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Why #Hashtags Don't Work On EVERY Social Media Platform

what does hashtag mean


Dear, #####

In highschool, a guy friend of mine used the corniest pick-up lines on girls.


"Are you a magician? Because whenever I look at you everyone else disappears."

"Your daddy must be a drug dealer, cuz you’re dope."

"You must be Jelly, cause jam don’t shake like that."


Some girls would roll their eyes, others would laugh but most would walk away. Now, I'm not sure of the ROI on his pickup lines but next to history and math on his timetable was also being a prey to creepy Casanova. He was a smooth talking stalker, whose main goal was to get as many numbers as he could pocket.

At some point, this player-in-training, was taught this is how to approach women. This is how you get their attention but nobody told him, it's not how you keep it.


When we go online with our business, it's like, we become the creepy Casanova with our followers.  


Our main goal is to get as many likes in our pocket, smooth talk them into following and reel in their attention with tactics like hashtags. When all the Casanova had to do to win their attention was to be himself. 

No games, no gimmicks, and no 3rd period sweet talking. 


Strike up a conversation.

Depending on the social media platform will determine the level of "swagger" you need to have to grow your account. A hashtags purpose is to make your brand discoverable but overdue it (on some platforms) and you risk being counterproductive.


Hashtags are not a turn-off here but too much "swagger" can cause new & existing fans to find someone else to hang out with. Hashtags serve a greater purpose in this space. They lock you into a specific topic and help you join on-going conversations. 

A Twitter stream, if you will.

See how Kate Nasser of #PeopleSkills runs her Twitter chats, keeping the conversation in one flowing stream.


Ideal hashtag ideas for Twitter (1- 3) :

  • Topic of conversation, like #finance or #business
  • A group of people or industry, like #Foodies or #HealthCare
  • A Twitter chat, like #Bufferchat or #PeopleSkills
  • What's trending at the moment, like #WorldEmojiDay or #BrunoMars
  • Events or conferences like #Futurpreneur
  • Popular culture topics, like #GameofThrones or #Bachlorette


Hashtags in this space are a bit redundant.

It's like bringing sand to the beach. It's like pouring water into a well. It's like hooking up at the strip club. You just don't do it.

Generally, most accounts are private...

The ones that do make theirs public are marketers, public figures or businesses like you. If your audience is B2C (business to customer), that rules out using hashtags altogether. If your B2B (business to business), maybe not. In fact, Facebook's search engine has become more advanced than other platforms that you don't need hashtags to have your posts searchable. 


Placing hashtags haphazardly at the end of a description can cause more harm than good. 

Trending topics take precedent on Facebook more than securing your top 5 hashtags.

People are on here to catch-up with friends and family, learn something interesting or new and share relevant content happening in the news & community. If your brand wants to be a part of those ongoing conversations, BE RELEVANT.

#CanadaDay Facebook Hashtags


Ideal hashtag ideas for Facebook (if you must 1-2 ):

  • Holidays or celebrations, like #christmas or #CanadaDay
  • Popular hashtags, like #tbt or #MotivationMonday
  • Playful, like #HumpDay



Hashtags are welcomed, encouraged even. You can use all the "pick-up lines" here without going over 30. It's like having Bill Gate money, who's going to refuse your company?

Like Twitter, you can find people with similar interest without directly following them. Putting you dead smack on the explore page. Anybody who can do a basic search...will find you. Hootsuite breaks down this hashtag logic.

Instagram hashtags


Ideal hashtag ideas for Instagram (no more than 30):

  • Brand Hashtags, like #wanderlust, #girlboss
  • Contest/giveaway hashtags, like #contest or #giveaway
  • Location hashtags, like #Toronto, #France
  • Popular Instagram hashtags, like #photooftheday, #instamood,  or #nofilter

Honorable Mentions: Pinterest - No. LinkedIn - Debatable. YouTube - meh.


Hashtags don't work on every platform, just like, pick-up lines don't work on every conquest. I wouldn't rush to load up your captions with hashtags unless you've done the homework.

- Click to Tweet!

The Homework

  1. Type the hashtag you're thinking of using in the platform's search bar to see what comes up. You may or may not want your brand associated with the results.
  2. Use tools like to see what's currently trending and popular.
  3. Think about your industry and if it makes sense for your audience. Would they use that hashtag to find your product/service?


Don't blindly use hashtags because someone said it works. Have a goal, do your research then test for yourself. Brands doing well online didn't happen through a well-thought out hashtag strategy, it happened from a well-thought out business strategy. Authentic likes/followers happen when you have relevant, relatable and reputable content. High engagement happens with empathetic content marketing.  

At the end of it all, you measure the conversions you receive from your overall marketing efforts.

Another approach:

Tagging on Instagram and Mentioning on Facebook & Twitter

This has become my go-to discoverability method, I use for my clients and myself when I post. Mention the product, company or person you're talking about in your caption. Highlighting them in your post, sends them a notification they've been mentioned.

They could do one or all of these three things: follow you, like the post or share it with their audience. It also helps your business page to be viewed as credible by citing the source --allowing your brand to reach new communities (and heights).

So much better than being a creepy Casanova.


Signed, Tennile.


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