Using Hashtags to Boost Your Social Media Engagement


You’ve probably heard that hashtags are a great way to get your content seen by more people but you need to be very savvy when you use them in your social media posts. Getting it right can give you a lot more visibility with your target audience but if you don’t use them smartly, you can actually damage your credibility. So, how do you look to use hashtags in your social media marketing?

How Can Hashtags Help You?

When they’re done well, hashtags can have several benefits, including:

  • Helping more people to see your content
  • Helping you to curate quality useful content that you can share with your audience

Using Hashtags on Twitter

Hashtags may have started life on Twitter but there are a few rules that you need to play by if you want your content to do better on this particular social network.

The number of hashtags that you choose to include in a tweet can have a massive impact on how well your content performs on Twitter so it’s important that you choose the ones that are likely to work best.

Research has strongly indicated that using two hashtags in a tweet can double the number of potential retweets, replies and clicks that you get but it’s best not to push your luck any further than this as it won’t increase your engagement levels. In fact, anything above two hashtags per tweet has been shown to decreaseengagement by nearly 20 per cent so you’re actually much less likely to see much interaction with your content if you go overboard with hashtags.

Using Hashtags on Facebook

While hashtags can potentially bring more engagement on Twitter, it’s much more of a grey area on Facebook. Research has suggested that posts containing hashtags don’t do as well with Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm but that hasn’t stopped them being quite widely used. The integration between Facebook and Instagram means that hashtags are likely to be more widely used on the platform.

Some brands have found that using hashtags has helped their content to have a longer life beyond their fans but only if this is done smartly.

Using Hashtags on Instagram

Hashtags are very sidely used and encouraged on Instagram and can make all the difference between being seen and being largely invisible. Unlike on Twitter and Facebook, anything goes where hashtags are concerned and you can get away with using an unlimited number without having a negative impact on your engagement levels.

Which Hashtags to Use?

Just any old hashtag won’t cut it, and using hashtags without any thought for how it might be of benefit for your brand is a sure-fire way to come across as annoying and amateur.

Instead, look for established trends that you could piggyback on, rather than trying to blaze your own trail by creating a brand new hashtag that you hope will go viral. Well known and very popular brands can successfully introduce a hashtag that really takes off but most people will see little or no results from in starting from scratch like this. Always make sure that any hashtag that you use fits your brand’s values; don’t just jump on popular trends for the sake of it.

Always research your chosen hashtags and check that they don’t have any negative connotations. Even popular brands have seen their hashtags ‘hijacked’ by customers and users who were unhappy and saw an opportunity to vent their feelings more widely the hashtag.

Need some help with your your social media efforts? I’m a Social Media Manager and have worked with a range of clients in the UK and abroad. Get in touch with me today to discuss how I could help!