This post originally published on April 8, 2014. We’ve updated it here with new info, screenshots, and a special episode of the Buffer podcast –  The Science of Social Media.

Have you ever found yourself explaining how to use hashtags to someone whose only connection with the word is as a telephone button?

Internet language has evolved considerably over the past few years as social media has taken off. Hashtags are a huge part of this evolution. What once was a telephone button is now a social media phenomenon.  No wonder people are curious.

When they ask, I tell them that hashtags are a pound sign immediately followed by a keyword. They’re used for categorization on social media. Yes, they can be annoying if overused. And yes, I’ve seen the hashtag video of Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake.

Hashtags also have the potential to be truly valuable. The stats and info below make a pretty clear case that we should be understanding, using, and appreciating hashtags.

How to Use Hashtags: How Many, Best Ones, and Where to Use Them

Interested in listening to this post in the podcast format? We invite you to check out an episode on this topic in Buffer’s very own podcast – The Science of Social Media!

How to listen: iTunes | Google Play | SoundCloud | Stitcher | RSS

Research says you should be using hashtags

If you’re looking for a completely cut-and-dry ruling on the topic of hashtags, then here it is: You should be using hashtags.

The proliferation of hashtags is truly incredible. What began on Twitter has now spread to Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Google search, and almost everywhere in between. (LinkedIn experimented with hashtags for awhile before giving up.)

The widespread acceptance of hashtags should give you plenty of reason to consider using them. I also really enjoy the case laid out by Steve Cooper, writing for

As ridiculous as hashtags might seem to marketing veterans who remember a time before Twitter and Facebook, the younger generation and potential customers/clients don’t. To them, using hashtags is as natural and common as typing their query into the search box.

Not only could people be typing in your hashtag on a Google search, but they could very well be doing it in Twitter, too. In this sense, a hashtag will make your content viewable by anyone with an interest in your hashtag, regardless of whether they’re part of your clan or not.

A hashtag immediately expands the reach of your tweet beyond just those who follow you, to reach anyone interested in that hashtag phrase or keyword.

But how to use hashtags is a different story completely. How do you find the best ones for your content and make sure you’ve got them in the right number, on the right social network? Let’s break it down.

Hashtags on Twitter

Tweets with hashtags get two times more engagement than tweets without.

This data, courtesy of Buddy Media, is one of the most-cited examples of the effectiveness of hashtags, and for good reason: doubling your online engagement is a big deal! Imagine going from four retweets to eight or 10 retweets to 20. And all it takes is a simple # or two?

Apparently so. Although, you’ll want to keep it to no more than two.

Buddy Media’s research also showed that the volume of hashtags bears monitoring: one or two hashtags appear to be the max. When you use more than two hashtags, your engagement actually drops by an average of 17 percent.

Twitter hashtag stats

Twitter’s own research into hashtags confirms that there is significant advantage to using them. Individuals can see a 100 percent increase in engagement by using hashtags (the same bump as seen in the Buddy Media study). Brands can see a 50 percent increase.

Engagement, as measured in these studies, can include clicks, retweets, favorites, and replies, yet if it’s only retweets your after, hashtags still would be a smart bet.

Tweets with one or more hashtag are 55 percent more likely to be retweeted.

Dan Zarella discovered this effect in a study on retweeting behavior that included more than 1.2 million tweets. The large scope of the study made for a 99.9 percent confidence interval with the results.

Effect of Hashtags on retweets


The one caveat to hashtags on Twitter might come for those brands looking to gain clicks on Twitter ads. In the case of advertisements, Twitter found that tweets without a # or @-mention generate 23 percent more clicks.

The reason? Hashtags and @-mentions give people more places to click inside a tweet instead of focusing solely on a call-to-action.

Hashtags on Instagram

Hashtags on Instagram

Instagram is another hotspot for hashtags, and the good news for those who love to extensively tag photos is that there doesn’t seem to be a saturation point.

Interactions are highest on Instagram posts with 11+ hashtags.

A rule of thumb could be: Don’t sweat your amount of Instagram hashtags.

Interactions by hashtags from trackMaven

The best part about this recommendation is that the data comes from a set of users with 1,000 or fewer followers—a group that likely includes small businesses and those just diving in to Instagram. In other words, hashtags could be your best bet for growing a fast following on Instagram.

