Whether you use hashtags religiously or you don’t really care for them, one thing’s for sure – they aren’t going anywhere, and they are only set to become more inherent in everyone’s brand strategy.

Social media is the preferred form of communication for most millennials these days, and if you are trying to expand your brand’s reach on all of your major social sites, you need to find a way to integrate the best hashtag strategy.

Let’s take a look at the best hashtags statistics in the game so that you can understand the importance of them, and when to integrate them into your social media sharing.

Quick Hashtags Statistics

  • The first hashtag to be used was #barcamp
  • The hashtag was actually called ‘octothorpe’ in the beginning
  • Hashtags can increase your engagement by 100% on Twitter
  • #followfriday has been used half a billion times
  • The majority of hashtags on Instagram are branded hashtags
  • Most people include hashtags in their caption, rather than the comment section on Instagram

Fun Hashtags Facts and Trivia

So, you’ll know that the hashtag originated on Twitter already because it’s a well-known statistic, but did you know that Twitter didn’t really like the idea of using hashtags at first?

What’s super interesting as well is that ‘hashtag’ wasn’t originally what it was called – it was called ‘octothorpe’. Personally, we’re pretty pleased that they went for ‘hashtag’ instead.

  • A web marketing specialist called Chris Messina is the inventor of the hashtag.
  • Biz Stone, who is the co-founder of Twitter, was fixing a technical issue around the social media network when Messina suggested that they use a hashtag.
  • The first ever hashtag that was used was #barcamp, which Messina sent on the 23rd August 2007.
  • The Oxford English Dictionary originally included the word ‘hashtag’ in 2014.
  • Its technical term is ‘octothorpe’.

Using Hashtags on Twitter

Hashtag Engagement on Twitter

When it comes to hashtags stats on Twitter, you would think that Twitter would have more love for the idea.

However, Twitter actually has a suggested limit on how many hashtags that you use for every tweet that you put up.

They also say that using hashtags on Twitter ads can get in the way of your marketing success.

  • Using hashtags with your tweets can increase their engagement by 100% for the individual, and 50% if you have a brand.
  • The sweet spot for the right number of hashtags to use per tweet is between one and two. If you follow a strategy like this closely, you can gain 21% in engagement.
  • Tweets that use more than two hashtags might experience 17% less engagement.
  • Tweets that only include a couple of hashtags have a 55% higher chance of being retweeted by someone.
  • Based on research from Twitter, ads that don’t include hashtags get 23% more engagement.

Now, let’s talk about a few hashtag records:

  • The average number of hashtags that are tweeted every day is 125 million.
  • The most tweeted hashtag associated with TV is #thewalkingdead.
  • The most tweeted hashtag associated with a movie is #starwars.
  • The most tweeted hashtag associated with sports is #NFL.
  • #nowplaying is a hashtag that has been tweeted more than 1 billion times.
  • #followfriday has been used on Twitter more than 500 million times.
  • The top hashtags on Twitter in 2020 were: #followback, #funny, #photography, #pets, #friends, #picoftheday, #fashion, #travel and #food.

Using Hashtags on Instagram

Hashtags Engagement on Instagram

So, when you compare hashtags statistics on how they are used on Instagram and Twitter, you will realize that you have a bit more creative freedom with Instagram.

The good news is that with Instagram, you can use up to 30 tags on every post that you put up.

However, before you go absolutely crazy with your tags, just make sure that you know what the best practices are, so that you can optimize your content for engagement.

  • If you use just one hashtag on a post, it is going to get 29% more interactions.
  • If you use more than 11 hashtags on a post, then you are going to have 79% more interactions.
  • Longer hashtags typically include between 21 and 24 characters, and they do better than shorter tags.
  • 7/10 hashtags that are on Instagram are brand hashtags.

Apart from how many hashtags you use, the engagement rate of your content is also dependent on some other factors, including where you put your hashtags, and the size of your Instagram profile.

Statistics will tell us that when it comes to small and medium-sized Instagram accounts, putting hashtags in the caption is going to give them more engagement, and the same strategy applies for bigger Instagram profiles, but in the opposite way.

  • If you place hashtags in your caption, profiles with less than 5000 followers are going to get 36% more reach on each of their posts, and if you have between 5000 and 10,000 followers, this number is going to be 20%. If you have between 10,000 and 50,000 followers, this number is going to be around 21%, and profiles that have between 50,000 and 100,000 followers receive an average of 21.43% more engagement per post.
  • Profiles that have more than 100,000 followers are going to get 15.9% more reach on each of their posts when they place their hashtags in the first comment, compared to 14% for posts that include their hashtags in the caption.
  • 87% of profiles prefer to put their hashtags in the caption, compared to just 12% that like to put them in the comment section.
  • The vast majority of posts – as many as 93%, include hashtags in their caption, vs. 6% that include them in their comments section.

