Hashtags: Definition, Tips, Tools, Articles

By Chrissy Clary

What is a hashtag?


hash·tag /’haSHtaɡ/


a word or phrase preceded by a hash sign (#), used on social media websites and applications, especially Twitter, to identify digital content on a specific topic.
“spammers often broadcast tweets with popular hashtags even if the tweet has nothing to do with them”


add a hashtag to (digital content) to identify it as concerning a specific topic.
“the athlete hashtagged his post #luckyman”

Tools for finding hashtags

Wikipedia definition

“A hashtag is a metadata tag that is prefaced by the hash symbol, #. Hashtags are widely used on microblogging and photo-sharing services such as Twitter and Instagram as a form of user-generated tagging that enables cross-referencing of content sharing a subject or theme. For example, a search within Instagram for the hashtag #bluesky returns all posts that have been tagged with that hashtag. After the initial hash symbol, a hashtag may include letters, digits, and underscores.”

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hashtag

Hashtag basics

The Digital Marketing Institute’s blog “How to Use Hashtags in Social Media” has some great tips for using and building a strategy for hashtags. Here are a few of their basic tips:

  • Don’t get carried away using a hashtag every couple of words. The number of hashtags that can be used depends on which platform you are using, but in most cases, one or two hashtags have more impact than a high number of them.
  • Keep hashtags short and memorable rather than trying to use a lot of words in one tag.
  • Don’t try to be too clever or unusual. If you choose a tag that no one is searching for, it won’t benefit your marketing.
  • Using hashtags that are detailed and specific will lead to better results than broad or general ones. Broad terms are not likely to be searched, and if you use them, your content will probably get lost in a sea of unrelated content.
  • Don’t try to force hashtags onto every post. Instead only use them when they add value to your post and are likely to stimulate conversation and interaction.
  • Hashtags can not only attract members of your target audience, but they can also be used to research your competition. Search using hashtags, and you will uncover relevant content related to your topic.

The science behind using hashtags: Number, type, and more

The widespread acceptance of hashtags should give you plenty of reason to consider using them. Not only could people type your hashtag on a Twitter search, but they could on one on Google, too. In that sense, a hashtag can make your content viewable by anyone with an interest–even if he or she isn’t following you.

But how do you find the right hashtags for your content, and how do you make sure you use the right amount?

Read more at: Inc.

Use hashtags and follow topics on LinkedIn

Hashtags on LinkedIn help you discover topics and interests most relevant to you, and give you the opportunity to engage with them. All hashtags start with a # sign, followed by a keyword or phrase. Some examples of hashtags include: #Productivity, #Careers, or #SocialEntrepreneurship.

Read more at: LinkedIn Help 

How do I use hashtags on Instagram?

You can add hashtags in the caption or comments of your post. If you have a public account and add hashtags to a post, the post will be visible on the corresponding hashtag page.

Read more at: Instagram Help

How do I use hashtags on Facebook?

Hashtags turn topics and phrases into clickable links in your posts on your personal timeline or Page. This helps people find posts about topics they’re interested in. To make a hashtag, write # (the number sign) along with a topic or phrase and add it to your post.

Read more at: Facebook Help

How do I use hashtags on Twitter?

A hashtag—written with a # symbol—is used to index keywords or topics on Twitter. This function was created on Twitter, and allows people to easily follow topics they are interested in.

Read more at: Twitter Help

Use hashtags for video search

To help viewers find your video when they search for a specific hashtag, use hashtags in video titles or descriptions.

Read more at: Google Support 

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