The Instagram Shadowban

There has been a lot of talk recently among marketers about what’s called the Instagram Shadowban. Essentially, a shadowban is when Instagram withholds the distribution of your photo or video on Instagram due to “inappropriate content.” Inappropriate content can vary widely, but usually it has to do with the content of the photos or videos themselves or spam-like behavior such as using bots to engage with users or banned hashtags.

Later put together an interesting and insightful guide on how to navigate the Instagram Shadowban in order to keep your account in the green and your photos/videos seen. In that article, Later shares a direct statement from the Instagram team regarding the proper use of hashtags on the platform:

Instagram Shadowban and Guidelines

How to avoid shadowbanning on Instagram

Alex Tooby, Instagram expert and influencer, shares her top tips on how to avoid the Instagram Shadowban. Here’s a quick overview so that you can keep your account in the clear today:

  • Avoid using banned or broken hashtags in your caption and/or comments
  • Avoid using any type of software that violates Instagram’s terms of service
  • Avoid any big surges in your Instagram activity (ex., liking or commenting with bots)
  • Avoid being reported by users by posting only appropriate content to Instagram

Looking to learn more about the Instagram Shadowban? We cover that and more in this episode of our Buffer podcast – The Science of Social Media!

How to listen: iTunes | Google Play | SoundCloud | Stitcher | RSS

Hashtags on Facebook

So yes, Twitter and Instagram are clear winners for hashtags. But what about Facebook? Here’s where the recommendation gets a little trickier.

Facebook posts without a hashtag fare better than those with a hashtag.

Hashtags have only been around on Facebook since June 2013, and three months later, research from EdgeRank Checker found that using hashtags on Facebook has zero positive effect on reach. Posts without hashtags outperform those with hashtags.

Facebook hashtag study


A lot could have changed since September, when this data was first released. Should you abandon hashtags on Facebook solely due to this research? It’s probably best to test. There’s still a lot of analysis left to be done. For instance, Social Bakers studied posts in February of this year and found that using hashtags might not be the main worry, but rather using too many hashtags (just like the advice on Twitter).

Too many hashtags

Hashtags on Google+

On Google+, your posts are given hashtags automatically based on their content, but you can also edit them or add your own. Also unique about Google+: You can add hashtags in your comments as well as your post – double the opportunities to be found.

And since Google+ is Google’s social network, hashtags are now built right into Google searches. If you type in a hashtag search, you’ll get the normal search results plus a sidebar of relevant Google+ posts. Hashtags have truly arrived!

Hashtag search Google

Google+’s “related hashtags” also offer smart marketers a brainstorming opportunity to discover new content ideas and gauge interest level in specific topics.

Tools to find and manage your hashtags

Using the right tools, you can use hashtags as an organization system for your social media campaigns. With everything collected under one hashtag banner, you can see at-a-glance the reach of your campaign and the discussions happening around the topic.


One of the most complete hashtag tools you will find, has reams of data you can use to analyze hashtags. The most helpful could very well be the first data you’re shown: related hashtags and their popularity. When you type in a hashtag, the service will show you other hashtags to consider and will display visually how popular each hashtag is and how closely it correlates to the original.

2. RiteTag

RiteTag helps ensure that the tags you use are well-chosen by showing you how good, great, or overused a particular hashtag is. The visual organization of hashtags into colored bars works great for quick analysis at-a-glance.

3. Tagboard

With Tagboard, you can see how your hashtag is used across multiple networks. The results pages on Tagboard show hashtagged posts from Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+, Vine, and

4. Twitalyzer

Though not an explicitly hashtag tool, Twitalyzer does show hashtags as part of its audit of Twitter accounts. Input the username of someone you want to investigate, and Twitalyzer can tell you what hashtags he or she uses most often. This can be really helpful in finding out how your niche’s influencers tweet.

5. Trendsmap

Local businesses might find value in Trendsmap, which shows you relevant hashtags that are being used in your geographic area. (#wrestlemania is a popular one where I am in Idaho.)

