How hashtags work

Who I am
Lluís Enric Mayans
@lluisenricmayans
Author and references

Preliminary information

Before moving on to the practical aspects of the tutorial, I would like to give you some information on the subject I will talk about, so that you can master it even better: let's see, therefore, what are hashtags e how do they work.

Well, hashtags are a particular type of tag (i.e. label), able to aggregate precise themes and contents, useful for searches carried out by users on the Web.


Hashtags are used online, especially within the context of social networks and they are words that can be easily identified at a glance, as they are preceded by the graphic symbol of hashtag (#). The user who wants to create a hashtag, in fact, will only have to mark the terms linked to a defined field of meaning with this sign, placed in front of them.


Because I am NUMBERS hashtags? The system they represent works to catalog themes, so if you want to quickly find all the content concerning a topic within a channel, all you have to do is type the corresponding hashtag. Intuitively, by using them for your posts, you will also allow other users to locate them more easily.

Note: when creating a hashtag, in order for it to be active and function as an aggregator correctly, it is allowed to use words composed of Alphabet letters, USEFULL and, if desired, underline the hashtag. On the other hand, it is not good to insert spazi or employ Special characters.

As the practice of using hashtags spread, all major social networks developed and enhanced the service to make user content indexable, to the point of transforming hashtags into clickable links.


Furthermore, the use of the hashtag has become a real means of communication, used by institutions and newspapers to group together important topics of common interest: this is how the trending topic (often referred to as trending topics), messages in which we talk about highly topical issues, which spark discussions and comparisons between users engaged in discussing them online, which create traffic and views.


All this has also triggered a mechanism whereby we tend to want to insert a lot of hashtags in posts, or in captions. Popular, although not relevant to the topic on which a shared content hinges. This is absolutely incorrect, as well as counterproductive: if a user interested in a theme identifies non-centered posts, for those who put them into circulation it will be a negative advertisement and, moreover, the user may never return to his profile, considering it unreliable.

In general, hashtags must be inserted directly in the sentence that makes up a post, for example: “Today I would like to talk with you about #technology and #socialmedia”. However, they can also be added at the end, in comments on a post or within multimedia content, if the service allows it.

In short, it is a true communication system, capable of allowing a user to increase its visibility in searches made by others within a channel. You should therefore understand how to make the most of this "language", according to the different contexts. So here I am ready to give you a hand and explain how to use it on the various social platforms.

How hashtags work on Instagram


Now that you understand what hashtags are, it's time to use them! To begin with, I propose that you learn how hashtags work on Instagram, one of the platforms where they are most used ever.

Instagram, the well-known photographic social network owned by Facebook, allows you to enter up to 30 hashtags within a caption related to a published image. Obviously not all of them are necessarily used, but rather it is good to pay attention to them relevance, that is to the relationship they have with the shared content (because the users who will carry out a search expect to obtain precise results) and to their popularity which, in any case, should never prevail over the relevance to the post.


The functioning of hashtags on Instagram is what they were originally created for, that is aggregate similar content via a label, facilitating consultation. They can be created to identify photos and videos, for example sharing the concept of "#red", as well as they can be exploited for their own searches.

If you want, within Instagram, you can put words preceded by the hash symbol also in Comments to posts and in Stories, using the text and the appropriate sticker function: here's how.

First download the Instagram, if you haven't already, from the Google Play Store, if you have a device Android (or from an alternative store, if this does not have the services of Google), or from the App Store if you own a iPhone or iPad.


Once this is done, access the app, tap on the symbol + to create a post, or take a new photo or record a video, then select the arrow symbol to add a filter or edit the image, and again tap thearrow icon until you reach the screen Write a caption. Here you can insert your hashtags into the Instagram post by typing them in the text. You will also have the option to select them from among those suggested which, among other things, indicate how much they are used within the channel. For more information on how to post on Instagram, read my tutorial dedicated to the topic. If instead,

Once the content is published, if you want, you can tap on the cartoon symbol below the post and add a comment containing hashtags. Warning: this is not a necessary step and, in any case, never exceed with words or insert popular ones without relevance. This would have counterproductive results, diverting users from their goal.


Instead, you thought about how hashtags work in Instagram Stories? Well, it's easy to say: touching a hashtag in the Stories you will be taken to a page that groups the contents Più popolari e Latest for that given concept.

