Social Media

How and why should we use hashtags in social media?

To make a hashtag, simply add a # sign before the thing you wish to tag. Example: #hashtagexample – If you want to tag something longer than one word, there can be no spaces. Usually, they are all lowercase letters, unless it becomes hard to read. Example: #AskAlice vs. #askalice

Hashtags are useful in two ways:

  1. First and foremost, they are helps to aid when people are doing searches for tweets/posts about a certain subject. Example: “What would #Jesus say about #marshmallows?” would show up in someone’s search for “Jesus marshmallows”. Hashtags are the things that “trend” on Twitter.
  2. To be used as an aside, usually snarky or sarcastic but often honest. This is a use popular with younger generations. Example: Going to watch movies and eat ice cream all night. #soworthit

Hashtag positioning, two choices:

  1. Within the sentence, which some people find kind of annoying. Example: “Want to learn some tips about #healthyliving?”
  2. At the end of the post, which is less annoying but takes up more characters. Example: “Learn 10 tips to start eating healthier today! #healthyliving”

Hashtag Etiquette

Try to avoid the following two practices, and you should be okay:

  1. Over-tagging occurs when too many tags are assigned to a post and become a serious eyesore. Three should be the utmost maximum for hashtags. Usually only 1-2 are necessary for good SEO. Example: A photographer uploads an image of a rainbow accompanied by this post: “Gorgeous rainbow over Lake Tahoe – #LakeTahoe, #photography, #rainbow, #colorful, #lake, #water, #beautiful, #photo, #image, #RGBIV, #pretty, #scenery, #Nevada, #SierraNevada, #landscape

  2. Meaningless hashtags do nothing to help search engines find your post and will not make you look witty. Example: “Learn 10 tips to start eating healthier today! #goodarticle, #fun”


Be smart with your hashtags; they should always have a purpose that serves you well. Hope this has been helpful!