Why Should I Use Hashtags?

posted by Damaris Melfi
Read time 7 minutes

Hashtags play a crucial role in today's social media landscape, serving vital functions across various platforms. But have you ever wondered about the reasons behind their significance? Let's delve into the origins of hashtags and uncover why they first emerged.

The birth of hashtags can be traced back to August 23, 2007, on Twitter, thanks to the creative mind of Chris Messina, a Twitter employee at the time and social technology expert.

How to Use Hashtags Successfully on All Major Social Platforms

His ingenious use of the pound symbol (#) to group related tweets together showcased his forward-thinking approach to creating easily discoverable terms for specific topics. This groundbreaking idea quickly gained traction across various social media platforms, leading to its integration into five key categories of importance and purpose.

Hashtags Importance & Purpose


  1. Discovery and Reach:

    Hashtags make content discoverable to a broader audience. By tagging posts with relevant hashtags, users who follow or search for those hashtags can find the content more easily, expanding the reach beyond an account's followers. By using niche-specific hashtags, brands and individuals can reach their target audience more effectively.

  2. Categorization: 

    Hashtags help categorize content, making it easier for users to find posts related to specific topics or themes [i.e.: #BlackLifeMatters, #MarketingStrategies, #FitnessJourney]. This categorization aids in organizing vast amounts of information on social media.

  3. Engagement: 

    Posts with hashtags tend to receive more engagement, including likes, shares, and comments. This increased interaction can boost the visibility of the content through platform algorithms. It also helps in creating and promoting brand-specific campaigns. A unique branded hashtag can enhance brand recognition and loyalty. 

    "Instagram posts that include 11+ hashtags have the highest interactions, with a 79.5% increase for accounts with less than 1,000 followers." 
  4. Community Building: 

    Hashtags can foster a sense of community around a shared interest or cause. By using and following specific hashtags, users can connect with like-minded individuals and join broader conversations.

  5. Trend Participation: 

    Engaging with trending hashtags allows users and brands to participate in larger, popular conversations, which can enhance visibility and relevance in real-time social media dialogues.

    "The majority of hashtags on Instagram are branded hashtags relating to a specific business or product."

    Branded keywords are any words or phrases that are directly associated with your brand name, products or services, which can include phrases or variations of your brand name or products/services that people associate with your company [i.e. #Frapuccino [Starbucks's creation], #Airbnb, #EchoDot, #McNuggets]. See more about how it works here.

What tactics can I implement when incorporating hashtags into my business posts?

  • Use hashtags that are relevant to your content and resonate with your target audience. Research trending and popular hashtags within your industry.
  • Create unique hashtags for specific campaigns or events [i.e. #KVMusicFest]. Encourage followers to use these hashtags, which can enhance brand recognition and participation.
  • Use a balanced number of hashtags. Too many can appear spammy, while too few may limit reach. Optimal usage varies by platform (e.g., Instagram posts perform well with around 9-12 hashtags, whereas Twitter performs best with 1-2).
  • Track the performance of your hashtags and engage with users who use them. Responding to and sharing user-generated content can enhance community feeling and loyalty.
  • Maintain consistency in using certain hashtags to build a coherent brand presence and make it easier for followers to engage with your content.
  • Utilize hashtags across different social media platforms to ensure a cohesive strategy. However, tailor the number and type of hashtags to suit the norms and best practices of each platform.

    10 Excellent Social Media Hashtag Campaigns

Out of sheer curiosity, have you ever pondered on the most iconic hashtags?

Let's explore three widely recognized hashtags that have made their mark across various social media platforms:

  • #TBT (Throwback Thursday) 586,976,914 posts - is used by millions of people to share nostalgic content from the past. It has become a weekly social media tradition, encouraging users to post old photos, memories, and experiences every Thursday. 
  • #OOTD (Outfit of the Day) 440,611,553 posts - is a favourite among fashion enthusiasts. Users post pictures of their daily outfits, often inspiring others. This hashtag is widely used by fashion influencers, bloggers, and anyone interested in sharing their style on platforms like Instagram and TikTok.
  • #BlackLivesMatter 25,789,566 posts - stands out as a powerful symbol of the ongoing fight against systemic racism, evolving into a global movement for racial justice.

These hashtags have transcended their original contexts to become integral parts of social media culture, driving engagement and fostering connections among users worldwide.

In summary, hashtags are a powerful tool in social media marketing, enabling enhanced visibility, engagement, and community building. By understanding their importance and employing strategic use [we can help you out with this], brands can significantly amplify their online presence and connect more deeply with their audience. Begin integrating hashtags into your marketing strategies today and witness the impact on your online presence!

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