Personal Brand Development

If your business is on social media, then you’re most definitely aware of hashtags. Hashtags are a great way to promote your brand and help more people find your posts. You can pretty much tag your posts with any hashtag under the sun, and it will generally get more eyes on your content.

But when it comes to social media, many marketers get a little hashtag crazy. They think more hashtags means better engagement but the truth is, this only works when the hashtags you use are strategic. Too many hashtags can actually hurt your social media strategy and deter people from engaging with your content.

More Hashtags More Problems

Hashtags play a key role in any social media strategy. If you’re not using hashtags in your social media posts, you’re missing out on some major engagement opportunities. But as I previously mentioned, using too many hashtags can work against you. Here are some of the downfalls of overusing hashtags.

It’s distracting

We’ve all seen posts with too many hashtags. You may have a short (and clever) caption but it can be really distracting to continue scrolling down and find a block of ten hashtags. Using too many hashtags often looks unnatural to followers. In fact, it can even distract them from the main message of your post.

It’s spammy

Another consequence of hashtag overkill is that it can make your post look like spam. If you’ve ever seen a post with a ton of hashtags that are unrelated to your topic or brand, then you know what I’m talking about. Hashtag overkill makes it look like you’re only posting content to get attention. Remember that you want to attract the right attention with your content, which means using fewer, more targeted hashtags.

It’s too long

One of the challenges of social media is trying to find a way to convey an important message with limited space. Hashtags count towards your character limit on some platforms, so don’t waste space on unnecessary tags. Use the majority of your characters to craft a compelling post, and then evaluate how much room you have leftover for hashtags.

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When you overuse hashtags, it can be confusing for your audience and could even put your brand in a negative light. Your audience is getting exposed to hundreds of posts per day, so using hashtags gives you the chance to strategically make your brand stand out.

If you’re new to using hashtags, it might take some time to figure out which tags are the most effective for your company. After all, hashtags aren’t just for show. When used correctly, they can really give your brand a major boost on certain social media platforms.

So How Many Hashtags Should You Actually Be Using?

Now that we’ve talked about the drawbacks to overusing hashtags, let’s discuss how many hashtags you should really be using in your social media content. Ultimately, the right number of hashtags varies pretty significantly between channels. There isn’t a magic number of hashtags that is going to make or break your social strategy. Here are some of the rules I like to keep in mind.


While I’ve been saying that too many hashtags is bad, Instagram is the one platform that is the exception. Instagram allows users to add up to 30 hashtags on their posts. While 30 might be overkill, you can get away with using a few more hashtags on than on other platforms while still keeping in line with your messaging. In fact, using a lot of tags on Instagram can improve your content’s engagement.

Instagram allows users to “follow” hashtags, just like they follow other users. For example, someone could follow #FitnessJourney, and every time a user includes that hashtag on a post, the photo will pop up in their feed. This feature is a great way for your brand to get more attention from users who don’t already follow your account, but could be interested in your content upon seeing it.


Hashtags originated on Twitter, so naturally, your Tweets can benefit from hashtags. However, Twitter has the lowest character limit of any social media platform. Users can only post updates that are 240 characters or less. Because of that, it’s recommended that users aim for just one or two hashtags per post.

One reason why you should limit your hashtags on Twitter is that Tweets are mostly text. You want the text to stand out and be easily understandable. When you add five or more hashtags, they tend to stand out more than the Tweet itself. Limiting your hashtags also increases the likelihood that someone will retweet your post, which helps spread your brand’s message.

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Depending on what industry you’re in, Facebook can be hit or miss for brands. B2C brands tend to do really well on Facebook, whereas it’s much harder for B2B brands to find value in Facebook. If your company has a presence on Facebook, you’ll actually get the best results if you don’t use hashtags in your content.

That’s right—no hashtags on Facebook. A study from BuzzSumo determined that Facebook posts without hashtags get more overall engagement than posts with hashtags. If your brand uses Facebook, ditch the hashtags, and post more visual content. BuzzSumo also found that posts that include images get better engagement than text-only posts.


YouTube added hashtags to the platform several years ago, but they aren't widely used. They’re designed to make videos more searchable and work similarly to Instagram’s hashtag feature. Creators can tag their videos with hashtags that are relevant to the video, and users can search certain hashtags to find related content.

If your company posts frequently on YouTube, start adding hashtags to the description of the video or the title itself. Either way, the hashtags you include will be clickable. While YouTube allows users to add up to 15 hashtags, try to stick with no more than three or four hashtags on one video.

Go Forth and Hashtag!

Hashtags can help boost any social media strategy. If you use them correctly, you can potentially see huge growth across your channels. But in order to see results, remember to use the right number of hashtags for the platforms you’re posting on and be sure that they’re relevant to your brand/product. Play around with different hashtags to find the ones that have a good amount of usage and will resonate best with your audience. Get creative with your hashtags, and use them to amplify your posts but don’t let them distract from your main message. Happy Hashtagging!