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How to Spark a Social Media Conversation Using Hashtags


Originally designed for Twitter, hashtags have been integrated across multiple social platforms, especially Instagram and even a bit on Facebook.

Hashtags are all about sparking conversation. Social users often use hashtags to search for specific content they are the most interested in.

But, how do you decide which ones are right for your brand? Here are six things to keep in mind.

Know your audience

When creating a hashtag for your brand, think about your audience and the message you want to convey to them. This will allow you to come up with initial hashtags that are fitting for your brand.

The more targeted your message is to a specific audience, the more engagement your posts will receive.

Make sure hashtags are relevant to your brand

Keep hashtags short, sweet and memorable. If the hashtag is too off-brand, it may lead to little or no engagement, defeating the purpose of implementing the hashtag in the first place.

Hashtag.org and Ritetag.com can help to identify and monitor relevant hashtags.

By typing in a keyword associated with your brand, you will be able to see what topics are trending around your industry and what the most popular hashtags are.

Avoid hashtags with double meanings

Be sure to research the hashtag you are about to use. Some hashtags can have dual meanings, or another brand may be using that same hashtag for a completely separate campaign.

Using a hashtag with a double meaning may attract the wrong audience. By using hashtag.org, you can utilize their online hashtag dictionary to check the meanings of hashtags before you use them, which will save your brand from problems in the future.

Keep up with trending topics

Staying up to date with trending topics across all social platforms is essential to being part of the conversation. If your brand aligns with a trending hashtag, this will allow your branded content to potentially be seen by a larger audience. If there isn’t a trending topic that relates to your brand, don’t push it. As stated above, you don’t want to use a hashtag that will attract an unwanted audience.

Check out top industry competitors and influencers

They may be other influencers out there that are rocking the industry. Look at their social media to see what hashtags they are using. If these hashtags are relevant and can be incorporated into your brand identity, then go for it.

As for the competition, it never hurts to see what hashtags they are using, especially if you’re fighting for the same audience. By analyzing competitors’ hashtags, this may spark a new idea for a social media strategy of your own and uncover content ideas you may have never thought of.

Limit the number of hashtags used

According to Social Media Today, it’s best to only use one or two relevant hashtags on Facebook and Twitter. Twitter and Facebook posts that use one or two hashtags see more engagement than posts that don’t use hashtags at all. Anything more than one or two hashtags tends to look spammy when used on Facebook and Twitter.

On the other hand, Instagram hashtags are a little different. You can consider Instagram the hashtag powerhouse, allowing anyone to use up to 30 hashtags per post.

However, the optimal number of hashtags to use per post is 5-10. Brands that use more than 10 hashtags tend to see less engagement with their posts, according to a report done by Track Maven.

The evolution of the hashtag is always changing, and so is the best way to reach your audience. This is why it’s crucial to stay on top on what’s going on in your industry in order to communicate your brand’s message in the best way possible, one hashtag at a time.

About The Author

Abby came to ABC as an intern only to return and emerge as a social media, content development and PR powerhouse.

She was turned onto marketing and its cultural influence as an avid social media user and now channels her knowledge of those platforms to craft consistent messaging and engaging content.

The public relations degree-holder moonlights as a foodie and fan of all things Syracuse, from the eateries to the sports teams. Abby appreciates the family dynamic at ABC, where she can exercise her creativity in a collaborative setting.