Making the most of hashtags on social media

Hashtags are a great way of getting your social media posts to reach a wider audience. When used correctly, that audience should be relevant to your post.

However, hashtags aren’t always as straight-forward as they seem, and often they are used incorrectly. Using the wrong hashtags can either result in poor reach of post – because the terms used aren’t regularly searched – or with a wide reach but low-quality audience.

What are hashtags?

The best way to look at hashtags is to consider them a way of categorising things for other social media users. Much like genres in a music shop or a library, you should be helping potential followers find what they want. If you’re digitally minded already, think of it the same way you would SEO keywords.

Many people hashtag words and phrases that don’t fit a category, for instance #happy or #letsmakethemostofhashtags. As a business or brand, these won’t capture a relevant audience nor do they make sense when you consider the above paragraph.

How do I know which ones to use?

This depends entirely on the social media channel you use. Twitter and Instagram are the channels that you should concentrate on.


When it comes to Twitter, the hashtags should work within the content, rather than as an add on at the end  – particularly as character count is limited. If you’ve got extra space, there is no harm using one or two at the end, that marry up with the tweet’s topic.

“Read our latest #blog on search engine optimisation and how it impacts your #website! [LINK] #SEO”

We want the above tweet to target tweeters interested in SEO, improving their website and blogging. For this reason, we have chosen hashtags that reaches out to this audience.


With Instagram, you can ‘get away’ with using more hashtags. Websites like Top Hashtags can also assist you in finding ones that are relevant. Here is an example of one of RED’s Instagram posts, using this website…

“It’s #rednoseday!

The event focuses on important issues in the UK and internationally, so we figured it was a great opportunity to wear our red noses to RED and build awareness for a great cause!

 #agencylife #marketing #charity #rednose #fundraise #marketingagency #socialgood”

Here we are targeting other marketing and communication agencies with #agencylife and #marketing – in addition to users looking for an marketing Instagram account.

The charity-based hashtags are to target and join in with other fundraisers, as well as raise awareness of the cause.

Want some help with your social media?

RED can help! Find out how here.

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