Magazine | Social Media

What are Hashtags in Social Media?

by Furoore • July 21, 2022

what are hashtags for social media

Since their introduction on Twitter, it’s hard to imagine our posts and tweets without hashtags. Whether on Instagram or Facebook, TikTok or LinkedIn, we encounter them everywhere.

Although hashtags can be used on almost every social media site, Twitter and Instagram are where they are most often used.

Use hashtags if you’re using social media to promote your business. Hashtags can increase the engagement and reach of your brand on social media.

Are you interested in learning what are Hashtags for Social Media and use them to your advantage?


What is a hashtag?

The term “hashtag” is a combination of hash and tag and refers to a word or string of characters preceded by a double cross or hash. The rules for the use of hashtags are very simple: The character string used for a hashtag can consist of letters and numbers but may not contain punctuation, spaces, or special characters.

This means that every user who searches for a certain hashtag on social networks will also find matching posts from various brands and media.

This in turn shows that the use of hashtags directly affects the visibility of a post. Ideally, the keywords should therefore cover topics or trends that are also interesting for your own target group.

#Twitter – the hashtag pioneer

In August 2007, the microblogging service Twitter became the first social network to take up the concept of using hashtags, which had previously been used in the chat system IRC to mark channel names.

If a term is to be highlighted separately within a tweet and made accessible for a search for a specific keyword, a hash “#” is simply placed in front of this term without a space.

By using hashtags, it is very easy to find out which topics are particularly popular at the moment by searching Twitter. These are displayed to the user as so-called trends on the start page, both in relation to the user’s own interests and to the user’s region.

If possible, Twitter recommends its users use only one or two really relevant hashtags per tweet. It is true that the number of characters allowed per tweet has already been increased to 280, making more space available.

However, it is much more important than the usefulness of hashtags for other users decreases more and more as the number increases, which would mean that the purpose of this function would be lost.

#Hashtags on Facebook

The team behind Facebook introduced the hashtag function only in the summer of 2013, a full 6 years later than Twitter – and to this day they still don’t seem to have really caught on.

If the user searches for a certain hashtag or clicks on it, he or she sees other posts on the same topic, just like on Twitter. Read also how to make a successful post on Facebook.

However, the use, communication, and probably also the target group on Facebook and Twitter differ significantly. So while hashtags are a must for a good tweet, it’s a different story on Facebook.

Even on Facebook, it is recommended not to use more than one or two hashtags per post. Nobody likes spammers, and too many hashtags can lead to the post being destroyed, as a flood of hashtags can make it massively difficult to read the post.

Some studies have even shown that the use of hashtags can also have a negative impact on the success of posts. For example, posts without hashtags have a higher average interaction.

Nevertheless, it can be a good idea for companies to use hashtags – for example, for a competition on Facebook or for a fixed category or series of posts. Read more about how to make a successful post on Facebook.

#Hashtags on Instagram

Hashtags are indispensable on the photo-sharing platform Instagram. And there’s an important reason for this: since it’s not possible to share posts on Instagram, hashtag searches are usually used to find good content or interesting users. Through Instagram hashtags, the posts are sorted, so to speak.

If you don’t use hashtags, you simply won’t be found on Instagram. But to be found, you also need really good and appropriate hashtags as comment text.

Instead of tagging a photo with #Internet as an online marketing agency, it would be more beneficial to use more specific tags such as #marketingtips or #marketingtools in that case. In most cases, a combination of popular and specific hashtags is successful on Instagram.

Hashtags also lend themselves to use in Instagram stories. The most important hashtag should be set here with the appropriate tag. Others can be added by entering text.

Visually, it looks nicer if these hashtags are covered by stickers or gifs, for example.

In contrast to Twitter and Facebook, you can be generous with the hashtags on Instagram. Opinions on how many hashtags should be used for an Instagram post differ significantly: some say about 7, and others recommend using a maximum of 30.

