Learn When to Tag & When to Hashtag [Social Media Tip]

DhariLo Social Media Marketing Tip 67: Know When to Use Tags or Hashtags

One simple thing in social media that can cause a lot of confusion is knowing when tagging an account may be more beneficial than using a hashtag. Knowing the difference could affect the reach of your post, so let me help you sort this out.

There are many instances where you have to option to tag a user (be it a brand, an event, or person), but you also have the option to hashtag the entity. Bah! What to do?

First lets go over some basic functions:

  • TAG: When I say “tag” I am referring to mentioning an account using their username or handle in post messaging. On Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook the swirly “a” followed by the handle or page name will “tag” the specific user. This means they’ll be notified that you have mentioned them in a post. On Google + the same function is performed by using the plus sign in front of the username.
  • HASHTAG: The hash symbol directly followed by a word is called a hashtag. Hashtags are searchable (keep this in mind).


Now, when to tag & when to hashtag? Well, that depends on what your objective is. My rule of thumb is, if you’d like to get the attention of the user, tag away. Now, if you’re looking to be found, or expand your reach then use the appropriate hashtag. For example: If you were marketing an event, and were hoping the event organizers will see a tweet or Facebook tag and retweet or share your post then you should tag the event handle. On the other hand if you’d like a larger amount of people to see your post, using the event hashtag could result in more traffic to your post. If you’re wondering why, it’s because hashtags are searchable, and people having conversations based on the event (or topic) will be using the corresponding hashtags.

The conclusion? Test. Yes, again test is the answer. Remember to plan enough lead time so you have the opportunity to try messaging with tags and hashtags and gauge which perform the best!



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