Hashtags for Facebook

Hashtags for Facebook

In contrast to Instagram and Twitter, there is a lot of debate around how effect hashtags are on Facebook in the statistics world.

Facebook itself doesn’t really like to give too much away on the subject, which means that if you own a brand and you are using a Facebook business page to grow it, you are pretty much left out in the cold to work everything out for yourself.

Here are some best practices that you might want to follow if you are trying to expand your brand’s reach on Facebook.

  • The general consensus is that less is more. This means that if you use too many hashtags, you might come across as annoying and spammy with your posts.
  • Posts that only include on hashtag usually get the most engagement.
  • Hashtags are helpful when you are trying to expand your reach with a Facebook campaign. Just make sure that your Facebook post is set to public so that even people who aren’t following you can see your post with your hashtags.

Hashtags with Google+

Google+ is one of the most underrated places to use hashtags. Using hashtags with Google+ isn’t going to work quite the same as with other platforms out there.

This is because instead of pulling up results based on hashtags that you have looked for, Google+ is going to present related and trending hashtags.

So, this approach isn’t going to be the most effective when trying to come up with relevant content, but it can be a good strategy for marketers to figure out additional opportunities when it comes to engagement and content creation online.

  • Try to limit your hashtag use to between three or four, so that you don’t take your audience’s attention away from your content.
  • Because the search results are going to be related hashtags, try to use hashtags that are descriptive so that you can widen your audience, and increase your chances of being featured on feeds that relate to your niche.
  • Make sure that you use hashtags on videos, images and infographics, so that this type of content is suggested when others are searching the platform.

Hashtags with LinkedIn

The professional network LinkedIn is another space that you can capitalize on when it comes to your hashtag use.

While the majority of people using LinkedIn are professionals, there is no reason why you can’t use hashtags to make the most of your connections and build bridges between your brand and people who might be interested in it.

It’s also going to make it easier for you to find leads related to your brand so that you can generate more hype around your product or service on your website.

  • The most used hashtag on LinkedIn is #marketing.
  • The most followed hashtag on LinkedIn is #india.
  • In 2018, LinkedIn conducted an experiment where they set their post feature so that you couldn’t post a piece of content onto the platform without including a hashtag.
  • A hashtag can increase your engagement on LinkedIn if you already follow that hashtag.
  • Most brands on LinkedIn have made up their own form of a branded hashtag to help with their engagement.
  • LinkedIn has a feature where you can see which hashtags are trending in your network.

Bonus Statistics for Hashtags

Bonus Statistics for Hashtags

Of course, we all know the power of a hashtag, especially when it comes to political and social movements over the last couple of decades.

Let’s take a look at some of the most popular cultural hashtags that have surfaced and made the rounds over the last few years.

  • #metoo: This has been used more than 19 million times since Alyssa Milano first tweeted it in 2017, to draw attention to sexual harassment issues in society.
  • #icebucketchallenge: This hashtag has been used more than 6 million times. It was used back in 2914 to promote a challenge associated with the ALS Assocation. The challenge ended up raising more than $115 million for the cause.
  • #blacklivesmatter: This hashtag has been used more than 12 million times. The movement started back in 2013 as a campaign against systemic racism.
  • #sandy: This tag has been used more than 7 million times. It was first used in 2012 when Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast of America.
  • #prayforjapan: This tag was used in 2011, and it was shared more than 4 million times. It was created when a giant earthquake and tsunami hit Japan and killed more than 2000 people.
  • #lovewins: This has been used more than 12 million times, and started being used in 2015 when the Supreme Court in America rules in favor of gay marriage.
  • #ferguson: This tag has been used more than 27 million times. It is connect to the police shooting of Michael Brown in 2014.

Final Thoughts

So, we have gone through some of the most relevant data and statistics around hashtags and how they are used in relation to some of the most popular social media networks in the world today.

Looking at these statistics, we can see that if you just want to include hashtags for the sake of it, then you’re going to set your brand back a little bit.

Clear examples of this are Google+ and Twitter. And while Instagram lets you use up to 30 tags per post, this doesn’t mean that you should jump at the chance every time and fill the gaps.

There is a sweet spot, and we highly recommend that you stick to it if you want to be successful with your content.

On the other side of this, if you are able to come up with an ideal hashtag strategy for your social media sites, then you are bound to benefit from it.

You can gain more engagement for your brand, and you can also connect with the right people and open the gates wide for more business opportunities.

Also, don’t forget to create your own branded hashtag for your business that people can start to associate with you.