I think it is fair to say that it is very difficult to get your brand trending and attracting new visitors to your site from social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram. Amongst all the millennials with their selfies, bloggers with their reviews, celebrities with their food pics and competing brands, Twitter can seem like a very busy bar where you never seem to get the bartender’s attention.

However, there is one tool that can make things a little easier to get your brand, product or services noticed on social media, and that tool is hashtags.

Why are hashtags so important?

On Twitter, tweets that use hashtags in a post are more likely to be retweeted than one without any. A study of 12 million tweet found that 40% of Tweets utilising hashtags were retweeted, in comparison to 25% of Tweets that were retweeted without hashtags.

Hashtags are heavily present on social media, and are used on platforms such as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Hashtagging is a great way to create momentum and growth for your brand, and this Ricemedia blog is going to give you the ultimate guide to hashtags. We’ll tell you the do’s & don’ts of the hashtag.

What are Hashtags & What do they Do?

A hashtag is a word or phrase attached to the ‘#’ symbol, which is also used as the number sign.

Hashtags make the content of your posts more accessible and searchable to people who are searching similar topics. Hashtags give your posts global reachability, and are not limited to people who follow you or follow yourself. For example, if you went out to a good Italian meal and you’re posting a photo of the dish, you might use hashtags like #foodie, #italian, #pasta so fellow foodies of Italian cuisine are able to find your snaps easily.

The first documented hashtag that was used in a tweet was by Chris Messina, in August 2007.

ultimate guide hashtags

How do Hashtags Benefit your Brand?

Using hashtags for your brand’s social media has several advantages, and the most obvious benefit is that hashtags categorise your company and discoverability. Naturally, this will help build traffic and drive new visitors to your website.  As I mentioned earlier, hashtags also allow social media users with similar interests and passions  to find your content and interact with your brand much easier.

ultimate guide to hashtags

How to use hashtags effectively.

Using a hashtag requires more than simply applying a ‘#’ to a keyword or phrase in your post. It requires research into the keywords and phrases you want to associate your brand with. Similarly to keyword research for SEO or AdWords, you want to target hashtags that have a large volume of usage.

With a number of tools and software available that allow you to measure the reach of certain keywords and phrases, it is not difficult to find the right terms that will create engagement for you and your brand.

That isn’t to say that some hashtags are not straightforward. If your brand retails luxury dog products it makes sense to gravitate towards hashtags around pet ownership and dogs. However, with social media constantly updating and platforming new trends and events it is certainly worth spending some time building a list of hashtags that will help to raise your brand’s social media presence.

Do’s & Don’ts of Hashtags


  • Keep hashtags short and simple as it makes it easier for other social media users to use.
  • Use popular hashtags rather unpopular ones as they’re more likely to have engagement.
  • Check your spelling.
  • Keep an eye on any upcoming events – that way you can make your posts more topical and relevant.
  • Exercise caution when trend hijacking a hashtag.


  • Use hashtags that are long or wordy – Tweets are limited to 140 characters and it will be difficult for social media users to type and spell a really long hashtag correctly.  Imagine trying to type ‘#Ireallyreallyreallylovespaghettiandmeatballs‘ with your thumbs – it’s not easy.
  • Use spaces in your hashtags – this does not work!

If you have any questions around hashtagging for your brand or are interested in how Ricemedia can improve your brand’s social media presence, get in touch today.