Hashtag Tracking

How to Use Hashtags Effectively on Every Social Network

Hashtags are well-known in the social media space.

Hashtags are used to find related content primarily. They also increase the visibility of your content on social media. If used effectively, they can increase engagement on your social media posts, but if not, they can be a disaster for your brand.

In this blog, we have covered how to use hashtags on social networks, including Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

We will focus on:

  • What are hashtags and their basic do’s and don’ts?
  • Why use hashtags.
  • Find hashtags you should use.
  • How to use hashtags for every platform.
  • How to use hashtag tools for marketing

What is a Hashtag?

Hashtags are the combination of letters, numbers, and/or emoji preceded by the # symbol. There are some rules for using the hashtag:

  • No spaces
  • Don’t use any Punctuation
  • Avoid special characters

E.g., #socialmedia 

The first hashtag was used on August 23, 2007, by Chris Messina, a product designer, and internet consultant.


[bctt tweet=” Hashtags connect social media content to a specific topic, event, theme, or conversation. ” username=”socialertdotnet”]

Since people will post content along with the hashtag around these specific topics, you can search the hashtag on Twitter to find all related content.

Here are some basics about using hashtags as per Twitter guidelines

Also, they’re not just for Twitter. Hashtags are effective on other social media platforms too.

Basic do’s and don’ts for using hashtags

#1: Do keep your hashtag precise, simple, and easy to spell.

#2: Do incorporate relevant keywords in hashtags.

#3. Don’t overuse hashtags in a single post.

#4. Don’t hashtag everything while posting tweets.

#5. Consider every network differently while using hashtags. 

If you want to get in more detail we have one popular blog post on basic Do’s and Don’ts of Using Hashtags on Social Media

In the next section, we will discuss why we shall use hashtags.

Why use Hashtags?

#1. Increased Engagement with Followers 

If you make a social media post without a hashtag, it would only be visible to your followers. While if you use hashtags relevant to your industry, your post would be visible to folks who search for these hashtags. Even social media networks have algorithms to serve such posts to users who use these hashtags.

So, by using hashtags, your social media post would reach not only your followers but a wider and relevant audience.

Check this tweet by our team, which created engagement because of using hashtag #socialmarketing and #GrowthHacking in the tweet. You can see most of the retweets are done by accounts that are not our Twitter account handle followers.

Danzarrella a social media scientist at HubSpot, did research on hashtags and retweets. He concluded that Tweets with hashtags have 20% more chances of getting Retweets.


#2. Organize Your Branded Content and Build Brand Authority

Most brands use generic hashtags for their social media marketing. Yes, it’s all good and fair, but if you want to get the most out of hashtags, you can take it a step further by creating branded hashtags for your social media posts.

Here’s how Madalyn Sklar, a famous social media marketer, promotes branded hashtags (#twittersmarter) on social media.


Users around her community use the same hashtag. This way, she gets to know who is interested in her content, product, or services.

You just need to search the hashtags and see the results. You can also track branded hashtags using socialert to view the insights more clearly.

Even brands can use these hashtags for tweet chats, content, and live events to organize and track the audience. If you are looking for a hashtag engagement tracker for these branded hashtags socialert is one of the best options.

#3. Find the Target Audience and Vice Versa

Using industry-related hashtags is one of the best ways of getting more from your hashtags.


Because people who are from your industry search for these hashtags and check your post. This way, you reach a new audience. On the other hand, you can track these hashtags and look for people who engage through these hashtags and follow hashtags on twitter .

Using a few popular hashtags can be another way to help new users find your brand.

For example, if you use #travel on your Instagram posts, those who follow this hashtag will see your recent post in their feed. That’s a cool way of gaining new followers.

How to Find the Right Hashtags 

#1. Monitor Competitors and Industry-related Influencers

This is the best way to get the hashtags that actually work on social media. First of all, make a list of your competitors and influencers that are related to your industry.

If you are not sure about industry-related influencers, I would advise you to analyze competitors’ Twitter accounts and check their top followers.

You can also analyze generic, and competitor branded hashtags to know influencers who are relevant to your brand. 

Once you know influencers, you can go through their social media profiles and check the hashtags they use.

#2. Know Trending Hashtags

In all social media networks, you can know trending hashtags. Twitter and LinkedIn both provide this option.       

trending hashtag on twitter  

Instagram also provides related hashtags when you search for a particular hashtag on it. On Instagram, the related hashtags are shown just above the “Top” and “Recent” tabs in the Explore section.

You can also find trending hashtags with the help of RiteTag and Hashtagify. You just need to search with your industry keywords, and you will get hashtags with their popularity and trends.

If you own branded trending hashtags use socialert to track trending hashtags on Twitter and Instagram

#3. Analyze Old Tweets and Twitter Accounts using Socialert

You can also analyze your competitor’s Twitter account using socialert to know which hashtags they are using in their tweets and which ones are gaining them more traction.

You can also analyze your old tweets using socialert and know which hashtags work best in your case. Here is analytics for @socialertdtnet itself.

tweet analytics using socialert

It is clear that #growthacking is one of the best hashtags that work.

