How Many Hashtags to Use for Each Social Platform
As a business owner, you know that social media can play an important role in your marketing plan. While the barriers to entry are low—most platforms offer low-cost or no-cost participation—it takes research and effort to effectively connect to your target market. If you are wondering how to make the most of social media, you likely have specific questions such as, how many hashtags should you use for each platform?
We’re here to help you map out a plan. Once you understand how hashtags are used and how many hashtags to employ, you will have more success with your social media efforts.
For a few reminders, let’s take a closer look at hashtags and why we use them. At their most basic level, hashtags are a simple tool to help users find or group content.
If your business sells fried chicken, for example, you might use a location hashtag, along with #dinner + #friedchicken, to help potential customers find your business.
In essence, hashtags can help you widen your social media reach and boost your audience engagement. While they can be used on almost any site, hashtags have gained the most traction on Twitter and Instagram.
Once you understand how they work, you’re likely to have more questions about hashtags—are there best practices to use them effectively? How many hashtags should you use for each social platform? Let’s dig deeper into the details.
Choosing the Best Hashtags
When choosing hashtags for your company, you might consider those related to an online community, an upcoming event, or simply the type of product or service that you provide.
Here are a few important elements to consider, when using each type of tag.
- Community tags — These include hashtags related to a specific demographic, professional or community group. To help members of these communities find you, it’s important to use simple, direct language, such as: #engineers, #newmoms, #libraries, #boymom.
- Event tags — When attracting an audience to your event, it is important to use the event name in your list of hashtags, as well as the location and additional details about the event and what attendees can expect. For example: #MBGFashionShow, #datenight, #MSSociety, #Detroit, #coolstyles.
- Product / service tags — If your company sells products or services, you are likely interested in building brand awareness or driving traffic to your website. In either case, it is important to use straight-forward hashtags, outlining your products or services. Examples include: #babybottles, #garbagebin, #websitedesign, #coffee, #graphicdesign, etc.
- Location tags — If your target market is exclusively local, it’s important to include specific details in your hashtags. If, for example, you have a shoe repair shop in the Alger Heights neighborhood in Grand Rapids, Michigan, you will want to use hashtags such as: #shoerepair, #AlgerHeights #GrandRapids, #Michigan
- Aspirational tags — There are times, of course, when you’ll want to use aspirational tags to associate your product or service with a lifestyle. While these hashtags may not be the way your audience finds you, they may begin to associate the aspirations with your brand. For example, your personal training company may include tags such as: #fitlife, #busymom, #feelgoodFriday.
The more you use hashtags with intention, the better you will be able to help your target audience find you, while dropping hints at how you can improve their lives. Now, let’s look at how to determine if the type and number of hashtags are appropriate for your business.
Avoid Abusing the Power of Hashtags
Once you understand how hashtags are used, it might be tempting to stuff your social media posts with as many hashtags as possible. If you own a wellness center in Detroit, for example, why not post with the following hashtags?
#spa, #wellness, #Detroit, #Michigan, #football, #Fridayfeeling, #church, #thankful, #traveltips, #grammys, #California
As you can see, some of these fit the content and intention of a wellness center, but many do not. Using unrelated hashtags to draw viewers or a new audience to your content is both deceptive and wasteful.
Not only will users turn away from, or even block, accounts that misuse hashtags this way, but social media engines will also penalize offenders by suppressing their search results. In short, abusing the search power of hashtags in a short-term strategy without a worthwhile payoff.
Beyond using relevant content for your hashtags, it is important to optimize the number of hashtags used. Each site has their own guidelines and best practices for hashtag use. Make sure you are up to date on current practices—in most cases, more is not better.
How many hashtags is ideal?
Given that each platform has best practices for hashtags, you will need to stay organized and proactive as you plan your posts. Let’s get down to the details—how many hashtags should you use for each social media platform?
Here is a quick breakdown:
How many hashtags on TikTok?
3 to 5 — TikTok uses hashtags on the Discover page, in the search function and in video descriptions. Best practices: use hashtags in your captions, enter hashtag challenges and use a combination of specific and trending tags.
How many hashtags on Twitter?
1 to 2 — With only 280 characters to use per Tweet, it’s best to use only one or two hashtags on Twitter. Best practices: highlight your hashtags in your Tweets, either using them at the beginning or with icons or space around them. Be sure to use relevant hashtags in your bio, as well.
How many hashtags on Instagram?
3 to 5 — Use Instagram hashtags in every caption and within your bio. You can even use them in comments, when you are engaging with other users. Best practices: Follow hashtags that seem relevant to your business to see how others are using them.
How many hashtags on YouTube?
3 to 5 — On YouTube, you can add hashtags to your video description and in the video title. Best practices: Keep the number of hashtags on YouTube under 6 or your content could be flagged as spam. Best practices: If you don’t use hashtags in your title, the first three tags in your video description will appear above the title.
How many hashtags on Pinterest?
2 to 5 — Although Pinterest relies more on keywords for searchability, hashtags can be helpful when fine-tuning a search. Best practices: To avoid being penalized as spam, use less than 20 hashtags in each pin description.
How many hashtags on Facebook?
2 to 3 — When creating a Facebook post, you can include hashtags anywhere in the body of the post. Although many Facebook groups are private, you can search which hashtags are popular among them. Best practices: Keep an eye on the hashtags that earn the most engagement and be willing to jump in on conversations relevant to your business.
Do Your Research
Using hashtags effectively takes time and thought, but it is an important part of your online marketing strategy. Before you dive in, do your research, start small and test which hashtags work best for you. Now that you know how many hashtags you should use for each social media platform, create a spreadsheet to map out which hashtags you’ll use first. As you test your ideas, remember to include some popular tags, along with those that are used less often.