If you want to add hashtags to the Stories, go to the top of the screen and tap onyour profile picture or on the symbol + to add a Story. Once you've created or uploaded content from your phone's Gallery, tap the Stickers and then the #Hashtag icon, then write in the dedicated space the word that best represents the Story you are about to share.

You can add other hashtags (up to 10) to your Story using the icon Aa, i.e. that relating toinsertion of the text in the Stories, remembering to put the hash sign (#) before the term itself. In order not to cover your photo or video with hashtags, you can reduce their size by “pinching” them on the display with your fingers. In case you need it, I have also made a specific guide on how to post Stories on Instagram.

In case you have any problems and are wondering why hashtags on Instagram don't work, consider that this may be because you have misspelled the hashtag itself, as I suggested in the preliminary information of this tutorial. This is generally the most common mistake, which doesn't make hashtags work on other social networks as well. Check that there are no spaces, especially between the # symbol and the word, as well as that you have not used any special characters.

If this is not the case, it could be a ban (ban) applied by Instagram, but this would also mean that you used hashtags that violate the guidelines of the channel, which is highly incorrect.

If you want to know some useful resources to find the best hashtags for Instagram, I can recommend the free app TopTags (Android / iOS), intuitive to use, which groups the trending hashtags under specific categories, the other free and well-known app in Tags (Android) and online service Top Hashtag, which allows you to access the 100 most popular hashtags of the moment and check the relevance of other terms entered by the user, without the need for any registration. For more info, read my guides dedicated to apps to increase followers on Instagram and to the best hashtags, in which I suggest services to identify the most functional for your needs.

If, on the other hand, you want to search for a topic by hashtag on Instagram, tap on magnifying glass symbol and, when you go to type the word, you will see a menu in which you can select the item Hashtag. If you touch the option, you will also see a list of the hashtags you have searched for in the last period, under the heading Recent.

Click on a hashtag that interests you and, on the page that opens, view the contents Più popolari o Latest related to it: you can also decide to follow the topic, viewing some of the most polar posts every week on your Instagram Home, by tapping the button Follow.

Finally, for doubts and insights on the subject, I invite you to read my guide on how hashtags work on Instagram.

How hashtags work on Facebook

If you are interested in finding out how hashtags work on Facebook know that, although the use of hashtags does not appear so relevant on the latter, it is actually advisable to add them in posts, to make them more easily identified. Indeed, I'll tell you more: hashtags on Facebook become automatically clickable links.

You have two possibilities of using hashtags on Facebook: to tag posts or to search for them. In any case, once you open the official Facebook site or its official app for devices Android (available on Google Play Store and alternative stores or iOS / iPadOS (available on the App Store), log in to your account if necessary.

Now, if you intend to insert hashtags within a post to publish on yours personal profile or on the Facebook page you administer, all you have to do is compose the sentence and add the # symbol in front of the keywords you think are relevant within it.

On Facebook there is no limit of hashtags that can be entered, however I recommend you do not exceed (for example, two or three may already be enough) and to insert them organically within the period, or at the end of the same, in the event that the hashtag deals with a broader topic, always linked to the post but not integrable in the phrase.

If, on the other hand, your intention was to search for a specific topic on Facebook, just type the reference hashtag in the search bar channel, then click on the item See results for #….

At this point, I would ask you to pay attention to an important detail: if your goal is to allow the identification of a post from a large audience, you must necessarily make sure that the privacy settings of the post itself are configured on the sharing Public. Otherwise only a limited audience, for example only your Friends, will be able to find the message.

To quickly change the privacy level of a personal post on Facebook, click on three dots symbol that you find on its right, then choose the item Change privacy and select an option from those present.

As for the Facebook pages, basically the sharing of content on them is always public: to manage and modify the people who can see them in a personalized way, from the Facebook page itself you will have to click, in sequence, on the items Settings> General> Page Visibility.

Do you want to try to increase the visibility of your posts on Facebook by means of hashtags? I can advise you to use the online service Hashtagify, known for being able to show the 30 most popular Facebook (and not only) tags of the moment. Of course you don't have to "force your hand" to put the most used hashtags in your posts, but use the relevant ones.

Finally, to learn more, read my guides on how to use hashtags on Facebook, with all the steps for their creation, and on how to search for posts on Facebook, to learn more about the procedures related to their search. In addition, you may be interested in my guide on hashtag apps, which can be used at any time from smartphones and tablets.

How hashtags work on Twitter

When it comes to hashtags, one cannot but bring up Twitter, the microblogging platform that made it one of its strengths. Read on, then, if you want to know more about how hashtags work on Twitter.

