HashtagsEmoji for Twitter hashtags

Hashtags are now ubiquitous on social networks including Instagram and Facebook, but they began life on Twitter. The goal was to group tweets about a similar topic together, to help people find more content on topics of interest.

It's clear that hashtags have caught on. But are they useful for Twitter marketers? And do they increase engagement on the social network?

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  • Most engaging

    5 of the 10 most engaging hashtags in 2017 were about one South Korean boy band.

  • Most popular

    The most popular Twitter hashtags: #giveaway #quote #win #marketing #travel.

  • Usage

    Nearly 40% of tweets contain a hashtag.

  • Engagement

    In general, hashtags do not increase Twitter engagement.

Hashtags on Twitter

Hashtags are incredibly popular. Nearly 40% of all tweets contain at least one. And since around 500 million tweets are sent each day, that adds up to almost 200 million tweets per day including a hashtag.

And yet, the vast majority of tweets contain no hashtags at all. These are likely one-off posts that don't belong in a group, or the users who post them prefer not to have their tweets grouped with others.

Hashtags used per tweet

  • Hashtags used
H_hashtag_graph_02 Created with Sketch. 30B 10B 20B 0b 40B 0 5 10 15 Nb Tags Frequency

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Hashtag engagements

For Twitter marketers, hashtags are seen as a valuable tool. It makes sense that by grouping your posts with others, your posts become easier to find. And the easier they are to find, the more likely it is that people will like, retweet, or reply.

But as you can see, using hashtags does not appear to increase Twitter engagement. In fact, the median number of engagements goes down with each hashtag added.

Note: We've used the median to mitigate the effects of very large Twitter accounts that may not use hashtags. If we use the average, the results are even more stark.
What does this mean ?

Median engagements per hashtag

  • Median engagements
H_hashtag_graph_03 Created with Sketch. 750 250 500 0b 1000 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 Nb Tags Engagement Median

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What does this mean ?

We saw a similar result in our Instagram Report, and the potential reasons are likely the same. For one, these results may be skewed by the top Twitter accounts whose owners don't need to use hashtags.

It may also simply mean that hashtags are not the biggest indicator of a tweet's success - the quality of the content is.

Most Popular Twitter Hashtags 2017

Not all hashtags are equal. Some hashtags are used at an astonishingly high rate, while most are either too niche to be common, or are simply jokes.

Here are the most common hashtags in our database for 2017. Social media marketers will likely want to steer clear of these, as are too crowded to be used effectively.

Top Twitter hashtags in 2017

  • Number of times used
H_hashtag_graph_04 Created with Sketch. 900k 800k 700k 600k 500k 1M #travel #marketing #giveaway #win #quote #art #RT #startup #socialmedia

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Most Engaging Hashtags 2017

Some hashtags seem to engender more engagements (likes and retweets) than others. So which were the most engaging hashtags in 2017?

Incredibly, the top four hashtags all relate to South Korean pop group BTS. The group's singles Love Yourself and DNA both made our list, as did group member Jimin. Another South Korean pop band, EXO, also features on this list. This shows how passionate and engaged this fanbase is.

#LOVE_YOURSELF appears in our database around 26,000 times, with an average rate of nearly 99,000 engagements per tweet! Download full report (33 pages)

Hashtags with highest engagement rates in 2017

  • Average engagements per tweet
H_hashtag_graph_05 Created with Sketch. 75k 50k 25k 0 100k #Love_Yours… #JIMIN #BTS #DNA #TheLastJedi #iPhoneX #POTUS #SolarEclip… #EXO

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