It may be hard to recall, but back in 2007 this # was a pound symbol. Shift 3 was not a heavily used combo on your keyboard. Then Twitter came along and repurposed the pound symbol into a hashtag.

If you aren’t using hashtags in your social media marketing, you probably should be.

Why Hashtags?

Hashtags allow people to look for content they want to engage with. Rather than mindlessly scrolling or searching the entire platform, searching by a hashtag narrows the search to fit the topic of interest. If a user is interested in window treatments that’s what they want to look at, they don’t want to see camping gear. By using the hashtag #windowtreatments the user will be directed to content that fits their interest at that moment. The use of hashtags is a good way to attract new followers to your brand/business.

Hashtag Basics

  • Keep it simple, avoid the temptation to be overly clever or cutesy.
  • Use hashtags that are already popular.

On Twitter the limited character count makes keeping hashtags short and simple crucial. It is also wise to only use a couple. In contrast, on Instagram you want to use lots of hashtags.

Hashtag Tips

Spend a little time researching what hashtags your competitors are using. If you are targeting the same customers, you will want to include the same hashtags.

To learn which hashtags are already popular you can click the spyglass icon, then select tags, and you will see what hashtags are used and how many posts have used that tag. If you’re a restaurant that serves tacos on Tuesday, you’ll want to jump on the bandwagon that is #tacotuesday and not go rogue with #mexicanfoodontuesday.

While using several hashtags on Insta is a good idea on Insta, it can feel cumbersome since you are posting via mobile. I suggest deciding what your main tags are going to be, the ones you’ll likely use on every post you share, type those into the notes section on your phone, then copy and paste them into each of your Instagram posts. This will ensure you’re consistent and speed up posting. You can then add additional tags that apply to that specific day or image.


While the use of hashtags will not make or break your business, but hashtags do have the potential to grow your audience. The more people who are aware of your business the better your odds of gaining customers. Hashtags are simply another tool in the box. 

Like with any social media marketing you are building awareness, creating community, and seeking to engage with customers, and gain new customers. All of the things you do play a part, there is no silver bullet that will be a gamechanger. Each thing is like a tooth on a gear, it connects and works together, and builds momentum over time.

As a small business owner, you are likely #toobusy to want to add hashtags to your to-do list. That is why Main Street Marketers exists. We can implement strategies that will help your small business grow.