Again, more important than the sheer number is choosing hashtags that are relevant to the content and the target group.

#Hashtags on Pinterest

Hashtags are also used on Pinterest. Here, pin descriptions can be provided with them. The hashtag search on Pinterest differs significantly from the search with “normal” terms.

While relevance and performance are the decisive factors for the order in the normal search, it is the topicality that counts in the hashtag search. In this case, the newest pins are displayed at the top of the results page.

As with other networks, a mix of popular and unique hashtags is a good idea. Pinterest itself recommends using a maximum of 20 hashtags per pin. It quickly looks cluttered and gives the appearance of spam.

As with other networks, the hashtags should be meaningful and relevant. More information about hashtags and Pinterest can be found in this comprehensive guide.

#Hashtags on TikTok

TikTok is one of the top social media sites, with more than one billion monthly active users (and counting). The site sees a large quantity of traffic and engagement and primarily draws younger people.

In fact, engagement rates for micro-influencers are almost 18 percent. Therefore, it seems natural that companies are swarming to TikTok to broaden their audience.

Users of TikTok can join discussions about subjects that interest them and exchange material by using hashtags. Users of TikTok can also create communities around hashtags.

The greatest part with hashtags on TikTok is that they can help you get much further than they do on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook because the platform is relatively young and isn’t as crowded as other networks.

Your chances of moving up the hashtag rankings for your industry are significantly higher.

#Hashtags on LinkedIn

In 2018, LinkedIn began to use hashtags. You may already know how to use hashtags on Instagram and Twitter, but LinkedIn’s hashtags are somewhat different from those of other social media networks.

Where on LinkedIn can you use hashtags? In your posts and LinkedIn articles, which LinkedIn calls “updates.”

If you add hashtags to your LinkedIn updates as well as articles, they are more likely to be seen by other LinkedIn members who follow or look for the hashtag.

By using hashtags on LinkedIn, your content will be easier to find and you’ll be able to connect with other members who might be interested in your business.

#Hashtags on YouTube

YouTube lets hashtags be used in the titles and descriptions of videos. Google will not punish you if you use up to 15 hashtags. Tags, which are different, can also be used on YouTube.

You can’t list tags in the description, but you can list the same words with a hashtag. Also, hashtags in the title make it easier for people to find videos when they search.

Hashtags are a useful and important marketing tool, but many businesses don’t know how to use them right or don’t use them at all. This limits how many people can see your posts and how many new people can see your business.

Hashtags can be hard to understand at first, but they are here to stay, and their popularity is only growing.

Trending hashtags

In most networks, you can see which hashtags are being used the most. In this situation, it is called a “trending topic” informally. So, you can see which content and topics are currently very popular and are being talked about more and more in the different countries, regions, or groups.

For example, Twitter already shows which topics are “trending,” so you can figure out what’s going on in the world right now. Hashtags are often used by a lot of people to talk about big news stories or other events.

In some cases, this makes it possible to get faster and more up-to-date information on any topic, even if the information hasn’t been checked by editors and can be questioned and analyzed critically.

Trendsmap.com is one way to find out what’s popular right now. Here, all of the hashtags that are being used right now on Twitter around the world are mapped live and can be seen for each city, town, and region. Since 2009, the service has been improved and changed all the time.

Local hashtags

People who use social media like to publish their location with a hashtag and then look for other people who are in the same place. The best way for local businesses to get more attention through the hashtag scheme is to use a local hashtag.

With local tagging, more people from certain local areas will look at your page. People who need a local service often search for a hashtag and see what new posts have been made. If you post new and interesting things with local hashtags, your content will stay relevant and easy to find.

Branded hashtags

A branded hashtag is one that is made just for your business or brand. It can be as simple as your company’s name, slogan, or the name of one of your goods or services. It can also be a hashtag and has little to do with your brand name and more to do with your brand image.