#4. Look out for hashtags your audience is using.

Sometimes, hashtags are generated organically by your audience. Your job is to look out for these hashtags and use them. 

No hard work is required on your part!

You can start off by paying close attention to your top followers or keeping an eye on where your brand is mentioned across various social media platforms.

If you are growing your brand on Instagram, you can do most of the heavy-lifting with Instagram’s search tool. By merely performing an Instagram hashtag search, you can pretty much determine if any of your followers are following the hashtag.

#5. Branded hashtags

One of the best hashtags are the ones generated by you — you create and let it spread!

Simply put, a branded hashtag is created by a brand to promote a campaign. Some folks create branded hashtags to promote their brand.

Nothing is ruled out here — you create a catchy hashtag and let it a trend.

One way of letting it spread is by inserting it into your bio and posts.

Here’s how lululemon inserted the branded hashtag (#thesweatlife) into their bio.

use branded hashtag in bio

Branded hashtags are ideal for running an Instagram contest.

Use the Related hashtags feature.

Social media platforms like Instagram are designed with hashtag related features. 

search hashtag on instagram

This feature is arguably the best way to find more niche keywords. Therefore, if you want to narrow your search and connect with ready fans, using Instagram’s related hashtags feature is the way to go.

How Hashtags Work on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn

#1.  How to use Hashtags on Twitter

      Optimal Numbers – 1 to 2 relevant hashtags

 It looks spammy as Twitter allows only 280  characters to tweet.

#1. You can use hashtags in your Tweets as well in retweets and replies. Users can also use branded hashtags in Twitter bio. 

#2. Suppose you want to tweet about social media marketing, and you already mentioned the word “socialmediamarketing” in your tweet text. In that case, there’s no need to include #socialmediamarketing at the beginning or end of your tweet. You can simply add a # sign before that word to save more valuable character space in your tweet.

#2. How to use Hashtags on Instagram

  Optimal Numbers – 5 to 10 hashtags 

#1. You can include hashtags after captions, as well as in comments. You can include up to 10 hashtags in Instagram posts and stories. 

#2. Your branded hashtags can be used in Instagram bio as well.

#3. You can also search and follow hashtags in Instagram explorer.

#4. Instagram insights show the benefits you would gain from the hashtags.

#3. How to use Hashtags on Facebook

     Optimal Numbers – 0 to 2 hashtags

#1. Hashtags can be added to any part of your Facebook posts or comments. Here is the example of Neal Schaffer. He used only one relevant hashtag.

#2. You can search for hashtags in the search bar and see the public posts, including that hashtag.

#3. As most users’ profiles are private on Facebook, it’s challenging for brands to track how users interact with your hashtags. You can just check public posts using the URL facebook.com/hashtag/_____. Include the hashtag you want to search at the end.

how to use hashtag on facebook


#4. How to use Hashtags on Linkedin   

Optimal Numbers – 1-2 hashtags

#1. You can incorporate hashtags anywhere into your LinkedIn update and article.

how to use hashtag on linkedin

#2. You can also search for hashtags using the platform’s search bar.

#3. Check trending LinkedIn hashtags in the “news and views” section on the home page.

#4. You can get hashtag suggestions from LinkedIn as you write an update. You can read this guide to using hashtags on LinkedIn.

#5. LinkedIn is a professional platform. Keep the use of hashtags professional too.

#6. Follow hashtags on LinkedIn to see recent posts incorporating that hashtag.

#5. How to use Hashtags on Pinterest

Optimal Numbers – 2-5 relevant hashtags are enough for a pin. 

#1. Hashtags can be added to the descriptions of the pin. Pinterest allows only 500 characters and recommends using up to 20 hashtags per pin.

#2. If you use hashtags wisely, you can get more attention, but misusing can do the opposite. You should use keyword-rich sentences in the description.

#6. How to use Hashtags on YouTube

Optimal Numbers – Don’t use more than 15 hashtags 

#1. Using hashtags on YouTube can increase the searchability of videos. Use descriptive and keyword-rich titles. Hashtags can improve your SEO.

#2. Hashtags can be used in video titles as well as descriptions.

#3. A hashtag is an excellent way of finding popular and trendy topics. You just need to type “#” in the search bar, and YouTube will show all the relevant hashtags.

#4. You can use YouTube’s trending videos category to see what type of content is trending right now and use it accordingly.

How to Use Hashtags Tools For Marketing

There are different tools for hashtag research, hashtag tracking, and analyzing my hashtags. Here are some well-known tools.

#1. Hastagify and ritetag to search best Twitter hashtags.

#2. Tweetdeck to manage multiple accounts and search hashtag content.

#3. Socialert to track and analyze hashtags.

#4. Mention for finding influencers on hashtags.


Hashtags can make a good impact on your social media engagement if used wisely.

It’s very important that you understand where, when, and how to use hashtags. Now you have some good tips to get started in the right direction!

If you have other hashtag tips for social media networks? Share with us in the comments. 

Also If you want to how to look up old tweets you can use socialert too.

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