What’s the best way to use hashtags on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram?

Red Hash on yellow

Hashtags certainly aren’t new on social platforms, but do you really know how to maximise their effectiveness?

It’s not easy to apply a hashtag strategy for all social networks, as each one has its own rules. However, you can still analyse what works for each platform and adapt your habits for the future posts.

Trackmaven analysed more than 65,000 posts on social media, offering useful insights on how the use of hashtags changes on each platform.

Let’s see their impact on the biggest social networks.

Facebook: one hashtag can increase the engagement

Facebook may not be the most popular platform to use hashtags, but they still seem to increase the audience’s engagement. It has been observed that the use of one hashtag can lead to an engagement of 1,771 interactions per post, while their increased use can cause a decline of engagement.

It’s interesting to note that a post with six hashtags leads to an increased engagement, comparing to a post with five hashtags, and this could serve as an indication that there is no restriction in the number of hashtags a post should have.

After all, there wasn’t even a general agreement on whether Facebook hashtags are effective, so maybe we can use this report as the starting point for our new posts.

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Instagram: feel free to add more hashtags

Instagram is probably the most effective social network to use hashtags and this report confirms what we already knew.

As there’s no limit in characters and you can add up to 30 hashtags in a post, Instagram can be ideal for increased reach and engagement, through the use of the right hashtags.

According to Trackmaven, Instagram posts with nine hashtags bring the best engagement, counting 28,548 interactions per post. Although this can be considered the peak of the engagement, it is still at high levels even with the use of 15 hashtags.

This doesn’t mean that you should add as many hashtags as possible, but it still gives you the freedom to expand your audience, provided that you discover the best hashtags for each post and its target audience.

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If you’re curious about the ideal length of an Instagram hashtag, then it seems that longer hashtags have higher engagement. Hashtags of 21 characters seem to lead to the best engagement rate, being followed by hashtags of 24 and 26 characters accordingly.

This means that it’s better to add more context with your hashtag and be specific, rather than picking the most general (and predictable) ones.

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Twitter: don’t add too many hashtags

Tweets don’t have to contain multiple hashtags, as the most effective ones seem to contain one to hashtags. After all, it’s the limit of 140 characters on its own that does not allow the use of many hashtags. However, it is still possible to use even 10 hashtags and still gain a partial engagement.screen-shot-2016-10-31-at-08-15-56

Takeaway

Every social network may have its own rules, but we can agree that hashtags can enhance the engagement to all platforms.

Keep in mind:

  • use hashtags in context
  • don’t forget to add a caption
  • think of your audience
  • be relevant
  • research on the best hashtags for your brand

All these tips can improve the chances of actually seeing your engagement increase with the right use of hashtags.

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