Once you have connected to Twitter, from the official website or via the device app Android (downloadable from the Google Play Store or an alternative store) or for iPhone / iPad (available on the App Store), you will see that hashtags are used in practically every tweet.

On this channel, in fact, the hashtags most followed and searched for by users constitute the topics of trend, that is, those most discussed at that precise moment. Hashtags are so important for the logic of the social network that they are included in the Home page of the service, which will also be very useful for you to know which are the best hashtags to use and search on Twitter.

So, if you want to join the debate around a big topic on Twitter, besides reply to tweetsthe retwittarli (share them), you can enter the hashtag in your message which, I remind you, can have a maximum length of 280 characters.

To learn more about the social channel this paragraph is focused on, read my guides on how Twitter works and how to use Twitter.

How hashtags work on LinkedIn

Are you looking for a job, or you need staff for your company, you've certainly thought about turning to LinkedIn, the social network that connects professionals and businesses. Great, then it might interest you to know how hashtags work on LinkedIn, to make your posts stand out more.

Since LinkedIn is a slightly different channel than other social networks, you will need to use hashtags that are appropriate to the world of work, rather than those relating to current affairs.

If you are wondering where to insert hashtags on LinkedIn, access the service, by connecting to the official website, or by downloading the app for Android (from the Google Play Store or an alternative store) or for iPhone / iPad (from the App Store), then, in yours Home, type a sentence in the area where you see the wording Start a post and insert hashtags in it.

Another thing you can do is use your voice Scrivi an articolo, then put some hashtags inside the text you are going to write and then publish as an article on your profile (don't overdo it though, a text, even if long, full of hashtags is never pleasant to read).

Clicking on the hashtags on LinkedIn will open a page, in some ways similar to that of Instagram, which will allow you to select the button Follow, so as not to miss the posts containing a certain topic, potentially useful for your business. You can find them in the summary sheet, in the section NetworkUnder the heading Hashtag.

Among the tips I can give you, to make the most of hashtags on LinkedIn, are to make sure that your posts are public, to ensure that users of the channel through the label find them, to consider the inclusion of hashtags less inflated, relating to a niche in the job market, to consider the geographical location of your research and, finally, to sift the automatic suggestions LinkedIn, which appear when you type a post.

In any case, you can read my guide on what LinkedIn is, for more details on how this service works.

How hashtags work on TikTok

Your friends convinced you to use TikTok, the very famous Chinese social network based on the sharing of short "instant" videos: here, then, to increase views you may need to know how hashtags work on TikTok.

After downloading the TikTok on your device Android (from the Google Play Store or an alternative store, if you cannot use the services of Google) or iOS / iPadOS (from the App Store), you can start shooting and uploading videos to share with the TikTok community. Note: from 9 February 2021, following requests from the Privacy Guarantor, TikTok can only be used by users over the age of 13, like most other social networks.

Then in the content editor, press the button Continue until you get to the screen containing the box Describe your video: from here, use the button below Hashtag to insert words that are relevant and descriptive to what you are about to publish.

Write them without using the pound symbol (#), the program will add it, or choose from those suggested. Easy, right? Now you are ready to become popular among the Challenge or to search for other videos by selecting the magnifying glass symbol and skimming the results by hashtag.

To identify the most relevant hashtags to accompany the posts, I refer you to my guides on the best TikTok hashtags and how to get views on TikTok.

How hashtags work on YouTube

You just finished recording a video and want to share it on YouTube, the famous portal owned by Google, and are you hoping to get many views? Know that, in addition to the quality of your content, it might help you to know how hashtags work on YouTube. You can manage your YouTube videos from the official website of the service or from its app for Android e iPhone / iPad.

Hashtags on YouTube (where they are simply called Tag) are to be included in the video caption, before its publication, in the appropriate space, separated by a comma. This is just as true if you trade from PC that smartphone / tablet.

A little different the question in case you wanted to add hashtags to already published content: from PC you will simply have to locate the video within your channel and perform the modification, while if you decide you'll use one smartphone or tablet, to make changes to the content already uploaded, you will need to use the app YouTube Studio for Android and iOS / iPadOS.

On YouTube, if you want, you can also search for topics by hashtag by typing them in the search bar of the channel. To optimize the identification of good labels for video content, I recommend that you study the search suggestions that YouTube itself offers to users.

For a complete overview of the steps to take, try reading my guide on how to put hashtags on YouTube.

How hashtags work


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