Do hashtags still matter in 2023? Explore the importance of hashtags in social media marketing and how to use them effectively to boost engagement and reach your target audience.
In the increasingly crowded social media space, you may have asked yourself, “Are hashtags still relevant?”
You’re not alone in asking this question. As social media marketers, it can be tough to keep up with the new trends and best practices for each platform. We did the legwork for you to determine if hashtags are still relevant in 2023 and some best practices to keep in mind when using them.
Let’s start by taking a look at the platform most known for selfies and photo dumps. After reviewing thousands of aggregated post data, we can clearly see hashtags help posts reach targeted audiences, attract niche followers, increase engagement, and help you develop a more recognizable brand on Instagram if used correctly.
If used incorrectly, like posting repetitive comments or content, you’ll be penalized by the algorithm and your well-thought-out caption won’t get the visibility you hoped it would. It’s best to regularly check in with Instagram’s community and content guidelines to make sure your content isn’t violating their terms and killing your campaigns.
To avoid Instagram’s algorithmic slap on the wrist, use 3-5 hashtags in your posts and Reels. We also recommended using a mix of broad and niche hashtags to increase your chances of reaching a wider audience while keeping your post relevant to your market.
We strongly recommend you use Instagram’s search tool to help find hashtags by typing in keywords or similar hashtags! And while using hashtags in your Instagram bio won’t increase your reach, it can help promote your brand or any ongoing campaigns.
Similar to Instagram, using hashtags on Facebook helps you reach more followers, earn engagement, and build your brand.
For example, if you have a private profile and use a brand's hashtag, they won’t be able to see or track it. It’s also less common to use hashtags on Facebook in everyday posts, unlike on other platforms such as Twitter.
However, hashtags can be extremely useful in private Facebook groups. Each group has a topic section that contains content and conversations categorized by hashtags used by group members.
The primary advantage of targeting Facebook groups with your posts and hashtags is that these groups are typically active around niche topics, but you should always check the group’s promotion policy before posting if you do not own the group.
It’s recommended to use 2-4 hashtags within your Facebook content. We suggest using hashtags sparingly and in a creative way to gain your audience's attention. Be wary of using too many hashtags to avoid coming off as spammy and an eye-sore to followers.
Hashtags are a powerful tool on this platform. Using hashtags on LinkedIn can help a page establish credibility and expertise, reach relevant users, and start meaningful conversations over users’ common interests and professions.
For example, if you search #opentowork on LinkedIn you'll see that there are 217,716 followers of this hashtag to date and thousands of posts from people looking for employment.
This hashtag is powerful for hiring managers everywhere to follow and engage with to find the best candidates for their open positions.
There are other hashtags that contain this kind of power within each professional community on LinkedIn. Take some time to consider what would be a rallying hashtag in your community and how you might weave conversations around them.
According to LinkedIn's former senior director of product management, Pete Davies, it’s recommended to use no more than 3 hashtags per post. Using 3 hashtags should allow you to target your main audience through keywords without coming off as pushy, annoying, or spammy.
We also recommended taking advantage of the platform tools LinkedIn provides to follow trending hashtags and discover similar ones that may interest you.
“...target your main audience through keywords without coming off as pushy, annoying, or spammy.”
Known as the home of the hashtag, Twitter's hashtags allow users to find and engage with communities, conversations, and topics they care about in easy, concise ways.
Since Twitter has a restricted character count (280 as of 2022), the hashtag (#) character and function allow a deeper message to be conveyed in a shorter form.
It also allows accounts to mobilize behind a cause and create actionable change in the real world, such as with the #BLM and #MeToo movements.
Hashtags are very versatile on this platform and can be used anywhere in a Tweet, a comment, a Retweet, in replies, and in your Twitter bio.
It’s recommended to use no more than 2 hashtags within any given Tweet. Given the short nature of Tweets and their limited character count, two is enough to convey a deeper meaning without running out of room.
We recommended checking out Twitter’s home page for trending hashtags in your country by either navigating to the “# Explore” page or looking to the right of the screen to the “What’s Happening” section.
When you think of hashtags, YouTube might not be the first, second, or even third platform that pops into mind. But the reality is the video juggernaut has 2.6 billion active users that be reached using the iconic hashed character.
YouTube allows content creators to use hashtags in discrete or non-discrete ways to help attract viewers and followers to their content by adding hashtags in the video title or description.
If you don’t include hashtags in the title, the first three hashtags in the description will show above the title of your video. If you click one of those tags, it’ll take you to a page with other videos and channels with the same hashtag, which can be great for joining a conversation or doing content research.
It can also help you tap into specific campaigns or movements. For example, a current popular tag on YouTube is #Shorts, as the platform is pushing its own short-form video applications to compete with TikTok and Instagram’s Reels.
To stay on YouTube’s good side, it’s recommended to use 3-5 hashtags within a video title or description. If you decide to be rebellious and use more than 15 hashtags, YouTube will ignore all of the tags.
You also run the risk of your content being flagged because of spammy behavior. We’re thinking it’s probably best to play it safe here and stick to the recommended amount of hashtags to avoid any punishments and keep your tagging to a minimum, focused set.
Now to examine the newest and shiniest social media platform, TikTok!
This rapidly-growing platform utilizes hashtags similarly to the others, but what it does better than the rest is creating a great environment for the hashtag.
This is evident with the most popular hashtags having billions of videos with billions of views grouped within each tag. Even more, niche hashtags can have success on the platform too, with topics like #socialmediamanagerlife having 31.3M views attached to it.
It's rare to be scrolling on TikTok and not see a hashtag being utilized in a caption. These tags allow TikTok users to jump on trends, explore what their friends are interested in, and see what big campaigns are going on in the social media world!
While it can be tempting to hashtag your heart out on this platform, it’s recommended to use between 3-5 hashtags per post. With limited space (300 characters at the time of this post) to write captions. We recommended keeping them short and snappy so as to not bore, annoy, or spam viewers.
It also can be tempting to use that trending campaign hashtag to jump on its momentum, but if it doesn’t apply to your business, it’s not worth it.
In the words of a famous TikTok “Girl, don’t do it, it’s not worth it.” You want to use hashtags that’ll bring in engaged and aligned users and hopefully make them followers.
So, are hashtags still relevant in 2022? Without a doubt, yes, they are! That is if you’re using them correctly!
And if you’re a Cloud Campaign power user, you can capture and reuse your most commonly used hashtag groups and captions using the Save Hashtags feature. Then paste them into platform-specific captions to save time when creating content. Try it 14 days FREE today!
To help you remember how to effectively utilize hashtags we created a shorthand list to refer to.
Hashtags have grown from a simple grouping tool to a concise way to establish feelings, humor, purpose, branding, and much more on all social media platforms.
Each platform has different ways to interact and use hashtags, but all of these ways have potential power for social media marketers to use. While hashtags may not always be the most pleasing to look at, they carry opportunities to connect and grow your following. In conclusion, hashtags are still a relevant social media tool to wield!
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