How to use hashtags and tags

Tags and hashtags are a powerful communications tool. Used strategically, they can add depth, context and colour. They are a great way to extend your reach, increase awareness and deepen your impact.


Hashtags began on Twitter. Now they are used all social media platforms, even in verbal conversation!


What is a hashtag?

To link your post to a topic, simply type in # with your chosen key word or phrase (without spaces). When someone clicks on that hashtag they will be shown all other posts containing the same.

Short and Sweet

Keep your hashtags short so they do not eat into your character allowance. Plus, short hashtags are more memorable and easy to use.

Hashtags should invite people to act/participate, engage further


Social media platforms let you draw in or ‘tag’ other people.

Using a ‘tag’ in social media is when you include the online account name of a the person you want to include. They will receive a notification that they have been ‘tagged’. Any of your followers can, from within your post, click on the linked name to visit that person's profile, if their privacy permissions allow it.

When people tagged in your posts ‘like’ or share your message, your content is shared to and between a bigger audience. By using tags individuals, businesses and organisations can start and spread ideas, initiatives and campaigns collaboratively


In the above image the LEAF account tweeted about the DIVERSify project and tagged @PlantTeams, so this was then retweeted by @PlantTeams (i.e. DIVERSify) as they would have been alerted to the tweet. #intercropping also used to good effect to link tweet to any intercropping conversation.

Tagging photos

Click within a photograph to tag other people, businesses or organisations to your post.


This is where a photo captured with a smartphone camera can be tagged based on the geographical location of the photograph. This can be a useful piece of information for viewers of the photograph.


In the above image @IFarmers were tagged into the photo who then retweeted the tweet. You can also tag people into your videos and use keywords. This makes it easier for people to find your videos and to watch related content.

Choose wisely

Carefully choose the hashtags you use to promote your activity. Check whether the hashtag is already in use by typing it in and seeing if you like the results.

Get on Twitter and tell your followers what you have learned about hashtags – remember to use #speakout in your message to join the #speakout conversation!