Hashtags 101

Social media has given us a lot of incredible things. Girl math, an endless variety of cat videos, super fun filters, but there’s one thing we can all agree has true staying power and will stand the test of time. Hashtags.

Love ’em or hate ’em, you have to admit that hashtags are iconic. What started off as a way to learn about #events or #categorize #information is now the gateway to a wide variety of communities. While many content algorithms are advanced and no longer require hashtags to recommend content, a lot of creators still make use of them. This quick evolution makes understanding and using them tricky. Once you think you’ve got it under control, there’s a change.

In this article, we’ll dive into hashtags, how to use them, and how Clapper uses them.

What are Hashtags? 🤔

Simply put, hashtags are words or phrases content creators use to tag their post. They’re the little “#” that you often see in or after the caption of a video. You’ll often see people using hashtags to discuss current events, breaking news, and pop culture moments. But many creators use hashtags for much more mundane things, like #DIYprojects, #chickenrecipes, and even #Texas. A lot of creators even use them to denote that their video (or they themselves) are part of a specific community.

Hashtags on Clapper 🎬

Clapper uses hashtags the same as any other platform. Creators can include hashtags in the captions of their videos to tag them as part of a specific community or event. While our algorithm doesn’t take them into considering when recommending videos, the vast majority of videos posted to Clapper still include hashtags. Like we’ve said, this loops their videos into a specific list or community and makes it easier for someone to find their content.

One key difference is that Clapper has a hashtag limit. Creators cannot put more than five hashtags on one video. This is an attempt to keep creators from using tags that don’t relate to their video. Having a hashtag limit keeps them focused on the content and finding the right communities to share it with, rather than fixating on pushing it to as many communities as possible. Plus, let’s be honest, no one wants to read more than ten hashtags.

Our goal for hashtags is that they help creators find and explore new communities. Whether you find them from the FYP or actually search for them, we want our hashtags to lead you to other creators that post the content you’re interested in.

Choosing Hashtags 👆

There’s a lot of different ways to choose hashtags, and you’ll often see creators using a few of them on the same video. We’ll talk about more of them below, but the key takeaway is that the hashtags have to be related to your video. We do not recommend using a hashtag just because it’s trending or popular. That can look spammy or fake and be annoying to creators genuinely scrolling through that hashtag. It decreases your credibility as a creator and can hurt your chances of getting followers.

Events and Campaigns 🛑

If your video is related to an event or campaign, use the hashtag in the caption. For example, creators who attended our Dallas Creator Social used the hashtags #DCS and #dallascreatorsocial to share their videos about it. S0me were recapping the event, others were vlogs, and a lot were creators sharing their excitement about the event leading up to it.

Online Movements 🪧

A lot of people will use hashtags associated with online movements. These might be small, like a few channels coming together to work on something, app-wide, like #ClapperProm, or huge movements like #MeToo. If you’re part of a movement or your video relates to a movement, don’t be afraid to use the hashtag in your caption!

The Video Content 📺

The prime source for hashtag inspiration is in your video itself. What are you showing or talking about that could be tagged? If you’re sharing your favorite mug, you could go with #mug and #coffeelovers. If you’re posting a video sharing advice for small business owners, you could use #smallbusiness, #smallbusinesstips, or #businessowner. The video you’re posting should be where most of your hashtags come from.

Your Brand 🥸

A lot of creators will develop a hashtag specifically for their brand, or turn their username into a hashtag. You can use this in any or all of your videos, and as you build a community, they can start using it. If you’re creating content, why not start your own hashtag?

Community Oriented 👯

If you’re part of a community or posting content that relates to a specific community, definitely include their hashtags! This is a great way to have people from that community find you and engage with your video. For example, if someone was posting a video about a book they wrote, they’d want to use #BookClap to get in the bookish community on Clapper.

These are just some of the common ways we see creators using and choosing hashtags. There’s a variety of ways, and you’ll want to introduce some variety into your captions. You don’t have to stick to just one!

Making a Hashtag 🛠️

It’s super easy to create your own hashtag. Literally all you do is write it out! But there are a few things to bear in mind if you want to create your own.

  1. Your hashtag cannot have any spaces or punctuation. The hashtag must be all one word, but you can choose to capitalize some letters. For example, Clapper team outing would be #ClapperTeamOuting or #Clapperteamouting.
  2. Keep your hashtag short. It needs to fit in the caption of a video and (ideally) be something easy to write or remember. So instead of using “#ClappersThirdRocktoberfestCampaign”, we’d stick with “#Rocktoberfest” or “#Rocktoberfest2023”.
  3. Get creative! Your hashtag should communicate what the trend or community is about, but it doesn’t have to spell it out exactly. Try finding something catchy or fun that people will enjoy using. In this vein, we chose to go with #SpookyStories for our Halloween campaign instead of just #HalloweenContest. This still communicates the idea, just in a more fun way.

What about #FYP or #Viral? 💭

A lot of creators think that the best way to make their video blow up is by using the hashtags #FYP and #viral. There’s a couple different reasons as to why, namely because people will search those hashtags. But these tags are oversaturated and it can be really hard to reach new people in them. We suggest avoiding these tags and focusing on others that will be a better fit for your video.

Do I Have to Use Hashtags? ✅

The short answer is no, you don’t have to. While we do recommend using them so it’s easier for people to find your videos, you do not have to use hashtags. In that case you’ll mostly be relying on the algorithm or your community to share your videos, so it’s not the best idea if you’re trying to grow your account.

In Conclusion 🧡

If you suddenly feel like hashtags are a little more daunting than they were before, don’t. Hashtags are a great tool for building your platform and community, and they can make posting more fun. But you want to be smart with your hashtags and make sure you’re selecting the best ones you can.

You can learn more about hashtags from this @ClapperAcademy tutorial.