Social Media Basics: Hashtags
Are You Making these Hashtag Mistakes? 

“I don’t understand hashtags.” 

“What’s the point of them?” 

“How do I use hashtags?”

These are common things I hear about hashtags. If you’ve ever wondered any of these things, welcome to your simple guide to hashtags. 


What is a hashtag?

A hashtag is a word or phrase that comes after the hashtag symbol (#) used on social media to help categorize your post by topic.


What is its purpose, and why is it important?

  • Visibility: Hashtags allow social media users to easily find posts that fit a specific theme or topic they want to see more content about. When you use a hashtag to categorize your content, it will help users find your post. Without that hashtag, your visibility may be limited to only those who follow you.
  • Engagement: Posts with hashtags have higher engagement rates because they’re naturally reaching more users. 
  • Community building: Hashtags bring people with similar interests together, which means they bring the people who want to see your content to you!


How can I use hashtags to grow my audience?

  • Do research: Follow others in your industry and see which hashtags they are using and use those too.
  • Stay relevant: Make sure your hashtags actually relate to your content. This ensures that your post is reaching the right audience.
  • Be consistent: Creating a brand-specific hashtag that you use across all platforms on all posts can help users find all your content in one place. 
  • Engagement: Did you know that users can follow hashtags? They do this so content with that hashtag is more likely to appear on their feeds. Use this to your advantage! 


Am I making these common hashtag mistakes?

  • Overstuffing: Cluttering your post with too many hashtags can make your post hard to read. Stick to using the most relevant hashtags to your content. Instagram allows each post to have 30 hashtags, but I recommend sticking to 10 or fewer. 
  • Irrelevant hashtags: Using keywords that don’t relate to your content won’t bring you to the audience you’re looking for, and it could annoy and drive away the people you are looking for.
  • Making up hashtags: The point of a hashtag is to make you visible. Making up hashtags, especially ones that are long, aren’t followed by users and/or aren’t popular is the opposite of being visible. 
  • Ignoring local hashtags: If you’re a local business, use your local hashtags to better reach the community your content is most relevant to. 


Now that you understand what hashtags are, their purpose, why they’re important, how to use them and what the common pitfalls are, you’re all set to utilize this tool to grow your platform! 

About Author

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Melissa is the Outreach, Events and Digital Director for RWM. She is also a writer, wife and dog mom. Her mission is to cultivate fun energy everywhere she goes.

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