Sally DiGirolamo
May 4, 2023

Are Hashtags #Dead?

What You Need to Know About Hashtags

For social media users, hashtags can be both incredibly helpful and highly frustrating. The right hashtag can increase engagement and help to get your post seen by your target audience. The wrong hashtag can flag your post as spam. Therefore, finding the perfect hashtags to use has become a fine art that continues to evolve year after year.

The Invention of the #Hashtag

Chris Messina is widely credited for inventing the hashtag, or at least its current use. According to CNBC, the idea came to Messina in 2007 while he was running an internet consulting company. In the early days of Twitter, he saw the need for a kind of “group organizing framework.”

Initially, the idea fell flat among his coworkers, but it eventually picked up speed. Twitter added the feature in 2009, and Instagram adopted it shortly after its launch. Since then, hashtags have played a critical role in everything from social movements to presidential campaigns.

How to Effectively Use a Hashtag

While hashtags have been in use for well over a decade, the way that people use them is rapidly changing. Social media platforms have tightened their grip on the trend, requiring people to carefully consider what hashtags to use prior to posting.

In 2023 hashtags are most helpful if they are:

  • Relevant to your post
  • Specific to your niche
  • Targeted to your ideal user
  • Limited to 3 to 5 per post

Instagram was the first to move toward the idea that less is more when it comes to hashtags, and other platforms are expected to follow suit.

Hashtags Gone Wrong

Just like hashtags can help your post, they can also hurt it. So, it’s imperative to do your research to ensure that you are using them in the best possible way.

Hashtags may negatively affect your post if:

  • There are too many (your post may get flagged as spam);
  • They are too broad (i.e., #lawyer);
  • They are banned (profanity, violence, or some that may seem harmless but are banned by the individual platform); or
  • You use the same hashtags every time.

Choosing the right hashtags is important for the success of your post, but it can be challenging to ascertain which ones will be most helpful. Some of the most effective tools to help determine the perfect hashtags are thorough research, utilizing features in Loomly, using data analytics, and focusing on in-app trends. 

Your 2023 Hashtag Strategy 

With 2023 in full swing, it is imperative to reconsider your hashtag strategy. Start by making sure you are using unique hashtags. Then, tailor your hashtags to your target audience. Don’t skip them altogether, as this may result in a missed marketing opportunity. 

Additionally, you should aim to only use between 3 and 5 per post and ensure that you aren’t just recycling the same ones each time. 

Finally, don’t be afraid to use the tools and resources at your disposal. The more research you do, the more likely your post will be successful. You won’t be limiting your audience by narrowing your hashtag use, only refining it and taking back control.