What Are Hashtags? (Plus a List of the Most Popular Hashtags in 2022)

A vector rendering of tiny people leaning against a hashtag, using their devices.

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Many social media influencers and businesses are implementing popular hashtags into their marketing strategy. Hashtags offer a number of critical advantages, from making it easier to keep up with the whole conversation on a specific topic to providing brands with greater visibility within a larger discussion. Using hashtags is an important part of social media marketing, particularly on platforms like Instagram and Facebook. “What are hashtags?” you maybe be wondering. Let’s dive in.

What Are Hashtags?

Hashtags are metadata tags preceded by the # symbol, also known as a “hash” or “pound” sign. Hashtags usually include a string of letters or numbers, but typically do not include spaces or special symbols. They indicate to search algorithms and users that a specific piece of content relates to a topic or category, often a popular one that users are searching. Hashtags can also be used to tie together content, both from specific users and as part of a larger conversation. 

Types of Hashtags

Hashtags may fit into a variety of categories, depending on what purpose you’re trying to accomplish and what information you’re trying to share with users. 

Branded Hashtags

Branded hashtags will usually connect directly to a specific brand. They might include the way the brand wants to identify its content on social media or a specific reference to the brand’s tagline. Branded hashtags are generally intended to last for a long period of time, not just a specific marketing campaign. 

Campaign Hashtags

Campaign hashtags are intended to highlight content related to a specific marketing campaign. They might, for example, include the specific tagline for the campaign, or a reference to something the brand is currently trying to accomplish.

Product or Service Hashtags

Product or service tags help highlight the specific types of products or services a company might offer. These hashtags are designed to help users easily find content about those specific types of products or services as they browse for additional information–and can help a company stand out when users haven’t yet made a decision about what brand they want to use. 

Industry or Industry Niche Hashtags

Industry hashtags help position a brand within the larger conversation in an industry as a whole, or within a niche of that industry. 

Location Hashtags

Location hashtags highlight a specific location: a city, for example. Brands may use those hashtags to mark specific conversations or to share their community involvement. 

User-Generated Content Hashtags

Sometimes, brands want users to share content related to a specific hashtag. They may encourage them to post under a specific category in order to easily collect all that information in one location.

Businesses and influencers alike may use hashtags for a variety of reasons.

1. Hashtags make it easier for users to search content about a specific topic or keyword.

Users often turn to hashtags to learn more about a specific topic. Suppose, for example, that you offer dog grooming services in a specific local area. You might want a hashtag like #doggrooming[city] to help users who are interested in finding dog groomers near you see photos and access reviews. 

2. Hashtags help users find specific social media content. 

Hashtags help organize the conversation on social media and make it easier for users to get the whole story. Suppose, for example, that you’re leading up to a new product launch that’s generating a lot of conversation among your followers. As your campaign builds, you continue to provide hints and teasers.

Unfortunately, not all of your followers can keep up with the steady influx of information as it comes in. If they want to search it later, it may end up being buried by other social media content and unrelated posts. With a hashtag, on the other hand, users can quickly filter content that is only related to that specific discussion, allowing them to get a better look at the details they need.

3. Hashtags help users find content from your business.

Branded hashtags can make it easier for users to sort out content from and about your business in the middle of the wide range of other posts that may come your way. In some cases, users may also choose to follow specific hashtags to get a better idea of what is taking place in a specific conversation over time. 

4. Hashtags help keep all the details of a conversation together.

Conversations on social media are fast-moving and difficult, in some cases, to keep up with. You might be in the middle of a big conversation in your industry. However, with comments and posts spread across multiple business accounts, it can prove difficult for casual users to get a look at the whole picture. Hashtags, on the other hand, can tie that conversation together and allow users to get additional insight. 

Hashtags are also ideal for conversations or content threads that involve user-generated content. By using a hashtag, you can quickly and easily search all content related to the hashtag, which can give you a better idea of what users are posting.

5. Hashtags help you organize your business’s content.

When it comes to organization, hashtags serve two key purposes. First, they force you to narrow down what specific content is actually covering and why it might prove important to your users. Next, it offers an organization system that allows you to more easily access what your business may have already posted about a specific topic in the past and what you may need to cover in the future. 

According to Hubspot, the top 10 most popular hashtags on Instagram for 2022 are:

  1. #love 
  2. #instagood 
  3. #fashion
  4. #photooftheday 
  5. #art
  6. #photography
  7. #instagram
  8. #beautiful
  9. #picoftheday 
  10. #nature

Using these hashtags in your content can help increase visibility, raising the number of people who actually see your content and providing you with a way to improve your overall outreach. Keep in mind, however, that you will need to carefully choose hashtags that fit your brand’s purpose and message. 

Are you using hashtags to help market your business and increase your reach? Do you need help connecting with influencers who can help expand that message–or help as an influencer to connect with new brands?

Need help finding influencers to represent your brand and drive consumer engagement? Reach.Dog is the first-ever holistic platform for creators and influencers. It’s an unbiased website designed to help brands find and partner with influencers. Developed by James Cashiola, Reach.Dog is a free influencer marketing platform. Visit our platform today.

By James Cashiola

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