Bonus:Read the step-by-step social media strategy guidewith pro tips on how to grow your social media presence.
What is a hashtag?
The pound symbol on your keyboard — also called an octothorpe — was initially used to mark numbers.
It was first used for hashtags in the summer of 2007 by Chris Messina. That’s when the web marketing specialist walked into Twitter’s offices with an idea. Because of the platform’s brevity, he suggested the company start using the pound symbol to group related Tweets together.
This was the first-ever use of the hashtag:
how do you feel about using # (pound) for groups. As in #barcamp [msg]?
— Chris Messina (email@example.com) (@chrismessina) August 23, 2007
Since then, the use of hashtags, their reach, and their effectiveness has only grown.
Hashtags are a way to connect social media content to a specific topic, event, theme, or conversation.
They’re not just for Twitter anymore, either. Hashtags are effective on other social media platforms too. (Find more details on how to use hashtags for each platform below.)
They always start with # but they won’t work if you use spaces, punctuation, or symbols.
Make sure your accounts are public. Otherwise, the hashtagged content you write won’t be seen by any non-followers.
Don’t string too many words together. The best hashtags tend to be relatively short and easy to remember.
Use relevant and specific hashtags. If it is too obscure, it will be hard to find and it won’t likely be used by other social media users.
Limit the number of hashtags you use. More isn’t always better. It actually looks spammy.
Hashtag generator: free tool
Peruse the full list of real estate hashtags below, or use this free tool to get AI-generated hashtag suggestions in 5 languages.
Please note: This tool may display inaccurate or offensive material that doesn’t represent Hootsuite’s views. You’re solely responsible for use of any content generated using this tool, including its compliance with applicable laws and third party rights.
Why use hashtags?
Hashtags are a great way to connect with like-minded people, and they can be used for just about anything.
Make note of which hashtags they use most often and how many hashtags they use in each of their posts. This will help you learn how your competitors are engaging with your shared target audience and which keywords they tend to use.
2. Know which hashtags are trending
RiteTag lets you type your social media caption into the text bar and upload the photo you’ll pair with your caption.
RiteTag generates trending hashtag suggestions based on your content. You’ll see the best hashtags to get your post seen immediately, as well as hashtags to get your post seen over time. Click “Get Report” for a detailed analysis of the hashtags it displays.
A social listening tool like Hootsuite lets your brand use search streams to discover which hashtags are the best for each social network you’re on. Put simply, search streams make it easy to see which hashtags are the most popular and the most effective.
Learn more by watching this video:
4. Find related hashtags
If you already have a good grasp of which hashtags are working well for your brand, consider using related hashtags. These might be a little more specific than the popular hashtags you’re already using, which could help you connect with a more targeted audience.
On LinkedIn, you can find more hashtag recommendations after clicking on a hashtag. Choose the “Discover more hashtags” buttons after clicking on the ellipsis.
5. Analyze which hashtags were successful on past posts
Keep track of which hashtags you’ve used on past posts. Analyze which posts have been most popular, then see if there’s a trend with the hashtags you’ve used.
If you notice some of your most popular posts always contain a few of the same hashtags, make a point to include those in your future posts as well.
6. Use a hashtag generator
All this research to come up with the right hashtags for every. single. post. is a lot of work.
Enter: Hootsuite’s hashtag generator.
Whenever you’re creating a post in Composer, Hootsuite’s AI technology will recommend a custom set of hashtags based on your draft — the tool analyzes both your caption and the images you’ve uploaded to suggest the most relevant tags.
To use Hootsuite’s hashtag generator, follow these steps:
Head to Composer and start drafting your post. Add your caption and (optionally) upload an image.
Click the hashtag symbol below the text editor.
The AI will generate a set of hashtags based on your input. Check the boxes next to the hashtags you want to use and click the Add hashtags button.
The hashtags you selected will be added to your post. You can go ahead and publish it or schedule it for later.
How to increase organic reach with hashtags
When you use hashtags, your post becomes discoverable to people who are searching for that hashtag.
For example, if you’re a wedding planner and use the hashtag #weddingplanner, someone who is engaged and looking for your services may come across your post.
The best way to increase your organic reach with hashtags is to use ones that are relevant to your business and industry.
Do some research on which hashtags are most popular in your industry, then start using them in your posts.
Once you have a stockpile of relevant, high-performing hashtags, you can start using them in your posts.