What is a hashtag and how to use it?

Social networks have many organic features that can help you achieve greater reach and reach the audience that is looking for you. One of these features is the hashtag.

You are probably already familiar with the term hashtag, but do you know exactly what it is and how to use it correctly?


A hashtag is a word or phrase prefixed with the # symbol. It is used when posting on social networks for easier categorization, search, promotion or awareness. They are used on almost all social networks, although on some they have more and on others less effect.


Basically, hashtags help your audience find you. They enable your content to be found by the people looking for such content. Using them helps drive traffic which leads to boosting views or likes, comments and shares. They can also help with research or bring like-minded people together, it can be used for humor or showing support for social issues. All you have to do is figure out what are the right hashtags for your content.



Instagram allows using 30 hashtags per post. The Instagram average is 3 to 5. The highest engagement is achieved by using 9 to 12. It is mandatory to use hashtags because the social network format is made in such a way that it will help you advance your development. It’s not recommended to use 30 of them because it will clutter your post description unnecessarily, but find the ideal ratio that works for you.

Hashtags on Instagram can be used in profile bios, stories, posts and comments.

You can create your own which will represent your brand or cause. That hashtag will gather all the relevant content in one place. So, whoever clicks or follows that hashtag will have insight into information about your brand. That is, they will see all posts that have that hashtag. All other hashtags you choose work the same way. You can use it to reach the audience or indicate a certain message, fact or information.


Facebook has an option to add hashtags but they are not as effective or popular as on the other platforms. It will not leave as much of an impact but you can still use them to emphasize your post or support and point something out. Why is that so? Because Facebook has many other options you can use to build a community, connect, research or look for content.

Also, if your profile is private, others will not be able to reach out to you following the hashtag, meaning that it is challenging for brands to track users who are interacting with their hashtags. It is recommended to use 1 to 3 hashtags per post.


The hashtag era started on Twitter. Therefore, it is a bit surprising that the optimal number of hashtags per post on Twitter is 1 to 2. They will increase engagement and the possibility of getting retweeted.

Here you can also create your own hashtag or simply use something that will help you get engagement. If you are aiming for having a Twitter chat, write a question and add a hashtag to the question or at the end of the post supporting what you previously wrote. If you are promoting an event, add a hashtag where you think it fits the best within 280 character limit.


Hashtags on Linkedin work in a similar way that we already explained – they help people find relevant information and to achieve a wider reach. The only difference between Linkedin and other networks is that Linkedin is professional media. Therefore, the hashtags need to fit the standard. The optimal number is 1 to 5.

Hashtags became popular on Linkedin quite late compared to the other networks because now there is a need for categorization due to the large database and network growth.


Youtube is probably the least relevant network when it comes to using hashtags. Although they are mentioned in certain places, neither content creators nor the audience uses them while creating or looking for content. Youtube has other ways to present new videos that got accepted by users far more than hashtags.

However, as hashtags took over all the networks, they are being used on Youtube as well. Content creators put them into titles or video descriptions. The optimal number is 1 to 3. Even if Youtube has its own ways to categorize or helps you categorize videos with different features and tools, all this is made possible by the use of hashtags as well. Youtube hashtags are hyperlinked so they are clickable which makes them easy to utilize.


Tik Tok took over the social media world in a very short period of time and the hashtag game here is interesting. The optimal number is also low but here hashtags tend to get more specific and niche.

Hashtags are used to discover or attract a smaller but more interested or engaged audience. Also, Tik Tok is full of extremely short-term trends. Therefore, hashtag popularity and relevance change constantly. To stay at the top you have to make research daily, check for trends, and check your followers and competition activity.

Photo: Unsplash (Walls.io, Melanie Deziel, Priscilla Du Preez)