4 steps to find the right hashtag to use

Using the tools above, you can hone in on a few ideal hashtags to start with, and like most things online, test and iterate from there.

1. Learn from the best: What hashtags are influencers using?

Twitalyzer can give you a good foundation of where to begin for your hashtag search by showing you how influencers are using hashtags. Grab a handful of usernames of people and brands in your industry whom you admire, and input the accounts into Twitalyzer. At the bottom of the results page, you’ll see a section for their most commonly-used hashtags. Add the relevant ones to your list of potential hashtags.

Let’s say I wanted to find some hashtags to use in promoting social media marketing content. I might start with a list of names like Jeff Bullas, Jay Baer, Mari Smith, and Ann Handley. Here is what the hashtag results on Twitalyzer look like for Jeff Bullas:

 Twitalyzer results

Info like this would lead me to start a short list of hashtags like:

  • #socialmedia
  • #SMM
  • #twitter
  • #contentmarketing
  • #social
  • #content
  • #marketing

2. Cover all your bases: Are there related hashtags you should be considering?

Armed with an idea list of hashtags, you can then hop into to see which related hashtags might also be worth pursuing. While you’re doing this exercise, take note of the circle size on your results: The larger the circle, the more popular the hashtag.

Again, following our social media marketing example, here is what the results page would look like for a search of #socialmedia: results

Not every hashtag listed here will be relevant to you, but it does help to see some that you might not have previously considered. In the case of our example, I might add #business, #infographic, and hashtags of specific network names like #twitter and #facebook.

3. Identify the all-stars: Which hashtags are the best to use?

Popularity and volume can be good indicators of the value of your hashtag, but you may wish to go one step further. has advanced, premium tools that let you go deeper into statistics on individual hashtags. In a pinch, you can also get some solid data from RiteTag and their visual expression of how much each tag can boost your post’s reach. 

Among posts that contain the word “marketing,” RiteTag shows these tags as the most likely to be great, good, or overused. (There’s that #wrestlemania tag again!)

RiteTag results

4. Double check: Could your chosen hashtags mean something else entirely?

One last check before you finalize your list of hashtags should be whether or not the hashtag you’ve chosen is being used elsewhere in an entirely different context.

The worst thing that can happen when using a hashtag is to realize after it’s tweeted that the same hashtag is used for an entirely different topic.

Jawbone tried a #knowyourself campaign on Instagram, only to find that the hashtag was already being used generically by thousands of users in all sorts of different contexts. This didn’t necessarily ruin Jawbone’s campaign, but it may have made life a little more difficult for the marketing team. 


Hopefully you’ve learned the value of hashtags here and a few neat ideas on how to find some to use in your social sharing. If you’re looking for a simple rule of thumb for hashtagging posts, I think there’s a lot of truth here in this advice from The Next Web:

Rule of thumb: 1 – 3 tags is best over all platforms.

  • Twitter: to categorize
  • Pinterest: to brand, and be specific (tags are only clickable in pin descriptions)
  • Instagram: to build community, and be unique/detailed
  • Google+: to categorize; autogenerates tags based on what it thinks your post is most relevant to
  • Tumblr: to categorize interests, can be specific and general (has a “track your tags” feature)
  • Facebook: sort of a hashtag fail – if your audience is very business-minded, follow Twitter rules; if it is community-oriented, follow Pinterest/Instagram rules

What hashtags do you routinely use on social media? I’d love to hear how you’ve put hashtags to work in your social media strategy.

P.S. If you liked this post, you might enjoy our Buffer Blog newsletter. Receive each new post delivered right to your inbox, plus our can’t-miss weekly email of the Internet’s best reads. Sign up here.

Image credit:mikecogh, Unsplash, IconFinder, Pablo, Quick Sprout

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Written by Kevan Lee

Director of marketing at Buffer, the social media publishing tool for brands, agencies, and marketers. We’ve got a new podcast! ?

