Your Guide to Using Hashtags on Twitter for Maximum Reach

hashtags on twitter

By now, you probably know all about the importance of hashtags. When used properly on social media, they’re very effective at boosting your reach, allowing you to gain exposure to tons of new people with every post you make.

But you’re only going to see the results you desire if you use your hashtags the correct way! You want to make sure you’re using the right hashtags, plus you don’t want to go overboard when it comes to adding them to your tweets.

In this post, I’m going to cover all the basics you need to know when it comes to using hashtags on Twitter. This way, you can confidently add them to your tweets and see an increase in likes, retweets, replies, and link clicks.

What is a Hashtag?

Did you know the hashtag was first brought to Twitter on August 23rd, 2007? It’s pretty crazy to think they’ve been around for so long now. I mean, what did we ever do on social media without them?

To use a hashtag, you simply need to add a word or phrase after the # symbol. Just make sure you don’t add any spaces or punctuation, otherwise your hashtag won’t work as intended. Hashtags can be used for a variety of things, such as events, locations, things, verbs, and industry terms. There are also popular theme hashtags like #MondayMotivation. And of course, hashtags are an integral part of Twitter chats.

When using a hashtag, your post then becomes searchable or discoverable by other users on the platform. Clicking on the hashtag allows you to see all of the other recent posts that featured the same hashtag, all on one page.

Your Guide to Using Hashtags on Twitter for Maximum Reach

So, what do you need to know for successfully using hashtags on Twitter? Well, it’s not like other platforms. While tons of hashtags are helpful on Instagram, it just doesn’t work like that here. This is what you need to know:

1. First, Make Sure You Choose Relevant Hashtags

Whenever you’re adding hashtags to your tweets, you want to make sure you’re choosing ones that are actually relevant to your content. Otherwise, your tweets aren’t going to be discovered by the people you intended. And you don’t want to attract the wrong people to your content!

To find relevant hashtags, take some time to do a little research. Pay attention to which hashtags other people in your industry are using. Search the topics you tweet about and see which hashtags are being used during those discussions.

Try to come up with a list of hashtags and save them to refer to later. This way, you’ll always have a great selection of hashtags to grab and add to your tweets when needed.

2. Don’t Go Too Broad

Another thing to keep in mind when finding relevant hashtags on Twitter is to make sure you don’t go too broad. Some hashtags are so popular that if you use them, your tweet will get buried in a matter of minutes. It’s better to get a little more specific and use hashtags that have good engagement, but aren’t too busy.

3. Keep it Simple With Just One or Two Hashtags

The reality is, you can add as many hashtags as you want to your tweets, as long as you’re within the character limit. But just because you can, it doesn’t mean you should!

twitter hashtag usage

Data has shown that using hashtags on Twitter is essential for boosting your reach, but you don’t want to get carried away by adding too many. In the graphic above, you can see the following stats via Buffer:

  • Tweets with hashtags receive 2x more engagement than those without hashtags.
  • Tweets with one or two hashtags have 21% higher engagement than those with three or more hashtags.
  • And tweets that use more than two hashtags actually show a 17% drop in engagement.

This means that you want to stick with just one or two hashtags for your tweets. (Just one hashtag being ideal.) And since you’re limited to how many you should use, you want to make sure you’re picking only the best ones. That’s why you need them to be relevant to your content and audience!

4. Hashtag Existing Words in Your Tweets

A great way to get smart about using hashtags on Twitter is to tag words you’re already using in the tweet. Doing this allows you to save space instead of taking up valuable characters by adding hashtags at the end.

In the tweet above, you can see an example of this by hashtagging podcast and social media.

5. Create Your Own Branded Hashtag

You can even create your own hashtag that’s unique to your brand! It’s a way to bring your community together and allows you to stand out from the competition. If you’re going to go this route, you’ll want to make sure the hashtag you have in mind isn’t already being used by someone else.

It also needs to be memorable, especially if you want to encourage your community to use it as well. Oh, and don’t go overboard by making your branded hashtag too long. You don’t want it to take up too much characters.

In the above post, you can see that I use my #TwitterSmarter hashtag, not just for my Twitter chat, but also to share valuable Twitter tips.

This post from Shane Barker gives some great examples of brands creating and using their own hashtags. Definitely give it a read for some inspiration.

6. Search Go-To Hashtags to Connect With Your Audience

Now that you’ve become a pro at using hashtags on Twitter, you don’t want to just add them to your tweets… You also want to use them as a way to connect with new people. Make sure you’re actively searching your favorite hashtags to see what people in your target audience are talking about. This gives you the chance to start up conversations and build relationships.

It’s also the perfect way to start generating new leads for your business. You can read more lead generation tips here.

The Biggest Hashtag Mistake to Avoid

But before you dive into the world of hashtags, it’s important to be aware that things can go wrong very quickly. Unfortunately, many brands have tried to implement a strategy called trend-jacking, only to wind up dealing with disaster. If you ever see a trending hashtag that seems intriguing, don’t just jump in with a post of your own. Research the hashtag first so you know what it’s about, then determine if it’s right for you to use.