The Dos and Dont's of Hashtagging

Updated: Nov 5, 2020

When it comes to creating a brand footprint in your respective niche, social media presence is key to overall growth and prosperity. The use of hashtags can grow your following and increase brand awareness at a global level if used correctly. Often you see people creating posts and ending them with a number of hashtags that they think are fun and cute, which is great, but ineffective. Instead, focus on choosing, and using, hashtags that are strong within your industry. Following this quick guide to hashtags can help you understand the importance of hashtags while avoiding the popular mistakes of hashtag usage, even in the marketing world.


1. …research your industry leading hashtags. Research is key to success with hashtag usage. Understand what is trending in your niche and use those hashtags with each post you create. Hashtag research should not be a one and done type of thing. Spend some time each month looking up the hashtags are in trend for the current month or season.

2. ...add a # symbol before each hashtagged word. This one seems like a no-brainer but is actually one of the biggest misses for an excessive amount of organizations.

3. …create a list of must use hashtags for each post. A brand specific list of hashtags should be included in your marketing plan or brand guidelines. Use these with every post and add on any additional hashtags that are relevant to the specific items or ideas within the post.

4. …look for related hashtags. IG has this easy-peasy suggestion that comes up when you hashtag that provides you with “related hashtags”. Go through this list and pick and choose other hashtags you can use within your brand plan.

5. …teach your marketing team about the importance of hashtags. Everyone on your team should be well aware of the importance of hashtags. Train them to understand and implement them if they are part of your social media posting plan.

6. …create branded hashtags. Branding is so important to every aspect of your business. Brand everything! Create a hashtag that is specific to your brand and slogan and include this with each of your posts.

Don’t …

1. …abuse hashtag use. Your post shouldn’t be so hashtag heavy that it causes content exhaustion in your following. Aim to use targeted and effective hashtags, over an abundance. Stick to the quality over quantity ideal.

2. …add spacing or punctuation to your hashtag. If you are hashtagging multi-word items, like “summer hair,” make sure to avoid adding a space or separating the words, instead, create one tag that reads, “summerhair.” If the words or phrase you are using includes punctuation just don’t include them in your hashtag.

3. …hashtag random words to include with your post. Another, what feels like, no-brainer, right? Don’t hashtag every word separately in your post unless it makes sense for the word to stand alone. Avoid hashtagging basic words like, “a”, “the”, “but” or otherwise, because, let’s be honest, it’s pointless.

4. …use all CAPS in your hashtag, unless it’s an acronym. The boldness of all capitalized letters will take away from the meaning of the actual hashtag. Often, your hashtag may be reduced to lower case letters anyway, so avoid wasting time on capitalization as it makes your post look over the top, messy and unapproachable.

5. …use short tail hashtags. These often lead to a high view rate with an extensively lower conversion rate. Being too generalized will not grow your brand. Followers, with a high interest, will search for more long tail hashtags as they are much more specific to their needs, thus leading to higher conversion. Aim to include long tail over short tail.

6. …hashtag unrelated topics. Often, people are so hashtag happy that they include options that are not necessary for the post. You may increase the number of views on your post, but they won’t turn into anything other than a view because your post leads the browser to a dead end in their search. Hashtags should be relevant to the content of your post, nothing more, nothing less.

Hashtags can feel like a large undertaking when creating your marketing plan, especially if you are a new business trying hard to find your footing. The basics when it comes to hashtags should be to keep them simple and relevant while providing value to your consumer and your business. Interested in creating branded hashtags for your business, but unsure where to start? Let’s chat! I would love to help you build your hashtag bank.

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