Decoding the Hashtag: The Power Symbol of Social Media

Join us as we explore the realm of hashtags, delving into their significance, understanding what they are, and discovering the art of selecting the perfect ones to enhance your posts.

Welcome to Lesson 3! Having learned about crafting engaging captions in the previous lesson, it's time to take another significant step in our journey: understanding and effectively using hashtags. In this lesson, we'll dive into the world of hashtags! What they are, their importance, and how to choose the right ones for your posts.

So, hashtags are keywords or phrases preceded by the pound or hash sign (#) used across various social media platforms. They act as a tagging system that categorizes content, making it discoverable by users interested in that specific topic. For instance, if you're a bakery posting a picture of a cupcake, you might use hashtags like #cupcake, #baking, or #dessert.

When you add a hashtag to your social media post, that post becomes searchable on the platform under that specific hashtag. Users clicking on that hashtag can see all public posts tagged with it. It's an effective way to categorize content and navigate social media platforms. For example, a user interested in home decor ideas could browse the #HomeDecor hashtag to find relevant content. Specific rules govern the usage of hashtags. For instance, on most platforms, it is essential to note that hyphens (-) cannot be included in a hashtag.

The Importance of Using Hashtags

Hashtags can significantly extend your content's reach. Using popular and relevant hashtags makes your posts discoverable to users beyond just your followers. People searching for or following those hashtags can see your posts, thus increasing your visibility and potential engagement. Additionally, posts with hashtags often see higher engagement rates than those without. Hashtags not only make your posts more visible but also invite interaction. Users can click on a hashtag to explore more about the topic, possibly engaging with your content.

Lastly, the hashtag can also be a powerful tool for branding. Creating a unique branded hashtag (like your company name or tagline) can help unify your posts and encourage your followers to use that hashtag when posting about your products or services. It can create a community around your brand and foster user-generated content.

Strategies for Choosing Right Hashtags

  1. Relevance is Key: The hashtags you use should be relevant to your post and your audience. Irrelevant hashtags can lead to negative user experiences and harm your brand image. Ensure that the hashtags you choose accurately represent your content and will likely be topics your audience is interested in.
  2. Research Popular and Trending Hashtags: Regularly research to find popular and trending hashtags in your industry. These can help your posts reach a wider audience and tap into current conversations. However, always ensure these hashtags are relevant to your post before using them.
  3. Don't Overdo It: While using hashtags can boost your post's visibility, overdoing it can make your post look spammy and distract from the message. Most platforms have unspoken rules about how many hashtags to use. On Instagram, for example, it's common to see many hashtags, while on platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn, it's usually best to stick to a maximum of 6 to 7 relevant hashtags.
  4. Monitor Performance: Just as with your captions, keep track of the performance of your hashtags. Which ones are driving engagement? Which ones seem to fall flat? Use this information to inform your future hashtag use.
  5. Experiment with Branded Hashtags: Consider creating a unique hashtag for your brand or specific campaigns. This can foster a sense of community and encourage user-generated content. Plus, clicking on your branded hashtag can show users a curated display of your posts and related content.

Unlock Your Hashtagging Potential with Nixie Social

The Nixie Social platform can assist you in brainstorming and discovering the ideal hashtags to complement your content. Three key features are in place to streamline the process and make it more efficient. Firstly, When generating captions, the AI assistant will automatically provide relevant hashtags if it identifies suitable ones for your content and business. (as demonstrated in the previous lesson’s “Idea” example - Figure 4) Secondly, on the settings page, you have the ability to set a selection of pre-defined hashtags, which can be readily accessed whenever you post new content. This feature proves particularly valuable if you have identified suitable hashtags or wish to incorporate branded hashtags into your content effortlessly.

The left image highlights a text field in the settings page that companies can save predefined hashtags, while the right image shows the publish page where you can retrieve those hashtags by clicking on the pre-defined button.
Fig 1. Left) the setting page where users can set pre-defined hashtags. Right) The publish page, where it is possible to fetch the hashtags with one click. (click on the image to enlarge)

Lastly, the AI assistant can analyze the caption you've prepared and provide suggestions for up to six relevant hashtags. This ensures that your content is effectively tagged to reach the desired audience. Please keep in mind that in order to utilize this feature, you need to write a caption first. Once you have a caption ready, click the “Suggestion” button to take full advantage of the functionality.

The publish page with caption input and hashtags input below it. The image highlights the suggestion button that activates the assistant.
Fig 2. The AI assistant suggests the hashtags by clicking the “Suggestion” button. (click on the image to enlarge)


Hashtags are an essential tool in your social media toolkit. When used correctly, they can significantly enhance your social media performance, increasing your reach, boosting engagement, and reinforcing your brand. In the next lesson, we'll delve into the art of selecting the best image to generate even more engaging content. But for now, happy hashtagging!