  • Timely post. Neil Patel just did one on hashtags. Seems like everyone is running out of stuff to write about. lol

    • We’ve got hashtags on the brain! I’ll have to coordinate with Neil next time. 🙂

      • Haha I think its all apart of some big master plan for world domination. Buffer and Quick Sprout are ninjas. 🙂

      • Iatiana Sacarez

        Hiiiii!! Im interested to know more about hashtag, can you give me lists of topic about hashtag? Thank you

  • Ashok Kamal

    Twitalyzer shut down last year but thanks for the tip on

    • Thanks for this info, Ashok! Hadn’t heard the news about Twitalyzer. That’s too bad. Maybe their infrastructure was left behind? The site worked for me the other day when I was testing it. 🙂

      • Ashok Kamal

        No prob. I think they’re sun-setting the service …

        • Got it. Catch it while you can! 🙂

  • Mike Madura

    Any thoughts or research regarding the number of hashtags in Twitter bios vs. Tweets?

    • Great question, Mike! Bio research eluded me for this article, but I’m happy to share thoughts. I’d imagine that you’d see less effect from hashtags in bios since searchable content is where much of the hashtag value lies. How does that sound to you?

  • Love the breakdown by social network; not all communities are the same, so it makes sense that some hashtags will change from network to network. And via the various tracking/measurement tools, you can track effectiveness maybe do some A/B testing of different hashtags, to see what works best for a particular campaign or story. Doing your homework can also help you stand out more, drill down from a broad widely used hashtag to a related, less used one that’s more targeted. FWIW.

  • Chase Fleming

    Good post. is another tool.

  • Great breakdown of hashtags, thank you! Little by little I’ll get this social media thing down…

  • Guest

    @kevanlee:disqus Many thanks for including one of the hottest features of RiteTag in this darn good article. I’m the product guy/founder, and I thought I’d tip you and readers off to what I demonstrate in the attached GIF. Once a user is set up and goes for a paid plan, they get the hashtag grading within Buffer. Yup!
    The thing is, they could also be getting that (and another RiteTag goodie) as Buffer added-value features, and without using RiteTag – if Buffer uses our API (going live this month).

  • Kevan Many thanks for including one of the hottest features of RiteTag in this darn good article. I’m the product guy/founder, and I thought I’d tip you and readers off to what I demonstrate in the attached GIF shown at (sorry – only way I found to get an animated gif to show here).

    The thing is, they could also be getting that (and one other really sweet RiteTag goodie) as Buffer added-value features, and without using RiteTag – if Buffer uses our API (going live this month). For the coming attraction, see items 1 and 2 in – the RiteScore and Associated Hashtags.

    Pass this up the totem pole, if you would…?

    • Really interesting integration here, Saul! I’ll be happy to pass it up the totem pole. 🙂

    • Ruth

      I would really like this! Often wish I could see hashtag recs/judgements from Buffer while I’m posting from a website.

      • Good to know, Ruth. “Judgements” – I like that. I’ve been calling it “grading.” And it happens within a few seconds of you typing a hashtag in the Buffer post. If you check out the animated gif above, you’ll see that first I hashtagged #hashtags, got a “good” grade for that, but improved to a “great” by changing to #hashtag.
        Also, we can provide an associated hashtags pull-down, but that’ll depend on whether the Buffer people want that or not.

    • Oh wow! That’s very awesome.

  • Michelle C

    Thanks for another informative post. I have been wondering if it does much good to use hashtags on pinterest- any idea where to get more info on that?

  • Suzi Hixon

    Thank you Kevan! I was looking through the comments and Ashok mentioned below that Twitalyzer had shut down. That’s super disappointing because that would have been a great resource. Any suggestions are related alternatives? Again, thanks!!!

    • Suzi Hixon appears to be active

      • It’s up, but they’re not taking any new subscribers, so if you don’t have an account, you can’t get one

        • Twitalyzer is “shut down” for new subscribers. Bummer!

          Great article though, but the whole Twitalyzer portion is not usable for those of us who did not have accounts.

          Anyway, Kevan your work is always good, keep it up!

  • Jessica Rudder

    I’ve definitely seen a boost for tweets with hashtags from my startup @NativLang.

    I wonder if hashtags only provide a boost to engagement by expanding the reach of your posts (which is not hard to do when you have a modest 32 followers like us). 🙂

    If the hashtag didn’t reach outside of your followers or it were a silly hashtag unlikely to have a huge following (#LikeThisOneForExample), would the boost still be there? Perhaps as a result of signaling that you part of the Twitter in-crowd?

