag can help promote your brand and start a conversation. For example, the furniture store Structube, uses the hashtag #mystructubestyle. When its community posts a photo of a room with Structube furniture, they use this hashtag, resulting in a discussion that Structube and its followers can go to anytime.

example of hashtag : structube

3. To show support on social issues

In 2020, everyone saw the hashtag #blacklivesmatter: both personal accounts and brands used it. This hashtag was used over 25 million times in just a few days, earning the movement global recognition. In cases like this, one can easily understand how powerful social media is.

4. To add context

Sometimes, brands can post a photo without wanting to explain its content to leave room for interpretation. A simple hashtag in the description can make the post meaningful. A common example is the first post of a new company on that reads “#comingsoon”. The user therefore understands that more content will be posted soon.

What are the best practices for using hashtags?

The way to use hashtags varies from platform to platform, as the algorithm is different on each social media.

On Facebook, we recommend using one or two hashtags, to add to the post or comments. Posts using between one or two hashtags are found to perform better than others. Indeed, this amount of hashtags generates, on average 593 interactions, compared to 307 interactions with 6 to 10 hashtags (Post Planner, 2020).

On Instagram, it is recommended that you use between 5 and 10 hashtags per post. Whether it’s in a story or a newsfeed post, it’s best to put a few more hashtags in order to get noticed. It is possible to “hide” the hashtags in the comments section to lighten the description under the post and make it look less spammy. Adding hashtags to your bio can spark discussion, since this is one of the first things your new follower will see when viewing your profile.

On LinkedIn, we use three to five hashtags respecting the following points: stay professional, avoid jokes, make sure there are no mistakes. The primary purpose of using hashtags on LinkedIn is to get noticed in the business world. By the way, the most popular hashtags are: #productivity and #leadership.

How to select the right hashtags?

1. Observe what is popular in your community

If you are a company that sells jewelry, do a simple social media research to see what the most used hashtags are.

hashtag, jewelry

2. Use a hashtag generator

A tool like RiteTag can come in handy when looking for a selection of hashtags. Enter the description of your post and RiteTag will generate the most recognized hashtags in your community.

3. Create your own hashtag

Whether by using the name of your company or not, this hashtag will be unique to you and will allow you to start a discussion and then find all the posts that talk about you. For example, Coca-Cola Quebec uses #minimoment.

coca cola example hashtag

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    Questions to ask yourself:

    • What are the keywords in your industry?
    • What are the current trends? Could you associate a few keywords with them?
    • Do you have more nested words, specific to your context, your brand, your target?

    Listen to:

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    Caroline Godin

    Billy.Social Founder