How to Use Hashtags in 2021 – 6 ways to find the best #hashtags

Hashtags are a critical part of any effective social media strategy, enabling you to label content so that it is more visible and discoverable for your audiences. The question is – how many and which hashtags should you use, and on which platforms? If you’re looking for help in boosting your brand’s social media reach and engagement, then look no further than this brilliant article from our favourite social media management platform. According to Hootsuite, here are 6 of the best ways to establish your most effective #hashtags:

1. Monitor social media influencers and competitors

Start by doing a competitive analysis on social media. Gather intel about your competitors and any relevant influencers within your brand’s niche.

Make note of which hashtags they use most often and how many hashtags they use in each of their posts. This will help you learn how your competitors are engaging with your shared target audience and which keywords they tend to use.

2. Use helps you find the best Twitter hashtags or Instagram hashtags for your brand.

With this tool, you can search any hashtag and see how popular it is. For example, if you search the popularity of #springtime, you will get results showing you this hashtag’s overall popularity, its recent popularity, and the trends for the month and week.

hashtag analytics results for "spring time"

You can also type in your Twitter or Instagram caption. Then, it will provide you with hashtag suggestions.

3. Know which hashtags are trending

RiteTag lets you type your social media caption into the text bar and upload the photo you’ll pair with your caption.

RiteTag generates trending hashtag suggestions based on your content. You’ll see the best hashtags to get your post seen immediately, as well as hashtags to get your post seen over time. Click “Get Report” for detailed analysis on the hashtags it displays.

hashtag comparison page on RiteTag

4. Get a social media listening tool

A tool like Hootsuite lets your brand use search streams to discover which hashtags are the best for all the social networks it uses. Simply, search streams make it easy to see which hashtags are the most popular and the most effective.

Bonus: Read the step-by-step social media strategy guide with pro tips on how to grow your social media presence.

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Learn more by watching this video:

5. Find related hashtags

If you already have a good grasp of which hashtags are working well for your brand, consider using related hashtags. These might be a little more specific than the popular hashtags you’re already using, which could help you connect with a more targeted audience.

On Instagram, the related hashtags show just above the “Top” and “Recent” tabs when in the Explore section of Instagram.

hashtag page for "travel" on Instagram, highlighting related hashtags

On LinkedIn, you can find more hashtag recommendations after clicking on a hashtag. Choose the “Discover more hashtags” buttons after clicking on the ellipsis.

Highlighting "Discover new hashtags" for #marketing hashtag on LinkedIn

6. Analyze which hashtags were successful on past posts

Keep track of which hashtags you’ve used on past posts. Analyze which posts have been most popular, then see if there’s a trend with the hashtags you’ve used.

If you notice some of your most popular posts always contain a few of the same hashtags, make a point to include those in your future posts as well.

How to use hashtags on every network

Here, find simple, easy-to-read tips for using hashtags on different social media platforms.

How to use Twitter hashtags

Optimal number of hashtags to use: 1-2

Where you’ll find hashtags on Twitter: You can use hashtags anywhere in your Tweets. Use them at the start for emphasis, at the end for context, or in the middle of your post to highlight a keyword.

Hashtags can also be added in a comment when you Retweet, in replies and in your Twitter bio.

You can also:

  • Type a hashtagged keyword into Twitter’s search bar to find hashtagged content.
  • See trending hashtags in Twitter’s trending topics.

A couple essential hashtag tips to keep in mind:

  • Technically, you can use as many hashtags as you like in a Tweet, within the 280-character limit. But Twitter recommends using no more than two.
  • If you’re creating a new hashtag, do some research first. Make sure it’s not already being used.

How to use Facebook hashtags

Optimal number of hashtags to use: 1-2

Where you’ll find hashtags on Facebook: Hashtags can be included in any part of your written Facebook post or in the comments.

Hashtags are also useful for grouping content in private Facebook groups by theme or topic. This is important for brands to keep in mind considering Facebook is seeing its users shift to private channels.

You can also:

  • Search for a hashtag using Facebook’s search bar.
  • Click on a hashtag to see a feed of Facebook posts using that same hashtag.
  • Search hashtags used in private Facebook groups using the “search this group” bar under the group’s menu.

A couple essential hashtag tips:

  • Because so many users’ profiles are private on Facebook, remember that it’s more challenging for brands to track how users are interacting with your hashtags.
  • Monitor your brand’s hashtags and see which public profiles are joining in the conversation by using the URL Include the keyword you want to search at the end.

How to use Instagram hashtags

Optimal number of hashtags to use: 5-10

Where you’ll find hashtags on Instagram: Include hashtags after writing a great Instagram caption. You can also include hashtags in the comments section when engaging with your followers.

And you can include up to 10 hashtags in your Instagram Stories.

It’s also possible to include hashtags in your brand’s Instagram profile bio.

For even more tips on Instagram hashtags, read this detailed guide.

You can also:

  • Search hashtags in the Tags tab of Instagram’s Explore section.
  • Follow hashtags. That means content from any creator will show in your feed, as long as it includes the hashtag you’re following.

A couple essential hashtag tips:

  • Consider posting your hashtags as the post’s first comment so followers can focus on the great caption you’ve written.
  • With an Instagram Business account, you can access Instagram Insights. Then you can see how many impressions your profile got from hashtags.

Instagram Insights page showing where to view how many people saw your post because of your hashtags

How to use YouTube hashtags

Optimal number of hashtags to use: 2-3

Where you’ll find hashtags on YouTube: Add a few hashtags in your brand’s YouTube video title or in the video description.

Click on the hyperlinked hashtag to see a feed with other videos that also use that same hashtag.

Remember: Don’t use more than 15 hashtags. YouTube will ignore all the hashtags, and maybe even flag your content because of your spammy behaviour.

YouTube hashtags aren’t the only way to help users find your videos. We have 12 tactics that will help your brand’s videos get views.

A couple essential hashtag tips:

  • Hashtags are hyperlinked in titles and descriptions, so followers can find other content with the same hashtags by clicking on either.
  • If you don’t include hashtags in the title, the first three hashtags in the description will show above your videos title.

How to use LinkedIn hashtags

Optimal number of hashtags to use: 1-2

Where you’ll find hashtags on LinkedIn: Incorporate hashtags anywhere into your written LinkedIn update and in a LinkedIn article you write.

You can also:

  • Search hashtags using the platform’s search bar.
  • See trending LinkedIn hashtags will show in the “news and views” section on the home page.
  • Get hashtag suggestions from LinkedIn as you write an update.

For more tips, read this guide to using hashtags on LinkedIn.

A couple essential hashtag tips:

  • LinkedIn is a professional platform. Keep the use of hashtags professional too.
  • Follow hashtags on LinkedIn to see recent posts incorporating that hashtag.

How to use Pinterest hashtags

Optimal number of hashtags to use: 2-5

Where you’ll find hashtags on Pinterest: When using Pinterest for business, include Pinterest hashtags when writing a Pin description or in a written description when Repinning.

Pinterest even offers hashtag suggestions (in the mobile version only) when creating a new Pin.

A couple essential hashtag tips:

  • Think of Pinterest as a search engine. Use hashtags that are searchable, specific and that contain relevant keywords.
  • Don’t use more than 20 hashtags in a Pin description.

If you’re not already, it’s time to start using hashtags in your social media posts. Even though they first gained popularity in 2007, they’re even more useful today for your brand!

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