Often, when our team is researching and writing GRIT’s blog posts, we generate questions that are out of scope for the immediate topic but that we want to bring back and answer for the benefit of our valued clients and followers. Case in point, our recent article about social media marketing success in a changing landscape raised an intriguing question related to Social SEO that our team wanted to explore and share up-to-date insights about: are hashtags still relevant in the social media landscape of 2024?

It turns out that this is a divisive question. Opinions abound in social media marketing discussions all over the internet, with some digital marketers contending that these little metadata tags accompanied by the # symbol and used to categorize social content are no longer necessary. In contrast, others passionately defend their value and use.

So, who is right?


The Answer is Complicated

As with most things, the answer to the hashtag relevance question is not a simple “yes” or “no.” The answer in this case appears to be “it depends”—on a multitude of factors surrounding any given social media post, including (but certainly not limited to):

  • which social platform (e.g., Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.) you’re posting on and how its algorithm works
  • how many followers your account has
  • what type of content (video, photos, text) your post contains
  • whether you paid to sponsor or “boost” the post

There is some compelling evidence to suggest that the era of the hashtag is fading. However, the defenders have proven that there is still quite a bit of value in the strategic employment of hashtags to impact your social SEO. (Emphasis on “strategic”—appending 30 hashtags to a single Instagram post is not helpful these days, though plenty of people still do it!)


Moderation May Be the Key to Success

From our perspective, the best approach to hashtagging in 2024 is one that embraces moderation and thoughtfulness across the board while optimizing for each specific platform. This is borne out in recent studies and data collected by several leading social media industry solutions providers and other experts. Below, you will find some of the most up-to-date guidance and best practices on how to use hashtags effectively to increase your brand’s reach on social media backed by that data. But first, let’s look at some of the arguments both for and against using hashtags.


The Top 3 Arguments for Using Hashtags in 2024

The best reasons to continue using hashtags are those that have endured since the earliest days of their employment on social media. (Though, changes to platforms’ algorithms and the sheer amount of content posted daily have changed how effective they may be.)

  1. A few well-chosen hashtags will help categorize your post and enhance your social media discovery. Hashtags are “followable” on some platforms (most notably on Meta’s Facebook and Instagram), so people who follow or search a specific hashtag—but not your individual account—may discover your content.
  2. Branded hashtags allow you to “own” a little corner of each social media platform. As Hootsuite notes, “Creating a branded hashtag can be an effective way to promote your business and drive conversations. Branded hashtags can be as simple as using your company name or incorporating a tagline into a hashtag.”
  3. While perhaps less relevant on the legacy social media platforms, viral “challenges” on TikTok continue for days or weeks using trending hashtags. If appropriate for your brand identity, hopping on these trends can help your content get seen by millions of people.


The Top 3 Arguments Against Using Hashtags in 2024

It is important to remember that these views represent a bit of an extreme take. Completely abandoning hashtags is not recommended at this time! But here’s a rundown of the biggest anti-hashtag arguments.

  1. There are too many accounts these days, and the chances that your post will win at the social media discovery game are slim based on hashtags alone. This is because we’re all using the same hashtags (and some of them are being “banned” by specific platforms).
  2. Users have spammed irrelevant hashtags on posts for years, and the platforms know this and have deemphasized hashtags across the board.
  3. The rise of AI has made hashtags obsolete, as the technology can easily identify relevant language without the use of extraneous tags.


How to Use Hashtags on Each of the Major Social Platforms Now

We have established that there is likely some value in using hashtags, but your approach should differ depending on the network/app. And you should plan to always go for quality over quantity—more is not typically better when it comes to digital marketing!

Several social media management authorities and content marketing tool providers, like Hootsuite, recommend never using more than 10 hashtags for any post.

Additionally, if you skip hashtags on certain platforms, it’s probably not that big of an issue as long as you’re incorporating keywords and creating can’t-miss content that appeals to your current and prospective followers. It’s also an open secret that nearly all of the platforms that aren’t TikTok have been prioritizing video content in recent times, and that type of content will likely get better reach regardless of whether any hashtags appear in the accompanying caption!