    • @jessicarudder:disqus Whenever I pitch RiteTag I use cases like your’s as an example of our value proposition. Although for brand new accounts it takes weeks before you show up in hashtag search/clicked results, after that happens, you have 32 followers / I have 25,700. And the way you beat me is with the right hashtag.
      To your other points: we’ve found no evidence that silly gets you much, but really long hashtags are nearly always a mistake. Finally, more that signalling an in-crowd thing, using 1-3 relevant and reaching hashtags is read by some people as you putting care in your tweets (and that you take Twitter seriously).

      • Great conversation here, Jessica and Saul. It’s like a mini blog post of its own. 🙂

        Thanks for the added info. I love the point about hashtags showing people you put care into your tweets. Great perspective.

  • My measurement for a quality of a blog post is the quantity of takeaways.

    I did not know about Twytalizer… Hence, good going


  • Mike

    Awesome post like always. Thanks Kevan, for yet again helping us benefit with such a detailed write up!

  • I really like this article. I find it difficult sometimes to find the URL in a tweet among all the hashtags that people include, and the more it gets retweeted the more hashtags that appears (sometimes). I like your statement: “When you use more than two hashtags, your engagement actually drops by an average of 17 percent.”

  • Luca Forest

    Nice post …helped me a lot. Thanks 🙂

  • Hananya

    I use the same hashtags all the time on my Instagram and it works just fine

  • Olsoweir

    This is such a good article!

  • Great article and discussion. Absolutely spot on. Thanks for sharing and promoting.

    The one thing I’d add is that the more popular a hashtag is, the faster your content will be pushed out of view by newer mentions. This effect will only accelerate as more people begin to use them more often. The paradox of doing something ‘popular’on Social. Yes, you’re in with the crowd. But you’re in with the crowd!

    I’d also point to the utility of hashtags around events extremely effective, especially with hashtag recap tools like storify and tweetbinder.

    Thanks again.

    • Love the way you put this, Mike! There’s definitely a paradox with being in the “in crowd.” One of the nice features about RiteTag is that it’ll tell you if your hashtag is overused or not, hopefully sparing you from getting too deep with the in-crowd. 🙂

    • That’s why the best hashtag is the one that is related to what your post is about.

  • Anita

    Great article! Thanks for sharing.

  • Ola Agbaimoni

    Hi Kevan great article. Really useful information about the tools to make using #hashtags more effective. Why did you say #hashstag is a £ sign followed by a keyword? it’s a # sign which I thought was the symbol for number – have I missed something?. Most annoying thing about t#hashtags is they are in different places on different keyboards (and sometime invisible to the naked eye lol).

    From my experience of them, they are useful for monitoring if you make your own ones up but you don’t get as much traction as you do if you use the more popular ones, then you end up with the paradox that Mike referred to.

    thanks for sharing this Big Hugs :~D

  • Branko Kral

    awesome awesome awesome!

  • Jennifer Adams

    Excellent article. Wish everyone would read this! Hate seeing so many hashtags in one post. Big pet peeve of mine….hashtags on Facebook. Thanks for the information!

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  • I was just exploring how to analyze trending hashtags this morning and presto! This post landed in my feed. Are you watching us? Great tips. Thanks!

  • Steve

    Interesting how too many hash tags switch people off.

    As a newbie using twitter to promote my science education website I found I have increased traffic through using fewer, rather than more hashtags.

    People don’t bother reading tweets if they are overloaded with hashtags (I certainly don’t!)

  • Lyndon

    “Twitter’s own research in to Hashtags shows…” should be all the evidence you need to know that the end of the sentence will suggest there is a benefit to using them! Hardly science.

    Also, define engagement. What does it actually mean in social? Somebody shares something? You can join a conversation with like-minded users? That’s great – but where is the long-term relationship or marketing value?

    • Courtney Seiter

      Hey Lyndon! As we’re using it here, engagement includes clicks, retweets, favorites, and replies. I’d say the long-term value is reaching the right audience and creating brand awareness, trust, credibility and usefulness with your content and social media presence. 🙂

  • D.shades sun

    TAGCANDY claim is that they will provide 100 percent guarantee for his or her service and facilitate anyone in achieving the target.

