The most common hashtag mistakes and how to avoid them

Twitter is an amazing way of reaching new people but you can just as easily turn people away from you by making mistakes you may not even realise you’re making. These are the top ones to avoid making.

Hashtag Mistakes.

Hashtag Spam

It’s tempting to try and reach lots and lots of people by cramming your tweet with as many hashtags as the character limit allows. So much research has been done on this and the more you have the less likely someone will click on your link. Two or three hashtags is the suggested maximum for a single tweet.

Let’s put this to the test. Which one of these is easier to read and easier to see the link to click on:

Hashtag spamming.

The one of the left is so difficult to read I would never click on their link. Mine, on the other hand, has the text and link at the top with a nice space before I add the three hashtags I wanted to use on the tweet. By spacing it all neatly out you are MUCH more likely to get the link clicked on.

If you use one or two hashtags your engagement will go up by roughly 20% but this is the really important bit…

Using more than two hashtags can DROP the engagement by almost the same amount! 

I do tend to use three a lot but I put a space between the text and the hashtags so I make it as easy to read as possible (as the image above should show).

Generic Hashtags

You know that some hashtags, like #love or #funny are really popular. The problem is the really generic hashtags have SO many tweets flooding them that within a second or two your tweet is already 50th down the list and dropping fast.

It is really easy to have almost no impressions when you use the most generic and popular hashtags. In ‘most’ cases it is better to target the right hashtags for the tweet. I use a tool called This tool not only shows me common hashtags relating to the tweet but it also shows me other, less popular ones that I may not have even thought about.

I sometimes have good success targeting new and less popular hashtags because those tweets tend to stay near the top for longer, so more people in that field may follow me or click on the link.

Forgetting the local hashtags

If you’re business is location based then don’t forget the local hashtags. Some will be more popular than others and here is Torbay is a great example. Torquay is a bigger and more popular town compared to the small fishing town of Brixham. The thing is Brixham has a thriving twitter community and I am MUCH more likely to get likes and retweets from the Brixham hashtag than I ever do by using the Torquay hashtag.

You need to test the local ones to see which ones really engage with you. It is worth pointing out that you should never misuse this. I very rarely use the Brixham hashtag because I’m not often in Brixham and I don’t want to spam their hashtag when I’m talking about design, Torquay and so on.

Not using any hashtags at all

This is the most important one of all. If you’re using Twitter for your business then finding and using the right hashtags can really help your engagement. Without hashtags the only people are are likely to see your tweet are the ones who follow you. You may get lucky with some people doing a keyword search but the overwhelming majority of people will be doing a hashtag search.

You are twice as likely to get engagements by using hashtags than without!


Simon Day

If you have a wedding, portrait, event or festival coming up please contact me. Likewise for portraits. Check out my social media channels: Instagram | Facebook | Twitter