During my social media bootcamp, I had a lot of questions (and confusion) around what a hashtag is, and how they are used on social media.

A hashtag is a word or phrase, with the “#” symbol before it (with no spaces). This makes the word or phrase searchable, meaning it can be found through a search, and generates two times as much engagement than a social media post without a hashtag.

There are different ways hashtags are used, depending on the social network. Today, I am going to be talking about how to #Hashtag like an expert in Google+.

I came across a great Infographic on Red Website Design that I knew I had to share. The infographic is about Google+ however; some of the tips could be applied to the likes of Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook.

Here is a breakdown of the Infographic.

Hashtag Do’s

Combine Hashtags with Images

Every picture you upload to Google+ should have one or two hashtags (same as Facebook and Twitter). For Instagram; add as many relevant hashtags as you like. The reason why you should combine images and hashtags is because it will boost your views – posts with images are much more likely to drive engagement. Adding a hashtag will only boost your posts exposure on Google+.

Use 2-3 Hashtags Per Post

The amount of hashtags you use will depend on the social network. For Google+, you should consider 2-3 hashtags per post. Make sure you don’t use more than 3 for one post, as this will distract from you message.

Use Hashtags When Engaging with Your Community

Track your conversations and encourage engagement by using Hashtags when having a two-way conversation with your audience.

Take Advantage of Trending Hashtags

There will be hundreds of hashtags that are trending across social media at any one time. Find the ones that connect with the content you are sharing and utilise this to gain new followers and share new, relevant content.

Use Google+ Explore

Do your research and find hashtags using Google+ Explore. This will allow you to find out what hashtags are popular, and those that are not.

Hashtag Don’ts

Replace Your Usual Posts with Hashtags

Hashtags will ONLY work if they are accompanied with text, and visuals (or video’s). Hashtags are there to improve the visibility of your post, not to be a substitute for any written or visual content.

#Hashtag #Every #Word

Overdoing it on your hashtags will only result in you loosing your community. It will do more harm than good if you are hash tagging every single word in your posts.

Use Incorrect Hashtags

Don’t guess what hashtag is being used to describe a trending topic – research it. There is nothing worse than spending the time to focus on a trending topic and you accidentally use the wrong hashtag.

Tap Into Unrelated Topics

Please, do NOT engage with hashtags that have no relevance to your business, or your audience’s interests. This will only mislead your readers, and it will affect your negatively.


Make it easy for your community to read, and understand exactly what your hashtag says. Unless it’s a popular phrase, make sure you hashtag is no longer than three words.

You can see the full infographic here.

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