6 Common Hashtag Mistakes You Need To Avoid

SARAH L. / Marketing

Hashtags are all the hype right now. Whether it’s a digital marketer, social media expert, or a sporadic social media user, no one’s a stranger to hashtags. From promoting content to gaining traction, hashtags come in very handy when you hop on the social media bandwagon. It’s amazing how a symbol that got introduced just a decade ago has today become a quintessential part of our lives.

Whatever internet trend you come across today, you can be sure to find a trailing hashtag bearing its torch of fame. Hashtags have become so popular on Instagram, that a limit has been introduced to prevent its overuse. And that folks, is one of the first hashtag mistakes that make you lose points on your posts. So what are the others? Let’s take stock!

Doing Away With Hashtags Completely

Using too many hashtags in your post will prevent your post from getting published. But that doesn’t mean you should do away with them completely. Unless you are a giant brand that enjoys uninterrupted organic engagement, you need hashtags to build up your brand. They act as stepping stones for your brand to gain recognition and someday, join the ranks of those who can afford to outgrow hashtags.

Hashtags are great real estate for your brand that enables your brand to get more exposure from the netizens. And to quickly gain loads of exposure and recognition, this criss-cross symbol can be your ticket to the top.

Overusing Hashtags

Too little or no hashtags can rob you of the fame and fortune that follows popular hashtags, but that doesn’t mean you gotta plaster your posts with a flurry of tags. As they say, too much of anything is good for nothing. Although they make it possible for even an untargeted audience to locate you and discover your post, overusing them can quickly become your Achilles’ heel.

Even though Instagram gives users the liberty to use up to 30 hashtags in every post, the recommended optimal number is almost 1/3rd that. Making your posts findable on any and every popular hashtag to increase engagement is a tactic that can quickly backfire when users start ignoring your post in favor of genuine content and relevant tags.

Using Only Popular Or Generic Hashtags

It is clear that using too many or no hashtags won’t serve your purpose. But here’s the scoop – it won’t help a lot either if you use popular or generic hashtags. But what’s the problem with using tags that have gone viral? Aren’t they a safe ride on the road to fame ?

Unfortunately, they don’t promise long-term benefits, even if you happen to get hundreds and thousands of likes, which is quite unlikely in itself because of the thick competition. That means putting a full stop on #beautiful and #love tags to engage your audience with industry keywords that actually exist in your target audience’s search bar.

P.S. – Don’t mistake hashtags for captions or you can be secretly shadowbanned.

Not Researching Your Hashtags

Researching hashtags may not be the modus operandi where writing captions are concerned. And that’s where most of us make a mistake. Just like you research your target audience and branding trends, you need to research the tags that you use. This way you don’t have to deal with hashtag mishaps.

To make things easier, there are plenty of hashtags research tools like Ritetag, Tagboard, that are of service to you. On top of that, some of these research tools list the trending tags and retweets to bring your hashtag game on point.

Overlooking Local Hashtags

Now that’s a social media mistake that can cost you some big-time publicity from local audiences and users. It’s good to target a mainstream audience, after all, you get more exposure or recognition. But at what cost? If you are a brand that targets a local audience or is hosting a local event, then you need to use local tags or geotags. Because that’s how your brand gets discovered, and you get a chance to engage with the local community and forge a relationship that can go a long way.

For example, this Instagram post not only mentions the city but also an event to show support, achieve recognition, and of course gain more likes.

Not Analyzing Your Hashtag Use

Throughout your social media exploits, you would have your own tried, tested, and trusted tags that keep your boat afloat. But you can’t rely on these go-to hashtags forever, as there’s always something #trending. This calls for analyzing your hashtag consumption and discovering how they benefit your brand.

Discarding the old and irrelevant ones, you can explore new ones to not only stay on top of things but also reach there with this hashtag tracking tactic. Monitoring the traffic they bring to you, you can easily update your said list of tags with hashtag discovery tools that are available in plenty as both free and paid.


There’s no doubt that the 21st century will be remembered as the origin of the hashtag culture that governed our social media habits. This leaves us with no other option but to adapt to it, and these hashtags mistakes will keep you in check. The words you hash are the strings that tie your message together and beckon your users. And when you use them wisely, you can kill multiple birds with one stone – increasing reach, achieving brand recognition, and of course, getting showered with views, likes, and shares.