The Do’s And Don’ts To Hashtags

July 8, 2016

Hi there, Zach the intern here.

Being a millennial, coupled with studying media and communications in college, I’m constantly fielding questions about hashtags.

Now, most of those questions come from my mom, who is savvy enough to navigate Twitter but sometimes needs some consultation surrounding the nature of trending topics and virality. Regardless, I’m finding more and more that people still don’t know what hashtags are all about.

To give a little history, Social Times reports hashtagging history began in the 1990s as IRC, or Internet Relay Chat, to categorize items into groups. It wasn’t until around 2007 when Chris Messina asked his followers on Twitter how they felt about using the pound sign to group conversations, thus creating what we know as the hashtag vernacular we have today.  

With that being said, there’s really no reason hashtags should be misused in the social media world today. They’ve been around for going on 27 years, people.

Here we go.

The Don’ts

Don’t overdo it! Too many hashtags means too much confusion for your followers and anyone who’s trying to find your page. Nobody wants to be looking at a post of an egg and reading “#egg #yolk #over #easy”.


Don’t hashtag what is not relevant to your community. When trying to build your brand, hashtagging everything will get you nowhere fast.


Do This Instead

Be creative, but don’t lose your purpose. It’s OK to throw in a #IDontKnowWhatToHashtag hashtag as long as it’s somewhat relevant and will offer up some humor. This can be a slippery slope, so tread lightly and use sparingly.  

Image: The Real Time Report

Be relevant. This is hands down the most important point I can make. Your hashtags on every post should reflect not just that post alone but what your brand or page is trying to convey as a whole. These are tools that will expand your message’s reach when utilized correctly.

  image: eyeka

When done right, hashtagging can make or break any account you have. Latergram claims that with just one hashtag, a post will average roughly 12.6 percent higher engagement rates than one without any. If you take the time to sit down and compile a list of hashtags that are creative and relevant with your brand, it is as simple as copying and pasting on a post.

According to Statista, there are about 2 billion social media users out there, so it’s time to hashtag your way into all of their hearts, baby.