How To Use Hashtags in 2024

We are here to answer all your burning questions about hashtags. As with most things, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to using hashtags, and finding a strategy that works for your brand will take some trial and error. Take these recommendations with a grain of salt and use them as a loose guide rather than strict rules that you must follow. Let’s dive in!

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What is a hashtag and what is the purpose of using them in 2024?

Hashtags are words and numbers that follow the "#" symbol. They are a way to categorize and organize content on different social media platforms. Social media users can search for a specific hashtag and be brought to a discover page that shows all content that uses that hashtag. Users can also click on a hashtag in a post on their feed and be brought to the discovery page, as well. Using the right mix of hashtags can also make your content more discoverable to users who may not even follow you.

Do I need to use hashtags in my posts? 

In short, no. You won’t get penalized for not using hashtags in your content but that’s not to say that hashtags aren’t useful. A good rule of thumb is to focus on quality content first and once you have a handle on that, then start implementing a hashtag strategy. Good quality content that users want to see is more important than using hashtags that might show your content to more people. If the content isn’t something that people want to see, to begin with, it won’t matter if you get more reach or are more discoverable. 

Good quality content that users want to see is more important than using hashtags that might show your content to more people.

Should I use trending hashtags in my posts?

Only if they actually pertain to your content. Using a trending hashtag that has nothing to do with your content will have a negative impact on your engagement and reach. The post will get pushed to the wrong audience and those users won’t engage with it since it is irrelevant to them.

How do I know what hashtags to use in my posts? 

When choosing your hashtags, it’s important to make sure that they accurately reflect your content. Don’t choose a hashtag that is trending on social media (unless your post is actually about that topic) thinking that it will make your post go viral or increase your audience reach significantly. You should choose hashtags that describe the content of your post. 

  • Choose a hashtag that describes the video or photo
  • Choose a hashtag that describes the content of the post
  • Chose a hashtag that describes your account or niche
  • Mix well-known (not necessarily trendy) hashtags with your niche hashtags to broaden your discoverability

As a digital marketing agency, we might post a photo of something happening in our office, like celebrating #NationalPizzaDay for lunch. 

Our hashtags look something like this: 

#AgencyLife to describe our account

#NationalPizzaDay to describe the content of the post

#MarketingAgency to describe our account (what we do)

#OfficeDog to describe the photo and content of the post 

#RochesterNY to describe our account (where we are)

Post from Facebook for National Pizza Day

How many hashtags should you use? 

This depends on your industry, the content you post, the platform you are using, etc. But as a general guide, here is what we recommend for hashtag use among popular social media platforms in 2024: 

Graphic showing how many hashtags you should use for each social media platform

While these recommendations are based on current information and are meant to be a general guide, not a universal rule, remember it is always important to test different hashtag strategies to see what works best for you and your brand and drives the most engagement.

Will using hashtags cause more harm than good?

If you are using relevant hashtags that accurately depict your content you will not have negative effects. If you include hashtags that have nothing to do with your content, you can feel a decrease in engagement and reach and the social platform may not categorize your post correctly. It is important to keep your hashtags relevant.

The more people see your posts, the most likely they are to boost your engagement. That's why hashtags positively contribute to engagement rates.

Should I create my own branded hashtags?

Yes! This helps to categorize all of your content under one hashtag and can help spread news or updates to your followers if your post doesn’t end up on their feed when they are scrolling. Using your own unique hashtags also ensures that there is no interference with other brands or posts using the same hashtags.

Although there is no one-size-fits-all approach to using hashtags, including them in your posts is still relevant and productive in 2024. If you can only focus on one thing in your social media strategy, let that be creating quality content. Remember, your content isn’t doing better because you are using hashtags, it is doing better because you created quality content that people want to see. Hashtags merely help you become more discoverable and categorize your content. If someone sees your post based on a hashtag you used and that hashtag has nothing to do with your post, they aren’t going to engage with it and it will hurt your reach.

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