Creating Effective Hashtags

Responsible for marketing your company or running your own business and looking for information on how to increase the reach of your content? You probably know more or less what a hashtag is, however, if you are unsure how to use effective hashtags within your business you could be losing a great reach with your content.

What are hashtags?

Hashtags have been used in the internet world since 1988. It was then used by users of the Internet Relay Chat platform to categorise content within groups, making it easier for users to search relevant and related content. Many years on in 2007, hashtags became a solution used on the social networking platform Twitter.

Other portals such as Facebook and Instagram soon followed Twitter. However, each platform has used hashtags in different ways. Facebook users did not initially receive hashtags as enthusiastically as the specifics of these were different from that of Twitter.

Hashtags have the ability to generate anonymous communities, something which Facebook users didn’t support.

The presence of hashtags in posts is rewarded by search engines, however, among all social networks, Instagram is the undisputed king of the hashtags.

Rules for creating effective hashtags.

When using hashtags, remember that improper use of these can have the opposite effect intended. Use good hashtags or don’t use them at all.

  • Make sure the hashtag is unique, easy to remember and related to what you do.
  • Hashtags can be made of one or many words. Just remember that if it is to be easy to remember, don’t overdo it with the quantity. If your building a multi-word tag, it must be written together. So, separating your hashtag will have no effect.
  • Simplicity is a virtue. A simple hashtag increases the likelihood of users remembering it.
  • Add location in your hashtags. If you run a business which has a physical location, always use the location as a hashtag.
  • Intelligent grouping, which involves combining your hashtag with other well known, hashtags within the industry etc.

Where and how to use hashtags

As mentioned, hashtags are supported by most major social networks, the problem being is that they are not used the same across the board and it is therefore vital to learn how and why they are used on all respective platforms.

Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

As mentioned, hashtags are supported by most major social networks, the problem being is that they are not used the same across the board and it is therefore vital to learn how and why they are used on all respective platforms.

Twitter doesn’t like as many hashtags as it does with Instagram, although various studies show that the use of tags on Twitter is key in-building coverage. Effectiveness and reach more than doubles on Twitter with the relevant hashtags in place. Twitter prefers when we use hashtags to assign categories to our posts and is often used from live events and concerts.

Among these three social networking sites, Facebook is definitely the least favourable for posting hashtags. Posts published without effective hashtags are often more popular and received better with users.

Hashtags added to a Facebook post can cause a 30% drop in engagement and therefore you should only really hashtag on Facebook when publishing several posts with similar content to build a community around them.


Hashtags are a great tool for building communities, searching for interesting information, people or groups. Its thanks to them, that you can follow what is happening with your brand on the web or observe events related only directly to your business. You can also monitor what your competitors are doing online.

Made In Scotland can help you create effective hashtags for your business. If you would like more information, get in touch.

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