Hashtags are all over the place on social media. It’s hard to scroll through a feed on any network and not see at least a handful of them. But one question that some legal marketers may have is how many hashtags they should be using.
What’s the ideal hashtag quantity? Should you be using the same number of hashtags on Twitter as you do on Instagram?
Let’s look at some data to find out.
What Exactly is a Hashtag?
Just to make sure we’re on the same page, it’s helpful to have a formal definition in place.
According to HubSpot, “A hashtag is simply a keyword phrase, spelled out without spaces, with a pound sign (#) in front of it. For example, #InboundHour and #ChocolateLovers are both hashtags. These hashtags tie public conversations from all different users into a single stream, which you can find by searching for a hashtag, clicking on one, or using a third-party monitoring tool.”
In other words, a hashtag is a simple yet effective way to streamline the sharing of information on social media and helps user quickly find topics they’re interested in.
An article from Buffer took an in-depth look at the impact of hashtags on major social networks. Here’s what they found when it comes to using hashtags on Twitter:
- Tweets with hashtags receive 2x more engagement than those without hashtags.
- Tweets with one or two hashtags have 21 percent higher engagement than those with three or more hashtags.
- Tweets that use more than two hashtags actually show a 17 percent drop in engagement.
So what does this tell us? It’s simple. Using one or two hashtags on Twitter is ideal. However, using any more than two will actually decrease your engagement on average.
Buffer makes two very simple but important points.
- Interactions are highest on Instagram posts with 11+ hashtags.
- Don’t sweat your amount of Instagram hashtags.
In other words, the more the merrier when it comes to hashtags on Instagram. Go ahead and slap plenty of them on your posts because it should increase engagement levels.
Buffer came to a very interesting conclusion regarding using hashtags on Facebook. You shouldn’t use them.
In fact, their research concluded that “Facebook posts without a hashtag fare better than those with a hashtag.” The reason is that overdoing it with hashtags on Facebook tends to lead to less interactions. Perhaps users simply find them annoying and detracting from the content at hand.
This isn’t to say that you should never use hashtags on Facebook. But it’s advisable to keep them to a minimum and only use hashtags that are highly relevant. Otherwise, you may end up shooting yourself in the foot.
The bottom line is that there’s a different code of hashtag etiquette on each social network. Twitter and Facebook call for you to have a low hashtag quantity. However, it’s totally fine to go crazy with them on Instagram. Keep this in mind moving forward to maximize your engagement and increase your volume of leads.