How to Use Hashtags in Social Media

Even without hashtags, social media would still be a powerful way build brand awareness and engage an audience. How do we know this? Because there was, once upon a time, social media without hashtags. Its easy to forget, but of course, its true.

Yet, notice how no one is clamoring for a return to a pre-hashtag internet. Yet, notice how no one is clamoring for a return to a pre-hashtag internet.

Hashtags are Nothing New

In a way, hashtags are nothing new. They serve a function similar to the title of a book or an article, or in the case of social media, a conversation. They can be general, highlighting the gist of a post. For businesses, they can effectively take the place of slogans and taglines. Grassroots movements come up with their own tags to express many forms of support and enthusiasm. In short, hashtags do three things.

  • Organize
  • Summarize
  • Mobilize

One of the most important features of hashtags is that they are trackable. For years, Nike used the slogan Just Do It without hearing their slogan talk back. Now, the way hashtags connect and track posts allows you to gain helpful feedback. All because of this: #.

Bearing that in mind, here are some of the best ways to use the power of hashtags to engage your audience and propel your brand.

Give em a Reason

Even if your business has millions of die-hard fans, active engagement spikes when your audience can tangibly benefit from interacting directly. Contests, sweepstakes, or other opportunities to receive flare and recognition will motivate virtually everyone who would enjoy your products into repping your brand with a custom hashtag.

When you run one of these campaigns, create a unique hashtag that represents it. Spread the word about how everyone can participate, how they will benefit, and the unique hashtag they can use to get in on the conversation. Everyone from Amtrak to Zumba has done it. Why? Because it works really well.

Join the Conversation

You don’t always have to blaze trails. Lots of the most effective campaigning happens when a brand finds touchpoints with forces that are already in motion.

By doing some research about which hashtags are both popular at the moment and relevant to your business, you can use a hashtag to promote your brand. Not only does this drop you right into a high-visibility conversation that’s already ongoing, creative hashtagging can potentially shape the current so everyone else will be talking about you.

Tag Target Keywords

Since hashtags are tracked, its helpful to turn one or two of the primary words in your post into a hashtag. This kind of hashtagging isn’t going to blow anyones mind in terms of its creative genius, but its a simple way to boost your posts SEO. Sometimes even basic keywords trend.

Social media isn’t entirely about catchy slogans and digital fireworks and massive coordinated social movements. Its also about simply casting a net so users can find you.

Not Just for Social Media

More and more we are seeing hashtags outside of tweets, posts and blogs. Were starting to find them featured at the center of print ads, television spots and live reports. Social media is quickly becoming the hub for many companies marketing strategies and the stomping ground of broader cultures main ideas. What organizes all these individuals and their thoughts? Hashtags.

Featuring a campaigns hashtag in other forms of marketing media is a great way to connect your campaigns to one another, and your audience to you and each other.


Hashtags take social media marketing to the next level. The way in which they mobilize your market and organize your metrics make them an invaluable tool for your marketing campaigns. As you use them, you will see a substantial increase in audience engagement and improved visibility of your brand.

Now you know how to use hashtags, but what about when people are talking bad about your brand. Check out this article to learn the dos and don’ts when responding to negative comments on social media.