  • Incredible incredible post // many thanks for sharing this // kudos to you // cheers! #plbkkt via #hshdsh

  • sopularity

    Great post Kevan! If you are searching for the most appropriate hashtags for your tweet, you may use the sopularity tool. It suggests the best hashtags for a given tweet, see

  • Faux Wood

    What about hashtags on Pinterest? I hear both pros and cons but haven’t seen any real evidence on whether to use or avoid them.

    And thanks for the article, Kevan! It’s another winner. 🙂

    • Great question! I’ll keep my eyes open for research on this, and I’ll be happy to report back. Might warrant a followup to this post!

  • smumdax

    I have a question. I’ve seen someone on Twitter that added a hashtag of his own Twitter name. For example, their twitter is @foobar, they tweeted “blablablabla #foobar”… is that a good, bad or useless usage of the hashtag?

  • Interesting article. I have been reluctant of using hashtags too much, but from your article am interested to see how it can increase the exposure of my tweets. One problem I have been having is to search for hashtags from a user INCLUDING retweets. Currently it seems to ignore those.. Thanks again!

  • Great post Kevan. Its funny how I feel so educated in a holistic way about the world, but now that I’m finally exploring the internet there is a new dimension of reality which is so unfathomable to me. I’m trying to wrap my head around how this will actually be applicable to the campaign am I beginning to publish my knowledge. Thanks for making it slightly clearer to this homeless vagabond who is finally realizing he needs to utilize technology for the greater good of humanity 😛

  • Vishnu Chaithanya

    we started using the time at which we posted eg: #9PMShare to know the audience active timings over the week days and weekends.

    • Really cool idea, Vishnu! 🙂

  • Great article dude. It’s a really good read. I plenty hashtags on Instagram but its got my following up to 11K+ so you’ve done your homework on this 🙂 Thanks!

  • James Eisert

    according to, a lot of hashtags get 300 tweets an hour. So by posting to them, your post will not even be up there within 10 minutes. So what to do? If you post every hour, that may work for getting people to you. Bad thing is, now your followers may drop because you are spamming them. What to do?

  • Angela Minelli

    Finally, clarity on what hashtags and why you’d want to use them!

  • Ashley

    You and Inc. have at least one passage that is exactly the same, word for word:

    Yours: “Buddy Media’s research also showed that the volume of hashtags bears monitoring: one or two hashtags appear to be the max. When you use more than two hashtags, your engagement actually drops by an average of 17 percent.”

    Inc.: “Buddy Media’s research also showed that the volume of hashtags bears monitoring: One or two hashtags appears to be the max.
    2. When you use more than two hashtags, your engagement actually drops an average of 17 percent.”

    I’m not sure who published first, but you might want to look into that.

    • Hi Ashley, thanks so much for bringing this up! Might you have a link to that Inc. piece? I’d be interested to compare and contrast. We definitely want to be respectful of any sources we quote!

  • leo

    great information, i have the same question as James Eisert below ” according to, a lot of hashtags get 300 tweets an hour. So by posting to them, your post will not even be up there within 10 minutes. If you post every hour, that may work for getting people to you. Bad thing is, now your followers may drop because you are spamming them. What to do? ” thanks

  • Re Dahlia

    Good info to have as I [slowly] dive deeper into social meDia.
    Although my favorite part of the post was the Editors quote: ‘live simply. Give generously. Beat cancer.’
    God bless

  • Gee

    Hey there! How about hashtags on music sites? Let’s say soundcloud, would it still be wise to only put 2-3 hashtags to promote your tunes?

    Thanks, Gee

    • That’s a great question, Gee! It’s something I’ve yet to research too fully, my guess is that 2-3 hashtags would feel best here, too.

  • Patrick Bongers

    Hi Kevan, great post. I have a question – can hastags be used in a blog (which is essentially inside our website)? Not sure if the blog will recognize a hashtag link.

    • If I’m correctly understanding what you want to do, you probably won’t be able to create an in-text hashtag by just adding the # in front of a word. You can, however add tags if for instance you’re on WordPress. These will be linked only in the “tags” field, and will help categorise your blog’s content (and help with SEO). The use of tags (and categories) can improve the discoverability of your content and updates but not in the exact same way as social does.