Read on for a brief review of what your basic hashtag strategy should be on the largest social platforms of 2024.



First online in early 2004, Meta’s legacy social network was around before hashtags were used to categorize content. It was the company’s acquisition of Instagram in 2012—and the eventual introduction of cross-posting capabilities between the two apps—that brought hashtags to Facebook. And it can be said that they never totally became integrated into the Facebook experience. With that in mind, using hashtags on Facebook has never truly been necessary. They will not do much to increase your organic reach or engagement because—let’s face it—Facebook will always prioritize content its users have paid to promote.

    • Do Facebook hashtags matter?
      The general consensus is “not really.” However, using them can help unify your content between Meta’s platforms. Per Sprout Social, “Hashtags on Facebook help you categorize your content and make it easier for users to find your posts. While they may not be as popular as on other platforms, they’re still very effective if you use them correctly.”
    • How many hashtags should you use on Facebook?
      Both SocialPilot and Hootsuite recommend using 2-3 hashtags on Facebook. Using hashtags “correctly” on the platform means using them sparingly. There is a real risk of making your post appear spammy if you use too many.



As Instagram evolved from a relatively simple iPhone photo-sharing app in 2010 to a full-fledged social media platform linked to Facebook (and now to Threads), hashtag use on the platform also evolved. For a time, hashtags were essential on the platform for increasing reach and discoverability, but that eventually led to spammers utilizing irrelevant hashtags to get scammy posts in front of more eyes. Content moderators on the platform fought back, though the 30-hashtag limit per post was still likely too generous, and abuse continued. Fast forward to March 2022, and the head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, publicly stated that hashtags “don’t really matter” on the platform anymore. However, that’s not the entire story.

    • Do Instagram hashtags matter?
      It might be argued that hashtags matter the most on Instagram—even after leaders’ comments that they don’t. This is because it’s now more about the hashtags you don’t use than the ones you do. That’s right. The “wrong” hashtags can hurt you—likely much more than the “right” hashtags can help. (Blame the bad actors we noted above.) With Instagram leaders openly saying that hashtags don’t matter on the platform anymore, Hootsuite conducted an experiment that tested keywords in captions against hashtags for engagement. The results showed that keyword-focused captions generated better reach and more engagement than hashtags on Instagram in 2022. At the same time, using so-called “banned” hashtags on the platform made posts perform worse than expected. Results were echoed in a similar Instagram hashtagging experiment conducted by Mention in late 2023.
    • How many hashtags should you use on Instagram?
      Hootsuite suggests the optimal number of hashtags is 3-5. This guidance arose from comments that the head of Instagram made in the spring of 2022 when he asserted that hashtags don’t really matter but that users should aim to include no more than 3-5 per post. Additionally, it’s important to note that creators need to avoid banned hashtags or risk having their posts perform particularly poorly. However, the catch is that Instagram does not publish lists of these outlawed tags. Plenty of crowdsourced lists can be found online, and referencing one or more of those may be helpful as you plan content.
    • What about hashtags on Threads?
      The Instagram-associated app added support for “tagging” at the end of 2023, but the platform does not technically use hashtags. As described in an article by The Verge when the feature rolled out, “When composing a Threads post, you start a tag by tapping the # symbol and then typing out your topic. But instead of being limited to just one word, you can type out a whole phrase (with spaces!) and add special characters.” The catch here is that you can only include one such tag per post.



As the world’s largest professional network, LinkedIn is an essential social media platform for employers and individual employees—especially those in the B2B world. And while it’s been around since 2003, its slow and steady growth over time and its professional niche have insulated it a bit from some of the issues other platforms have faced. In fact, its sustained success and evolution into a content powerhouse have garnered LinkedIn renewed attention in an era when other platforms are facing controversy.

