If you are on social media, you might have seen hashtags at the end of a post. Some have a few, whilst others have a longer list of hashtags than the actual post itself! If so many people are using them, then they must be important, right?! This article explores what a hashtag is, why they are important and how to use them effectively.

What is a hashtag?

A hashtag is effectively a label that shows what the content of the post is about. They are usually short, contain no spaces or punctuation and are proceeded by the # symbol. Posts can use several hashtags, but if you use hashtags that aren’t relevant to your post it can look spammy.

Why are they important?

Careful and considered use of hashtags can increase engagement and followers. It can open up your content to new audiences and connect with on-trend topics or social issues. Following hashtags also means that you can follow content similar to your own, gain ideas and insights, and keep an eye on similar brands. Hashtags can also be really useful for engaging in big issues – maybe you’ve decided to make all your packaging plastic free; by using #plasticfree your product posts will be seen by those people for whom this is an important value.

How to use them?

Instagram allows you to use up to 30 hashtags per post, however it’s really important to make sure that your hashtags are relevant – go for quality over quantity! You can do a Google search to find relevant hashtags, some services you’ll need to pay for, but there are many free suggestions. Remember also to follow hashtags and engage with content using those tags.

Put these hashtag tips into practice on your posts and you’ll see increased engagement and visibility across your platforms.

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