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Get Social Savvy With #Hashtags#

Last updated on March 10, 2021
9 minute read
Key Takeaways

  • Discover the benefits of using hashtags.
  • Follow key tips for success.
  • See examples from real travel accounts.

Skill Level

Beginner, Intermediate

Hashtags. You either love them or hate them. But let’s face it – they’re a valuable part of your social media strategy, and they can be downright fun to use! Hashtags help you stay on top of travel and tourism trends, engage with your audience, and even reach potential customers who have never interacted with your brand. Plus, they show that you know what you’re doing when it comes to social media. Ready to get social savvy? Read on for tips on making the most of hashtags in your social media strategy.

Hashtag Etiquette: Key Tips to Follow

The main reason people seem to be wary of hashtags is because some accounts tend to overuse them or utilize tags that have nothing to do with their business. Whether on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook, seeing a post with dozens of hashtags is not only overwhelming, but it also looks like spam. Which brings us to our first rule of thumb for using hashtags…

1. Don’t Overuse Them!

Is there anything worse than seeing a great post ruined with endless hashtags? Committing this social media faux pas is a sure way to signal to your followers that you’re trying way too hard. #fail

Keep in mind that on some platforms like Pinterest, the main purpose of hashtags is to categorize and tag content so users can find posts that satisfy their search intent. That’s why it’s essential to use only relevant hashtags. Keep the following tips in mind:

  • Instagram: You can include up to 30 hashtags… but we don’t recommend it. Eleven hashtags is a good number to aim for; however, the most common number of hashtags to use on Instagram is one to three, according to Hootsuite. 
  • Facebook: Use two to three hashtags on a Facebook post. Studies have shown that engagement decreases as the number of hashtags increases, so use them sparingly and strategically. 
  • Twitter: Since Tweets are already pretty limited in the number of characters you can use, don’t take up too much precious space with hashtags. One or two will get your point across.
  • LinkedIn: Known for longer, even text-heavy posts, LinkedIn allows you more room for hashtags. We recommend limiting it to a maximum of five so that the LinkedIn algorithm doesn’t flag your post as spam.
  • Pinterest: As mentioned previously, users searching by hashtag on Pinterest are likely looking for very specific results and only want to see two (relevant!) hashtags per post.

2. Keep it Simple

Because of the way hashtags are formatted with multiple words strung together and no spaces, it’s important that you pick hashtags that are simple and easy to read. Using one that is overly long and difficult to spell will just result in people ignoring it. Plus, the likelihood of anyone searching for such a long, specific tag is slim. Stick to just a few words, and make sure to choose hashtags that accurately represent your business. 

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3. Do Your Research

With thousands of hashtags out there, it can be hard to pick which ones to use. Look at other social media accounts in your industry to see if you can draw inspiration from their hashtag strategy. These social media travel accounts are a good place to start. Consider your business keywords and the type of content you’re sharing, as well as your location. For example, if you’re posting a picture of your Miami kayak tour, a hashtag like #miamikayak would be well suited to that specific post. 

4. Use Brand & Campaign Specific Hashtags

Besides using popular hashtags in your industry, get creative and make your own branded hashtag! A brand hashtag is unique to your business and could be a play on your company name or tagline. Travel Alaska simply uses #TravelAlaska to tag their posts on Instagram.

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Use your hashtag as your signature tag when you share posts to social media, and get your customers to use it too. Ask them to use the hashtag when sharing photos from their tour or activity so your brand can benefit from additional marketing and user-generated content

Beyond having one main brand hashtag, you can create others for a specific campaign to further promote it. Use the hashtag every time you post about the campaign. In this example from Travel + Leisure’s Instagram account, they feature a campaign hashtag right in their bio: “Use #TLPicks for a chance to be featured on the T+L account.”

5. Follow Trends 

Social media is all about trends, and while most are short-lived, they can still pack a big impact. Hashtags trends change all the time – if you blink you might miss the latest star! That’s why it’s a good idea to stay on top of popular hashtags and see if you can join in on the fun – when it makes sense to do so. Trying to stay on top of every trend will not only be too much work, but can also appear spammy to your audience. We suggest hopping on the bandwagon when you find a great hashtag that you could relate back to your business in some way.

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In the following example, the National Park Service uses #BlackHistoryMonth to highlight significant events and locations. Since February is Black History Month, this is a worthy trend to pursue for the duration of the month.

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6. Search the Hashtag First

Before you type that hashtag, search it on whatever social channel you’re using and make sure that it really is relevant to your post. You don’t want to accidentally post a hashtag that’s being used for the wrong reason or can be interpreted differently. For example, you don’t want to jump on a hashtag that another brand is using repeatedly for a campaign. 

When it’s all said and done, hashtags are about connecting with your audience on another level and opening up your social media pages to a much larger cohort. Hashtags have the potential to get your content in front of thousands of viewers, drum up engagement, and enhance your online presence overall. So don’t overthink it – start playing around with hashtags today! Visit our social media guides for additional tips. Happy posting!

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