    • Do LinkedIn hashtags matter?
      Yes – because they still work to create social media engagement. The professional nature of the platform and the fact that there has long been a paid subscription version has kept spam to a minimum for longer than on some other platforms, which has kept hashtags relevant. Hootsuite notes: “Hashtags for LinkedIn act as labels for your content and bring in more views, clicks, and connections. Clicking on a hashtag or searching for one in the search bar brings up all posts on LinkedIn sharing that tag.”
    • How many hashtags should you use on LinkedIn?
      1-5 hashtags is optimal, per Hootsuite.



While TikTok is not a platform that the GRIT team tends to recommend to business and nonprofit clients like those we work with most closely, the video-first platform has been adopted by more brands over time. If you have determined that your target audience is on TikTok, it may be valuable to create an account. However, keeping up with creating video content and fully engaging with the platform can take a lot of time and focus to achieve.

    • Do TikTok hashtags matter?
      Because the app is notoriously opaque regarding how its algorithm works, there are hearty arguments for both “yes” and “no.” As mentioned above, the main positive of using hashtags on the platform relates to participating in viral challenges with the use of trending hashtags.
    • How many hashtags should you use on TikTok?
      3-5 hashtags is optimal, per Hootsuite.



Hashtags rose to prominence back when Twitter was in its heyday. In fact, Twitter was where they got their start in the social sphere in August 2007. They’re still relevant here today, but the platform itself is arguably losing favor, with a reported 30% usage decline in the last year. And, with non-paid accounts limited to 280 characters per tweet, users need to be economical with hashtags.

    • Do X hashtags matter?
      But know that they count toward the 280-character limit.
    • How many hashtags should you use on X?
      Hootsuite says to use 1-2 hashtags per tweet.



On YouTube, traditional SEO practices, like including relevant keywords in your video’s title and description, seem to offer creators more value than hashtags. Ensuring that your entire channel is optimized and that you are regularly posting new videos is also vital to success in growing a following on this video content platform.

    • Do YouTube hashtags matter?
      Likely not as much as more traditional keywords. It’s crucial to include keywords in the title and description of any video. Hashtags may still provide some value—they are searchable on the platform—but including them in your description text should be adequate.
    • How many hashtags should you use on YouTube?
      Hootsuite says 3-5 hashtags on YouTube. There is an “unspoken” limit of 15 total hashtags on YouTube, and Google warns that if a playlist or video has more than 60 hashtags, it will ignore all of the hashtags on that content. Additionally, “over-tagging” may lead to videos being removed.


What About Location-Specific Hashtags?

Including the name of your city, neighborhood, county, etc., as a hashtag can be useful on some platforms. However, these should be employed in very limited instances, such as to tag an exact location of a specific event. Content creators must also remember that they count toward the target number of hashtags on a given platform, so using a maximum of one or two per post—when appropriate—is the way to go. Location-specific tags are most applicable on Meta platforms, specifically Instagram. However, posts can also be separately geo-tagged with a location, so keep that in mind.


The Conclusion: Hashtags Still Matter! But Be Strategic.

Taking a strategic, “less is more” approach to incorporating hashtags is the name of the game in 2024. Plenty of tools exist that can help with this, but you don’t have to get too bogged down in generating hashtag ideas. We suggest creating a hashtag master list you pick and choose from before publishing any content on social media. This can be as simple as a spreadsheet or shared document that can be referenced anytime you draft a social media post.

And if you need inspiration to create some great hashtags for your list, check out what your closest competitors are doing. Competitive research is an often-overlooked activity that can provide a lot of value when looking for trending topics in your industry or just wanting to see what others are up to. (We’ll dig into this practice more in an upcoming post!)

In the end, it’s the quality of your content that matters most—perhaps now more than ever before.


Need help creating top-notch content that will help your brand get noticed?

The GRIT team is here to help you get more engagement on social media—with or without hashtags! Our team of digital marketing pros keeps up with all of the latest social media trends and can assist you in making the most of your efforts.

Connect with us to discuss your goals and put our team of experts to work for your brand.