social media hashtags

Did you know those little pound signs pack a punch when getting your posts seen by the right people? It’s easily an important part of the secret sauce of creating social media magic. Social media hashtags first became popular on X (formerly known as Twitter), but since then it’s spread like wildfire on more social media platforms including Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, and even on newcomer Threads which calls them ‘tags’.

On many of these platforms, it isn’t just a social media fad anymore. It’s something that people use as part of search queries to find the information they want and even ask questions. In fact, Hubspot reveals that 15% of consumers prefer social media over traditional search engines and that 31% use them to find answers in many day-to-day situations.

If the figures are anything to go by, when used correctly, hashtags can help people find your brand and increase your influence on social media. While you may already be using social media hashtags in your content, you may not fully understand what they do. So before we look into hashtags in different social media platforms, let’s start at the top.

Social media and hashtags: What does it all mean?

Adding a hashtag isn’t that complicated right? Well, it turns out that while adding a hashtag may seem like a piece of cake, there’s some basic information you should know before you start churning out those hashtags.

Adding a hashtag is nice, but it means nothing if you’re not doing it right. But don’t worry. We’ve put it all together in a few tips to help you step up your game.

Take it easy: Hold back! (yep, you heard us correctly) Don’t add a hashtag after every other word. Some social media platforms have a restriction on the number of hashtags that you can use so you won’t have a problem with getting carried away. Remember that one to three well-thought-out hashtags can make a world of difference than throwing a heap of them in the mix and hoping that something sticks.

Keep it simple: Keep hashtags short and simple because they’re the ones that are going to be memorable and easy to recall. Much like Coca-Cola’s hashtag #ShareACoke and Black Lives Matter’s #BlackOutTuesday, the simple hashtags have a way of sticking around for longer.

Don’t force it: Hashtags are great but that doesn’t mean you can work it into every post. Think about where they add value. Can a hashtag influence your audience? Can it strike up a conversation on social media? If the answer’s no, then you know what to do—or more accurately, what not to do.

Clever isn’t always clever: Racking your brain for ideas trying to come up with a clever hashtag that you can be proud of? Well, you may want to give it a rest because clever and obscure hashtags aren’t always going to work. It may sound good, but if no one’s searching for your hashtag then your content is going to fly under the radar without anyone noticing.

Now that you’ve got a better idea about what to look out for in general when you’re coming up with hashtags and posting them, there’s still the question of how it all applies to each social media platform.

What role do hashtags play in the main social media platforms?

Here are some of the major platforms that people use today and what to remember when you are about to spread hashtag virality into the digital world.

X (formerly known as Twitter)

X is probably the most popular platform where hashtags are used without question—whether you’re a brand trying to spread the word about a new product or an influencer trying to gain more traffic.

Using relevant hashtags on X can play a huge part in boosting your engagement levels. One or two hashtags are enough for a single tweet. Using just a few and then asking your followers to retweet it can get you more engagement. Take a look at this post by Disney Junior UK.

Disney Junior UK post on X

Hashtags are going to make your post more accessible and when you use trending hashtags you can get even more engagement by finding the right conversations to get involved in.


Hashtags on Facebook mean more organic reach but keep in mind that just because hashtags are popular on one platform, doesn’t mean that you’ll make the same degree of impact on other platforms like Facebook.

When it comes to Facebook it’s important not to go overboard with the hashtags. Generally, using one or two would be enough. What can be more damaging is that using too many could make you seem unprofessional and could annoy anyone who’s reading your posts.

To find the right one just type the relevant hashtag in the search bar by typing the keyword.

Facebook hashtag search in search bar


Using hashtags on IG can drive engagement, but unlike the social media platforms we’ve talked about until now, Instagram Stories and Reels can help you reach a wider audience—so if you’re a hashtag addict then this is your platform because using even ten or eleven hashtags can still work well.

From location hashtags and content hashtags to niche hashtags and popular hashtags, you can use as many as 30 hashtags on a regular Instagram post. This doesn’t mean that you need to use up all the space you have, it just means that more hashtags are acceptable if you feel that it’s necessary.

Here’s a look at what we mean when we say hashtags are a popular strategy on IG.

The Social Shells post on IG


TikTokers use social media hashtags on their video content because the hashtags are clickable and your video will be featured among similar posts. 

TikTok has a 4,000 character limit on their captions so you’ve got plenty of room to play with different hashtags and find out what works. Use a mix of hashtags from niche to popular and even brand-related to get the most reach.

Keep your eyes open because TikTok usually changes hashtags so you need to keep looking at the ‘Discover’ page to see which hashtags are trending.

TikTok search bar and ‘Discover’ page for hashtag search


Now, if you’re not a frequent flyer on LinkedIn then you may be surprised that the platform is actually a great place to use hashtags because it hasn’t always been that way.

You can use hashtags just like any other social media platform to expand your reach and even build your brand. LinkedIn recommends that you use one to three hashtags for each post. You can usually add these by clicking the ‘Add’ button under ‘Hashtags’.

Here’s a LinkedIn post by Neil Patel to show you how it’s done on the platform.

LinkedIn post by Neil Patel

Make Social media hashtags your road to discoverable content

So there you have it! Hashtags may seem like a small detail in the massive world of social media but when done right, it has the potential to make a huge splash.

From boosting your brand’s visibility to connecting you with like-minded people, the right hashtags have the power to bring people straight to your social media content. So, don’t underestimate their power! Keep a watchful eye on your social media management strategy, give those social media hashtags some thought, sprinkle them into your posts, and watch as your content shoots for the stars.