Why you should (or should not) use hashtags

Okay so first things first, what is a hashtag? A hashtag is a word or phrase preceded by the pound sign… like this #hashtag. It’s used in social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

But why?

Well for starters hashtags categorize posts into specific subjects. Let’s say I’m posting about our pet hamsters, I would use #hamster, #hamsters, and then some.

People who want to see hamsters would probably input #hamster in Instagram’s search box (I know that’s what my daughter and I do when we want to look up cute little hammies). Your post would be grouped together with all other hamster photos on say Instagram using #hamster. If your IG photo is super cute and super nice, people would click on it and quite possibly like it. They could also check out the rest of your IG feed and decide to follow you if they like it enough. Using hashtags makes it possible for you to gain more likes and followers by attracting people/entities with similar interests.

Don’t forget to join my #LUX Nights #Giveaway! #Win this gift pack by sharing why you deserve to have your LUX Nights here on #Instagram via a photo with a matching caption! Tag @animetric and @luxph and use the hashtags #LUXNights and #LUXAnimetric. Here’s my sample caption: What’s a day in your life like? Mine isn’t as glamorous as most people think. For starters, I spend most of it inside the car… driving! When I’m not driving, I’m working lol! There’s just too many things to do all the time. That said, I think I deserve to indulge in #LUXNights at the end of each busy day. #LUXAnimetric Three (3) winners with the best entries will win! Prizes for pickup in Makati City . . … #BatheWithLUX #Bath #BodyWash #SkinCare #Indulgence #Relax #MeTime #Igers #FollowMe #BestOfTheDay #Contest #freebies #promo #swag

A photo posted by Rowena Wendy Lei (@animetric) on

Hashtags are also used to filter posts. For example, I recently held an Instagram giveaway for LUX (winners will be contacted by the digital agency next week by the way). I came up with the hashtag #LUXAnimetric so that I can easily track contest entries especially since several other bloggers were holding the same giveaway. That way I would know which IG users are joining mine. These days, people create unique hashtags for all sorts of things — travel diaries, weddings, family reunions, etc. so it’ll be easier to see and collate all the posts pertaining to the subject.

You probably shouldn’t bother with hashtags if you’d like to keep your social networking accounts private. After all, hashtagging makes everything so much more discoverable.

I used to not bother with hashtags. I’m still pretty new at this but as early as now I can say with finality that hashtagging really does help boost likes and follower count. Nowadays I think of as many related words as I can to the photo and hashtag away.

But there’s actually a limit to the number of hashtags you can use. For Instagram, it’s 30 hashtags max per post. For Twitter, you can hashtag away as long as the character limit can accommodate it. You also have to make sure your caption is still easy to read when using hashtags.

As far as I know there is no surefire hashtagging formula, for me it’s still hit or miss. Try to think of how you would look up things and come up with words you will most likely use to get results. The fact that a specific hashtag is placed on photos a lot doesn’t mean that it’s a widely used search term. Experimentation is key. With practice you’ll find that certain words work better than others. Using hashtags doesn’t automatically get you hundreds of likes.

Do you use hashtags? I’m no expert and so hashtagging tips are most welcome. 😀

Let’s stay connected:

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  • Reply Kath Rivera March 19, 2016 at 12:27 am

    Hi Rowena, yes I use hashtag as in #hashtagpamore ako pag mag-post. If I can max the 30 limit, I’ll do it. Nakaka-dami ng likes and of course yung pagiging-OC para pag ni-click ko yung specific hashtag, makikita ko lahat ng post related dun.

  • Reply Jerzee March 19, 2016 at 11:47 pm

    Great info. I didn’t know that there was a limit in using hashtags in IG. Thanks!

  • Reply Michelle March 20, 2016 at 12:00 am

    I use hashtags too pero limited lang. Ang yung mga valid lang din. Ayoko naman na naka-hashtag ang isang buong sentence. Hihi

  • Reply Ma.Me.Mi.Mommy April 4, 2016 at 4:56 pm

    I tend to forget to use hashtags in my post so I always have to edit it to add them. Haha! I should practice it more so as not to forget in the first place.

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