What Are Hashtags?

Two People in a Discussion with Mobile Phones

A hashtag is a tag used on popular social networking websites such as Facebook, Twitter,  and Instagram.


  • Back in the days, it’s just a number sign! Now, a hash symbol, (#), is used to highlight a particular word or phrase so that it can easily be seen by others users looking for the exact or similar content. In short, a hashtag is used to automatically classify similar posts or activities for the convenience of online users.


  • For example, you want to post a picture on Instagram and you would to highlight the the beautiful sunset in Greece, you can simply type #sunset. To recap, you need to  type the pound symbol and add the topic you want to highlight. MAKE SURE IT DOES NOT special characters like dashes, ampersands, question marks, and exclamation points. Also, hashtags do not support spaces.

Your post organized according to your chosen topic, making it easier for other users who are also searching for the same topic. That is how hashtags work, but there are still things you need to know when using hashtags.


  • Starts with hash character followed by other characters.

    • Popular hashtags on Instagram include terms such as: #happy, #photooftheday, #cute, #selfie, #picoftheday
    • You can use your own hashtags aside from these generic ones.
    • A common mistake is that most users include popular hashtags in the description. In the end, their pictures are looking for attention and very unnatural. It won’t many social engagements as expected.
  • There should be a space before the #!

    • There is no space after the pound sign, BUT REMEMBER TO ADD A SPACE BEFORE THE HASHTAG. For example: It’s pourin’ rain! (space) #RainRainGoAway
  • Hashtags do NOT support letters with diacritics, special characters, spaces, and numbers only.

    • So, hashtags like #888 will not work, make sure it has words and numbers. #MTV2018 or #Grammys2018 are great hashtags for recurring events. Names like Renée Zellweger are not allowed as hashtags. You need to transform the “é” to an “e.” It would be something like this: #ReneeZellweger.
  • The wrong application of hashtags can bring about suspensions.

    • Using TOO many hashtags can lead to complications. It diverts your followers from the main point, which is your promoted content.
  • It’s NOT necessary to insert your brand in every hashtag.

    • Your followers will conclude it’s a hard selling tactic. It’s not all the time that you need to promote your business. Sometimes, you are using hashtags to ask your followers, to let them share and interact with other users. After all, that’s what social media is all about. Sharing and collaborating with each other.

Hashtags are a staple.

This article only covers the basics of what hashtags can basically do. Hashtags have become widely used in every social networking website. As you can see in Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, there are a lot of trending hashtags each day. You to use them wisely and not just used them for promotional purposes. If you put too many of them, other users might find it fishy and would doubt your authenticity. Remember to stay true to your brand at all times!