Recently, we analyzed millions of tweets and found that some Twitter hashtags correlate with a 1,065% increase in engagement -- clearly, hashtags still matter in 2018.
More specifically, we found tweets with no hashtags averaged 1.7 interactions per tweet. Tweets that included #ico, the most popular hashtag, had an average of 19.8 interactions per tweet. That’s almost 12x higher engagement with the right hashtag.
We saw similar increases with other popular hashtags, like #medicaid, #ethereum, and #crowdfunding.
There are two possible explanations for this:
- Hashtags for popular searches like #tuesdaymotivation increase impressions per tweet. More impressions lead to more likes, replies, and retweets.
- Hashtags provide insight into content that naturally performs well. This might be true for #photography, #funny, or #pets.
To help increase engagement with potential customers on Twitter, we’ve compiled a list of the best hashtags to increase likes, retweets, and replies. Our list is by no means all-encompassing -- we only covered a specific time period, and as trends change, so will popular hashtags. But the list should still provide longterm insights into general popular topics on Twitter, helping you create a more relevant content strategy.
We used a dataset of tweets ranging from January 2017 to May 2018. Hashtags were only included if they occurred in a minimum of 300 tweets, by at least 100 unique accounts.
Best Hashtags to Get Likes on Twitter
First, let’s take a look at the 25 best hashtags to get likes on a tweet:
Some of these hashtags might surprise you -- #worldwaterday, for example, doesn’t have much in common with #tuesdaymotivation, and yet both made the list.
The most popular hashtags fit into a few categories:
- Cryptocurrency: The recent rise of cryptocurrency wasn’t lost on social media -- #ico, #ethereum, and #crypto occupied the top three spots. In addition, #cryptocurrency and #bitcoin were near the top of the list. It’s uncertain whether this trend will continue beyond 2018.
- History Months: #blackhistorymonth and #womenshistorymonth ranked 5th and 6th, respectively.
- Holidays/Other Days: The rest of the top 25 included #happyeaster, #happybirthday, #internationalwomensday, #piday, #worldwaterday, and #starwarsday. Also, #fathersday, #maythe4thbewithyou, and #memorialday just missed the cut.
- Contests: Social media contests, a popular way to increase engagement, are represented with #contest and #giveaway.
- Evergreen Content: Less topical but strong-performing content like #photography, #funny, and #pets also ranked.
Hopefully, the list is broad enough to help you easily incorporate one or two topics into your social media strategy -- when it’s a holiday, for example, your business might do well posting Tweets relevant to that day, or if your engagement is low, you might consider creating a social media contest.
Best Hashtags to get Retweets
Some of the following hashtags overlap with our most-liked hashtags on Twitter, but others stand alone as popular for getting retweets but not necessarily for getting likes. Here’s a list of the 25 we found to be most retweeted:
The most-retweeted list was similar to the most-liked list, but there are a few differences:
- Healthcare issues like #medicaid, #aca, #medicare, #healthinsurance, and #opioid all ranked higher.
- Contest hashtags like #giveaway, #contest, and #win also ranked higher.
There are a few possible explanations for these most retweeted hashtags. For instance, contest hashtags might rank high on the list as a result of contest creators asking for retweets instead of likes. This is probably a good strategy for smaller Twitter accounts looking to reach a new audience. However, a Twitter account with a lot of followers might see better results asking for likes, which could re-engage their existing audience.
Best Hashtags to Get Replies on Twitter
If you’re interested in engaging more meaningfully with your Twitter audience, you might benefit from the hashtags in this list. These 25 hashtags are most likely to result in a direct reply on Twitter, ideally sparking a conversation between your business and potential customers.
The most-replied-to hashtags are similar to our previous lists, but there are a few differences:
- #ff or Follow Friday, a popular way to get more followers on Twitter, made its first appearance.
- Similarly themed but new hashtags that ranked were #merrychristmas, #competition, #metoo, #gold, #thankful, and #birthday.
- Also making its first appearance was #alcohol. Maybe this is the Twitter equivalent of drunk-dialing?
Perhaps you might consider asking a question using one of these hashtags (“Favorite #movies?”) to increase replies from your audience. Twitter is meant to be a social platform -- with these hashtags, you can hopefully elevate the conversations you’re having with your followers.
Best Twitter Hashtags for 2018
We also ran additional statistics on which hashtags performed the best from January 2018 to May 2018. Here’s the list of the 25 highest-performing hashtags for that period of time:
Currently, the topic cryptocurrency remains popular with #crypto, #cryptocurrency, #bitcoin, and #cryptocurrencies. However, there were a few new additions:
- #blockchain, which is the underlying technology behind bitcoin, has seen an increase in engagement. This makes sense, since Facebook, Amazon, and many others have recently made forays into using it. Blockchain also has a wide variety of possible uses, from financial applications to file sharing.
- #influencermarketing and #influencers also appear to be trending. Influencer marketing is an emerging type of marketing that focuses on using social influencers to amplify your message.
- Other rising, tech-related hashtags included #fintech, #deeplearning, #science, #cloudsecurity, and #java.
Finally, a few other top hashtags for 2018 that just missed the list include #smartcity, #python, #stem, #bots, #predictiveanalytics, #databreach, #robotics, #machinelearning, and #augmentedreality.
We don’t expect you to create quality content by stuffing your tweets with #java #womenintech and #funny -- instead, we hope you can incorporate some of these hashtags into thoughtful messages you believe makes sense for your business, to encourage increased engagement with your audience.
Chris Sabanty codes stuff at HubSpot.