  • This article was very very informative. I do believe that the verdict is still out on standard practices for hashtag use but I agree with most of what you said 98.99%.

    I’ve actually gotten some good mileage out of specific group based Facebook Tags but see little to no return on general interest tags like #Game or #Money. Facebook still has a ways to go with developing their usage but I think they will get there.

    The most bang for your buck when it comes to hashtags is on instagram just like you mentioned. I have a whole strategy around Instagram hashtags that works wonders.

    Thanks again for sharing. This article was the best I’ve read on this topic period. Keep them coming. 🙂


  • Great post Kevan.

  • Great update on everything about hashtags! We’ll definitely be keeping these in mind for Atomic Reach’s social channels!

  • Rob Abis

    Digging the audio!

  • Love all the tools you recommend. FYI Google+ no longer automatically adds hashtags. You can still add them manually, though. They were retired earlier this year.

  • Kudos on the awesome audio accompaniment! It serves as a great alternative to reading, and the voice talent (was that you, Kevan??) was perfect – a really great balance of excitement and informational tone which made the listening easy and compelling (and a great voice overall!).

  • Willie

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  • Many #Thanks for the great #hashtag post Kevan! 🙂

  • Loretta M. Otterson

    Hug Profit With the bufferapp…. click and Continue Reading

  • I think I read this article the first time around but it’s always good to get a refresh. I don’t know how I missed the RiteTag tool before. It’s amazing!

    • Thanks so much, @aureliechazal:disqus! SO much more coming, too. And comments like your’s drive us to provide more features, so, much appreciated!!

  • Right hashtag – great post. No matter how easy it sounded, it’s not.

  • Jamie McGhie

    Excellent advice on a sometimes confusing subject Kevan. How important do you think it is for brands/company’s to develop and use a unique hashtag?

    • Hi Jamie! Thanks so much for the comment, that’s a great question! We’ve developed a bit of our own hashtag at Buffer around our weekly Twitter chat (#bufferchat) and we’ve seen really great things! I’d be all for brands exploring a way to use this. One thought that comes to mind is that it might be really great if the hashtag is organized around an ongoing event or experience instead of something that is added every so often to updates, if that makes sense. 🙂

  • Jamie McGhie

    Excellent advice on a sometimes confusing subject Kevan. How important do you think it is for brands/company’s to develop and use a unique hashtag?

  • WaltHayes

    Concerning Facebook hashtags – I did a search for #cleanwater and saw loads of relevant posts, but I do I find out how many facebook users are actually getting these posts in their news feeds because of that specific hashtag? Was I that only one that did a search for #cleanwater? If I did a post with #cleanwater how do I judge the potential audience? Do any of the aforementioned tools offer up that info?

  • TimothyGWarren

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  • Fantastic and detailed article. A must read for any small business owner who is starting to use social media and needs a strong understanding of hashtags. I really enjoyed Sue’s advice about deleting hashtags and then going back and adding new ones. Thanks for including my advice.

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  • Me I always play and play with hashtags until I find a couple power hashtags – hashtags that have by far the biggest engagement and reach benefit. For when I was doing Instagram for my pooch, #EnglishSetter and #birddog did wonders. For social media marketing on Twitter, I find #smm to always help.

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  • Spazz2772

    Hi, what are the rules regarding adding the hashtag of another user (of a related subject)? Can anyone add a hashtag of my username without my permission or can I ask them to stop and they “have to” stop? Or if they stop is just a courtesy?


    • Spazz, I’m pretty sure anyone can mention you or hashtag your username and there’s nothing you can do except ask them not to!

  • Dale Renshaw

    This was a fantastic article. I am a MBA student and right now I am taking a marketing class where we have a client to which we have to create a marketing plan for them to help revamp their business. He has all the social media staples like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google+. I do not think Facebook is the best for a business unless its for reviews. Do you think its in my clients best interest to use Twitter as his main page to use for information about his company and events he might have? One good thing about Twitter is that you can put the initial post on there and link it to his Facebook. On Twitter people can click on your hashtags to get further into the search of what they are looking for. But on Facebook you cannot. So do you think that it is a good idea to even have a Facebook page for his company? I will definitely use all of this information about hashtags and use them in my marketing plan to help out my client’s company.

