The trusty #hashtag was first introduced to the world of social media by Twitter in 2007. Since then, it’s grown to be a stalwart of Internet marketing and brands all over the world leverage hashtags to boost their reach and connect with the right audiences.
But how many hashtags should you use in a single social media post and how long should they be?
Luckily, a recent study by TrackMaven – which analysed more than 65,000 social media posts – has the answers…
Perhaps surprisingly, TrackMaven found that for Facebook posts there is a correlation between the number of hashtags used and the amount of engagement a post receives. Specifically, the more hashtags in a post, the less engagement experienced (as per the graphic below).
As for the length of the hashtag, a hashtag consisting of 6 characters is apparently the best. However, no pattern was seen up to 20 characters. The study does advise, though, that people don’t use hashtags longer than 20 characters because they are harder for social media users to engage with.
Like Facebook, tweets with one hashtag get the most amount of engagement, but having two hashtags in an update doesn’t detrimentally affect engagement as much as on Facebook. Interestingly, no patterns were seen when it came to length of Twitter hashtags.
However, the study did warn that Twitter users are becoming increasingly wary of hashtags in recent times because they are often used by spammers to share junk content.
Hashtags on Instagram are a really effective way to boost organic reach, according to the study. It found that posts with nine hashtags had the most engagement.
Also, in contrast to Facebook, Instagram hashtags with between 21 and 24 characters averaged the best performance.
How many hashtags do you tend to use in your social media posts? Do you use the same amount across all your social media accounts?