We see it on nearly every post, sometimes too often, or not even remotely related. But how effective are hashtags and does using them correctly work? In short, the correct use of hashtags is effective and can help your profile reach those not already engaged with you.

Yet there are still many questions we need to ask before we go on a hashtagging spree.

We use hashtags on social media to start the conversation, be a part of it, or share our posts with like-minded people. Hashtags aren’t just related words that are added to a social post, but an effective way of cataloguing on a social platform. You can search the latest news on twitter, tattoo inspiration on Instagram or tutorials on YouTube.

Here are a few tips to get the most out of hashtags across your social media outlets.

  1. Use relevant and effective hashtags.

    Searching the top 50 hashtags will provide you with a range of hashtags across a variety of subjects. Only use hashtags relevant to your post, you may see a post of a beach with hashtags like #foodie #dogs #love #fashion included. By doing such you’re only damaging your chances of new followers. Those people may not be interested in what you have to say and can choose to block you from their feed from future posts.

    Reach those that are interested in your product. Include hashtags like #beachlife #beachvibe #sandandsurf to accompany your post and reach like-minded followers. By doing so you’re building up a base of potential clients that are interested in what you have to say. Stay relevant by keeping relevant.

  2. Not all social media channels are hashtag friendly.

    While it’s recommended to post the same content across multiple social channels for brand constancy. It is recommended you change the caption for your various channels especially LinkedIn, this also extends to hashtags.

    Facebook and Twitter posts work best with use of only a handful of hashtags, whereas Instagram allows you to use up to 30 hashtags. Some may feel that 30 hashtags are too many and can feel like spam. It’s all about choice and relevancy.

    Optimal number of hashtags per platform:

    Twitter: 1-2
    Facebook: 1-2
    Instagram: 8-13
    YouTube: 2-3
    LinkedIn: 2-4

    Sometimes there’s no harm at all in excluding hashtags all together.
    Give it a go and test it out yourself, try one post with and another without. Every post and brand is different.

  3. Can I create my own hashtags?

    Yes, you can. You’ll see many brands and charity groups create hashtags for their latest campaigns. These curated hashtags are a perfect way to track success of your campaign and create a conversation for the general public to be easily involved in.

    Some brands keep it simple and just us their company name as a hashtag, Keepcup use #keepcup, while others like Nike stay true to their slogan with #justdoit.

    Avoid creating a hashtag without any future plan to utilise it for a campaign. You’ll be left with a once and done tag that won’t be seen by other users.

    Do your own research before you curate your own hashtag for a campaign and answer the below questions:

    – Is this hashtag already in use – are you ok with your brand sharing an existing hashtag?
    – Could my hashtag easily be typed incorrectly?
    – Does my hashtag allow itself to be misused?
    – Is my hashtag related to my brand or campaign?

    Have a look at these numbers from Instagram for Nike’s #justdoit hashtag and variations of it:

    – #justdoit – 18.7m posts
    – #justdoit – 64.3k posts
    – #justdoit – 8.9k posts
    – #justdoitnike – 7.9k posts

    Nike only run #justdoit in their socials, no other variation of it. While it hasn’t hurt their brand or the hashtags, it has altered how people correctly tag them and the posts linked to their hashtag.

  4. Should I post my hashtags in the post or comments on Instagram?

    If you prefer your hashtags in the comments, go ahead. If you prefer your hashtags in the post, then that’s fine too. It makes no difference where you choose to include them, your post will still be catalogued to those hashtags.

    On your post, any caption longer than two lines becomes hidden and can be revealed by the ‘more’ button. Which is why I prefer to include hashtags in the caption.
    It makes no functional difference where it is included. It comes down to personal preference.

  5. Can I go back on my posts to add hashtags?

    You can, but it won’t affect the post or reach at all. Hashtags are catalogued from the original post-date, not when they are added to the post. By adding or changing the hashtags in a two-year-old post, you’re adding it to the updated hashtag catalogue in that same date place from two years ago. It won’t bring your post to the top of that hashtag feed. Hashtags must be added immediately to the post (or comments for Instagram) to be effective and timely.


The correct use of hashtags can change your brand on a social platform for the better.

Prior to taking on board a client’s social channels, they were wondering why their posts weren’t leading to sales enquiries. They were doing everything right, quality content, engaging captions and use of hashtags. Since managing their social accounts, we were generating 4-10 quality leads per week across their socials and those engaging with their posts are users interested in the product and content.

We’ve changed their hashtags so that it is now relevant and niche to the posts and all hashtags on each post will differ depending on the content posted. We’re not running the same hashtags across all posts. By doing so, not only are we receiving quality leads, but the average post reach has improved by 150% on Instagram.

Since updating another of our client’s hashtags, their reach is now up to 11,000 on some posts, that is more than 8x their number of followers.

These results are based on extensive knowledge and research. We are here to help businesses grow in the social space. It may seem simple to execute, but to execute it effectively and deliver results takes a team like us at BEVIN Creative.

If you have more questions about your social media, finding it too difficult to manage or want to up your game, get in touch with us with us today. Our social and marketing experts are here to help you grow socially, no matter what platforms you’re on.