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  • I’ve recently written an article on the same subject, more focused on Instagram
    Read it on Medium ->

  • Is it possible to find out which hashtags are actually being searched vs which are popularly used?

  • TPB, Esq.

    I’m greatly late to the party, but what do you recommend with respect to saving/organizing tags?

  • Hashtag Pirate

    This is a great article! Definitely picked up some tips from it. I
    actually just found the top instagram hashtags of rated by popularity. It’s pretty sad to see where our fellow instagrammers are headed!!!!

    Check it out here :

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  • Monika Courtney

    Great content! My hashtag is #WeLoveAustralianMeat, therefore when looking for attention, I #Paleo #LowCarbHighFat #failsafe #Steak etc. I know it’s better not to link FB & twitter, but I haven undone my accounts, so I use a # or 2 on FB to generate it for twitter. Your thought?

  • Erma Tate

    Very enlightening post. A (#) sign followed by a word of phrase is generally known as #Hashtags on social media. The main purpose behind its use is to spread conversations on the same topic all over the place and reach of every audience. No wonder people are curious about placing hashtags in the post. What started on Twitter has now used on Facebook, Instagram and many other sites. Adding hashtag immediately expands your topic to all online audience and get responses immediately. But, in the widespread use of hashtags on same topic, finding the right content, might seems to be difficult. However, this problem get solved by Broadtags which lets you enjoy stream of updates about your interest topic, just by following topic, not people or organization. This is something new and unique, must try it once.

  • Stacy Best

    I am new to hashtags and I am completing my internship with an non-profit organization. My boss emailed me my agenda for this week and one task she asked me to do is “1. if you can create a profile using our email address. If you can create 2 that would be great. Once completed let me know.” Now I am not sure what she means by creating a profile because I went to and they isnt an option to create a profile, only an option to use your Twitter account to login. They already have a Twitter account and one hashtag associated to that account, so when I logged in using Twitter account the hastag they already have and info. associated to it showed up. My problem and question is can I add 2 more (even one more) hashtags and a profile like she asks of me to an existing Twitter account (and account)? I have read the entire site and I see nothing that will allow me to create additional profile for a new hashtag? I hope this makes since. Thanks, Stacy

  • Eighties Dude

    Opening sentence.. only connection with it is a telephone button. If a person’s only connection was a phone they wouldn’t even know what the word hash-tag meant. On the phone it’s called the pound button 🙂 Great article, I enjoyed all of it.

  • Andrew Campbell

    Will a hashtag in a post’s comments on Facebook show up in a search for that hashtag?

  • How To Keep All your #Hashtags Organise in one place? now on @Medium #tags #tools #webapp #easy #keywords #tagging

  • Years down the line, this is probably still the best post on hashtags.

    We work with handmade sellers and craft makers and what we’ve seen is that for Instagram, 11+ is definitely the number. So I’m guessing that may be small businesses with niche audience *should* sweat out the hashtags.

    A tip for Instagrammers: create your list of hashtags and save them on your phone. Copy paste saves the day really.

    Instagram gives you an idea of how many posts each of your hashtag has when you start typing that hashtag in the post description. Depending on your niche, a few 10k to 100k is usually a good number to target. Anything more, and that hashtag is not going to work well for you (at least in the early stages).

    And thanks Kevan. Your data points were useful for this post we created for handmade/craft sellers on :

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  • thevaliant x

    And, not one comment on how to type in hashtags. I just entered five hashtags into my post, and it is saying too many hashtags. What?

  • What about inside of articles? I have seen some people do this when writing and was curious if it had any merit. I’m not talking about in their tags, but actually in the content.

  • Nick Kelmor

    You know, I like instagram and use it everyday. But hashtags don’t work for me. I read a lot about it but they just don’t want to work as they suppose. I’m desperate and gonna use some apps maybe like zen-promo (.com?) as my brother does a long time. I don’t know…

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  • I would really like this! Often wish I could see hashtag recs/judgements from Buffer while I’m posting from a website.

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