Most social networks started using hashtags after Twitter first accepted their use, and each social network uses them differently. These rules can help keep you honest relative to the platforms you’re using for your company’s social media strategy.
How to Use Twitter Hashtags
On Twitter, hashtags are used to find conversations to get involved in, or to start one of your own. As long as your profile is public, people can find the posts in which you make use of hashtags.
As we mentioned earlier, Tweets with one hashtag generate the most engagement. But engagement drops when you use more than two hashtags. This may be because people assume too many hashtags indicates foul play by bots (or desperation, as discussed earlier).
You can find hashtags on Twitter by using the search bar, clicking on the hashtag or looking through the trending topics page.
How to Use Instagram Hashtags
An Instagram hashtag collates all photos with the same hashtag into one stream. The purpose of hashtags for Instagram revolves around discovering content and finding users to follow, exposing you to a larger audience. One study found that posts with at least one hashtag have 12.6% more engagement than those without.
You can discover hashtags by searching for a specific term or clicking on one in a post. When you land on a hashtag page, you’ll see all the photos with the same hashtag and even see some related hashtags you can use. Start typing the hashtag with the “#” symbol, and Instagram will give you suggestions based on popularity.
There have been multiple studies on the optimal number of hashtags to use on Instagram. Since the results tend to vary, there is no universally agreed upon number. We recommend testing it out to see what gets the best results with your audience. Just keep in mind Instagram limits hashtags to 30 per caption or comment.
How to Use Facebook Hashtags
Unlike Twitter or Instagram where most users’ profiles are public, Facebook users have private profiles. Thus, the hashtags most people use on their posts are not discoverable to the public and are therefore limited to the people they know. Because of this, most public hashtags belong to influencers or brands.
Here’s how to discover hashtags and related content on Facebook:
- Click on a hashtag to see related posts
- Search using the search bar. Hashtags on Facebook previously were not recognized, but now they are.
If you use hashtags on Facebook, keep it to 1-2 hashtags per post per the study we mentioned earlier. It’s also worth noting that hashtags with 10+ characters receive good engagement.
How to Use LinkedIn Hashtags
LinkedIn is one of the latest major social networks to experiment with hashtags. As of this writing, they only work on mobile (in terms of linking to related content), and as such, look a bit strange on desktop.
How to Use Tumblr Hashtags
When you’re creating a post on your Tumblr page, you’ll see an area at the bottom asking you to add “tags.” When you start to type a tag for your post, Tumblr will automatically add a hashtag to the front of it.
How to Use Pinterest Hashtags
The main thing that you need to bear in mind when creating hashtags on Pinterest is that they’re only clickable in a Pin description. Also, hashtags aren’t searchable on Pinterest, so you’ll need to just search the keyword to find the content.
How to Use YouTube Hashtags
Hashtag use within YouTube is most prevalent in the comments section. Users can leave comments with hashtags, which will then click through to a page with videos that contain that hashtag in their title. However, it’s perhaps more important to implement a keyword strategy since hashtags are not widely adopted by users yet.
How to Use Kickstarter Hashtags
On Kickstarter, sorting by different hashtags can make it easier for you to find projects that peak your interest or plans for investment.
Other Social Networks
These aren’t the only platforms that use hashtags though. Here are a few other social networks that use hashtags that you may not have thought of:
When determining how to use hashtags, make sure to do some platform-specific research to determine if a hashtag strategy is even appropriate.