What you need to know about Hashtags (#) and @ tags

(Steve Holmes)
Co-founder and Director – Feedsy

Yes, hashtags (#) and @ tags  can definitely help you to build your brand on social media.

As of this year, there are more than 2.8 billion social media users around the world. The statistics relating to consumers are staggering:

  • Around 79% of Australians on the Internet have at least one social media account, and around 59% use social media every day – 35% go on social media at least five times a day.
  • Almost 25% follow one or more social media networking group associated with a brand or business, and almost 65% have an increased trust in brands and businesses that interact with consumers on social media in a meaningful way.

It’s no surprise that more than two million marketers are now using social media marketing to boost sales and foster recognition of their brands.  Part of every social media strategy is the use of # hashtags and @ tags. Here is a guide on how you can use these powerful tools to further your brand.

Not just funny looking symbols

Formerly known as the phone’s pound sign, #hashtags allow you to connect with other social media users based on a common theme or interest. On picture and video sharing social media sites, # tends to represent the description of the content – for example, #yummyfood denotes images of food people are supposed to find “yummy”. On Twitter, # represents a topic of discussion; #yummyfood would be all the Tweets relating to yummy food.

Alternatively #Elvisfan to connect with your inner Elvis and those that feel the same:)

The “at” mark is used on all platforms to link other social media accounts to your post. The intention behind using the @ tag is to encourage others – the users you’re referring to or their followers – to share your content, thus expanding the reach of social media marketing. For example, when people use @ followed by a celebrity’s account, they are hoping that the celebrity will make a comment and their fans will read and share the content.

You can find a business easily by using the @, for example @Feedsy in one of your posts.

Tips for specific social media platforms

Because of the utility of # and @ – and in some cases, overuse, conventions have developed about their proper usage on the different social media platforms. These best practices are meant to maximise the impact and effectiveness of posts and to prevent alienation of social media users.

# Hashtags
In general, hashtags should be:

  • Relevant – Social media users tend to resent feeling as if they have been duped into reading content that has nothing to do with what they’re searching for.
  • Specific – but not so specific that it’s obscure or has a small, limited following, but not so general that your post is lost in a sea of similar content.
  • Used sparingly – Posts that use a ridiculous number of hashtags make social media users wary because it looks “desperate” and overreaching. This is definitely a case of quality being more important than quality.

While Instagram users once embraced posts with dozens of hashtags, what is considered appropriate usage is now more in line with the likes of Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. The magic number is three to five hashtags per post. For platforms like Twitter, where post length is limited, three should be the maximum.

@ Tags
In general, you should use @tags to:

  • Shout out – This is a great way to give thanks (for donating to a cause, providing a service, or being awesome, for example).
  • Give a heads up – to alert a user that you’re talking about or mentioning them.
  • Give credit – where credit is due (if you’re referring to their content, for example).
  • Include another user – usually only if they were also at the event or occurrence you’re talking about in the post. This is more a matter of strategy rather than social media etiquette.

Get social media working for you

For businesses, using social media marketing is no longer something that provides a competitive edge – it’s practically mandatory for business growth. By increasing the reach of your brand and branding in a smart, strategic way, you can harness and mobilise the power of the social media and flourish.

If you would like a no obligation demo of FeedsySocial click here

or simply follow us on Facebook


Happy sharing 🙂


Steve Holmes
Co-Founder and Director of Feedsy, delivering outcomes for small business with FeedsySocial.



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