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How to: Use Hashtags

Laptop with Instagram

The number sign, the pound key, the tic tac toe board or whatever else you call it; the hashtag has grown to be a key feature of many different social media platforms. This little symbol is a powerful tool to help your account find and grow your audience, make your content more visible across the platform, and stay up to date on trending topics and ideas. It’s also a helpful aid in marketing and advertising campaigns where all of your content can be found in the same place.

But, what ARE hashtags?

A hashtag symbol (“#”) placed before a word or phrase without spacing or punctuation is a special function indicator on various social platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. It is most often used to highlight your social post or to find other posts using the same phrase. Regardless if a person is following your account or not, placing a hashtag in your post makes it visible to anyone looking through the tag.

Why are they important?

Hashtags put you directly in front of the audience you’re trying to reach. For example, we at Bare Bones Marketing would use the tag #AustinMarketing or #ATXmarketer on a social post about our services! This would place our post in front of anyone looking for marketing help in the Austin, Texas area. It targets local consumers without going overboard; which is important to watch out for.

Types of useable hashtags

While hashtags put you in front of social users that aren’t necessarily your followers already, there are also different uses for the symbol. A content hashtag is one that would be closer related to the actual content of your post itself. This would mean putting a #food on a picture of a new restaurant or meal. A trending hashtag is one that is being used by a large number of users at the given moment. These are normally social commentaries or people adding information to something big happening outside of social media. For example, as people watch the Oscars, they would be live-tweeting their opinions using #Oscars2019. A brand specific hashtag is one used by a brand for marketing or campaign purposes. This would be like us using #BareBones on each social posts so viewers could see a compilation of all of our posted content in one place.

Hashtags from platform to platform

Hashtags are an option on almost every social media site, but they are more effective on some rather than others. Twitter, it is wise to use only one to two per post. With the character limit so low, adding too many hashtags ruins the organic feel of your post. For Instagram, it is just the opposite, hashtags are normally placed after your caption or in the comment section and used in excess. Anywhere from 10 to 20 per picture would increase your posts engagement. While Facebook and LinkedIn allow hashtags, there isn’t much benefit behind using them. One to two per post should suffice, but they aren’t as popularly used on the platforms and are mainly for looks, or to emphasize a point within the written caption.

Making the most of your social media

At Bare Bones Marketing, we know that social media isn’t just for big brands anymore. Small businesses to large corporations and everyone in between can and should be utilizing social media accounts and hashtags to reach and communicate with their audiences. Social media can be a great lead generating machine if done right. Let Bare Bones Marketing, a leading social media marketing agency in the Austin area, help you get there. Give us a call at 512-571-2296 or email us at for more information.


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