Since the dawn of Twitter, hashtags have been steadily increasing in popularity. They’re everywhere, even in memes and on clothing apparel. But are they just a trend or do they have a value to those of us who want to increase our exposure across a multitude of social networks?

To answer that question broadly; yes, they do have a purpose. But not everywhere, and that’s the problem, unless you know all things Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, G+, Tumblr – you get the gist. Unless you are ‘in the business,’ it’s likely that you’ll have no clue exactly how to use hashtags to maximise your exposure. You’ll probably be unaware of the fact that each platform has the optimal amount of hashtags to use, and be warned, on some social networks that figure is zero.


While hashtags are cool and most definitely do help increase your exposure, overuse of hashtags on certain platforms decreases your exposure to lower than if you didn’t use any. Sit back, and take heed. We outline the art (or not) of using the love-it-but-hate-it, hashtag.

Given that each social network behaves very differently when it comes to hashtags, we are going to look at them individually and give you the low down. The question we will be answering is: to hashtag or not to hashtag? (Yes we thought that was a really cool question!) We will also be giving you some of the most popular hashtags out there to use, that are also relevant (that’s a real key word there) and will maximise your chances of being heard amongst the social buzz.


It’s only right that we start with the founder of the hashtag. Twitter. We all get around to tweeting at some point, even if you don’t Tweet now, I bet you will soon enough.


Twitter’s hashtags are the most simplistically beautiful of them all, they would be, they made them right?

Just because hashtags are available doesn’t mean you should use them. If in doubt, leave them out. You are building a brand for yourself and using hashtags just because they are popular makes you look like an attention whore. Yes, it does. If a hashtag is popular and relevant to your message or link, use it. Otherwise, save us all the agony and don’t.

No one wants to see a whole tweet that is full of hashtags. #Do #not #hashtag #for #the #sake #of #hashtagging. Seriously, look how rubbish that looks. As a general rule of thumb, between three and five hashtags are more than enough, or just one doozy of a hashtag.

For all writerly types, there a couple that could be used, nay, should be used if relevant.

#amwriting #amreading #amediting – does what it says on the tin, use them where possible as these ones are a popular bunch on Twitter.

#MondayBlogs #SundayBlogShare #writerwednesday #throwbackthursday #mondaymotivation  – all day specific, but use them correctly and they’ll help you reach more people.

#IARTG #ASMSG – These are groups attached to a profile on Twitter. If you’re not willing to share the tweets of others within this group, don’t use them because they won’t work for you. BUT, if you are an indie author / writer, using these hashtags can help increase your reach hugely.

#micropoetry #haiku #vss (very short story) #flashfiction – all of this are type specific but again, get searched on Twitter, a lot. Use them when relevant, don’t use them otherwise.



Since Facebook began integrating hashtags there has been a lot of speculation about the benefit of using them on this social platform. In recent social media studies, and from our own observations, using hashtags on Facebook actually decreases post interaction and engagement so use at your own peril.




Instagram has taken the hashtags to another level. It is the only platform where the more hashtags you use; the better reach your post will get. So, use them lots, make them relevant to whatever you’re sharing, and remember, there is a maximum limit Insta will let you share of thirty. Be warned that if you type up a lovely cpation for your post and it contains more than thirty hashtags, Instagram (kindly) will not post your caption and you’ll have to start all over again (insert expletive)! Here are a bunch that are all relevant:

#amwriting #amreading #mondaymotivation #Monday #writerwednesday #fridayfeeling #inspo #words #photooftheday #socialmedia #writersofinstagram #writersofig #poetsofinstagram #love #ink #bibliophile #igworld #instamood #webstagram #poetry #competition #indieauthor #igers #instagood #like4like #app #android #launch #upgrade #iphonesia #writingcommunity #qotd #igers #beautiful #follow #nofilter #instalike #instalove #awesome #love #instaquote #qotd #instaquote #quote #wordporn #books #book #booknerd #booknerdigans

Use these to your hearts content and feel free to comment and share the ones that you use that we may have missed.



LinkedIn is a social network for professionals, it’s all about networking and finding the next big career move, are hashtags relevant here? No they are not. Don’t go all fancy and use them, it won’t make you look good at all.



G+ (GooglePlus) is an anomaly to us all when it comes to the social rules and etiquettes within. It’s a community that is unpredictable and one that we personally haven’t seen much traction from during our careers, therefore, we have decided to discontinue use of this dying platform. That being said, did it ever peak? If you want to use G+, we suggest sticking to what you’d share on Twitter here and only use around 3 hashtags per post. That being said, hashtags do not seem to have a profound effect on your reach whatsoever, so use them or not, it’s not going to make too much of a difference either way.



Hashtags are largely unimportant here, but linking to your brand elsewhere on the internet is. Caption your photos and always link. That’ll be of better benefit to you here than the old hashtag will. This being said, Pinterest are trying to make a move into the hashtagging arena and you’ll find many users tagging their posts so, once again, use them if you want, it’s not going to harm your reach in any way at all.



This platform works in a very similar way to Instagram. Tag your posts, but keep them relevant and do not over tag. Tags like #spilledink #spilledwords and #spilledpoetry originated from this platform and shows you that the writing community there are looking for your tags.


I hope this helps you all on the art of the hashtag. Stay tuned for more literary and social blogs from us.


Until next time, get hashtagging, or not.



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