Branded hashtags are a way for businesses as well as influencer to build their brands, start a conversation, run ads, and even sell products.

You can get more people to see your content by adding a branded hashtag to almost anything you post on any platform. Make sure the hashtags show what your company is all about and don’t confuse customers and potential customers.

Seasonal Hashtags

Some of the most searched-for hashtags are about holidays, seasons, and things to do. During certain holidays, people look at holidays more than any other time. During times like summer, winter, spring, and fall, there will also be a lot of views. .

The first hashtags

Even before it was moved to the Internet in 1988, the text-based chat system IRC, which lets any number of people talk in groups called “channels,” used the hash sign to show which channels were which. For example, the name of a channel could be #game.

So, the idea that a double cross is used to mark individual discussion groups or even thematic overviews is more than 30 years old. But it was lawyer and Internet activist Chris Messina who posted the following tweet on Twitter on August 23, 2007.

This helped the hashtag become what it is today:

How do you feel about using # (pound) for groups. As in #barcamp [msg].
Translation: how do you feel about using a # (pound sign) for groups. For example, #barcamp [message]?”

So, the above tweet can be seen as a point of disagreement. From then on, more and more words were given a hashtag so that they could be found through a Twitter search.

For example, if you typed #game into the network’s search mask, you would see all the messages that used the word “help” with the hashtag. This way, you could search the flood of messages for a specific topic.

About two years after Chris Messina made the suggestion, Twitter partially automated the process. Since July 1, 2009, all strings that didn’t include special characters or spaces could be clicked on to search for all tweets that used this hashtag and show them in order of when they were posted. Chris Messina’s original tweet can still be seen at twitter.com.

Top 10 hashtags

In this top 10 list, you’ll find the hashtags that are used most often on Instagram. However, this does not mean that these hashtags are the best ones to generate followers.

  1. #love (2,1 Billion)
  2. #instagood (1,4 Billion)
  3. #fashion (1 Billion)
  4. #photooftheday (969 Million)
  5. #beautiful (777 Million)
  6. #art (859 Million)
  7. #photography (831 Million)
  8. #happy (660 Million)
  9. #picoftheday (680 Million)
  10. #cute (650 Million)

More about social media hashtags:

To hashtag or not to hashtag?
How to use hashtags on Pinterest
How To use hashtags on Instagram
List of most searched tags for YouTube
How much hashtags matter on Facebook & Instagram
How to Use Facebook Hashtags to Increase Facebook Contest Results


Frequently asked questions

What is a hashtag explained simply?

A hashtag is a type of tagging in which a word or a string of words is marked with a hash (#). With such a hashtag, it is possible to search for specific terms more easily by linking thematically overlapping posts.

What are hashtags used for?

The little rhombuses are particularly useful in social networks, where the aim is to distribute images and videos (for example, on Instagram) and text posts (on Twitter and Facebook) as effectively as possible. Many networks also offer a search function for hashtags.

How important are hashtags on Instagram?

So the hashtag sparks interest in a new article, Instagram Stories, or other specific content. In social media, you generate attention with hashtags and with the right strategy, you can generate likes and improve engagement for your Instagram account, for example.

Why are hashtags so important?

So, if your social media post is equipped with hashtags, this can increase the reach of your post, increase interactions and likes and, optimally, generate followers for your profile and increased traffic and sales to your website.


Conclusion

Starting with Twitter, hashtags have now arrived in many social media services. Private individuals as well as companies use hashtags in their posts to give their posts a thematic assignment and at the same time to improve their visibility.

The hashtag symbol in front of keywords and strings makes it easier to search for content related to a specific topic on social media and categorizes posts.

Used correctly, hashtags are a positive support for your social media marketing. However, develop a hashtag strategy for yourself and don’t just randomly pump out any popular hashtags.


What is your opinion on what are Hashtags for Social Media? Let us know in the comments.

Related Articles

Your thoughts and questions

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.