How to use hashtags on Twitter for local businesses

Why do people always say, “Don’t hashtag every word?!” or rather “#Dont #Hashtag #Every #Word”? Ever wonder? Let’s look into it.

Wait, what’s a hashtag?

A hashtag takes a word or term and makes it searchable. It’s a way to organize and follow posts by topic. This is Twitter’s explanation of what a hashtag is:

Figuring Out What Hashtags to Use

For the purpose of this blog post, I’m going to use Edmonton, Alberta as an example… Because hi, Edmonton is where I call home!

Things you have to know: On Twitter we refer to Edmonton as “#yeg”, which is our city’s airport code. Saves a lot of characters and is easy to remember, right? (Depending on where you’re located, you can use the Twitter search function and find out what hashtag is most commonly used for your city.)

If you’re a business who’s target audience and service area is only Edmonton and surrounding areas, #yeg is a hashtag that you probably/should use often.

But, why? Because the majority of people who are looking at the feed for “#yeg” are from Edmonton!

Other popular Edmonton hashtags include:

#yegarts Anything related to arts in Edmonton
#yegbiz Edmonton businesses
#yegcre Edmonton commercial real estate
#yegdt Downtown Edmonton
#yegevents Edmonton events
#yegfit Edmonton fitness
#yegfitness Edmonton fitness
#yegfood Edmonton food
#yegfoodie Edmonton foodie
#edmontoneats Edmonton food
#yegtheatre Edmonton theatre
#yegmedia Edmonton media
#yegre Edmonton real estate (this is usually used by residential agents)
#yegreads Edmonton reads, authors, etc.
#yegtraffic Edmonton traffic
#edmonton Edmonton
#yegwx Edmonton weather

If what your business is tweeting about is related to any of those topics, you’d use the relevant hashtag.

Here are some examples, note how each post is relevant to what’s being tweeted:

How to Use Hashtags

Here are some recommendations, straight from Twitter!

I would say, keep it under THREE hashtags per tweet and you should be golden. Why only up to three? Because if you’re using more than three, you’re probably hashtagging terms that aren’t targeted. And that’s why one of the reasons there’s so many memes that talk about not using so many hashtags…

How to NOT Use Hashtags

Let’s take a look at some “hashtag happy” tweets so we can learn from them. I blurred out any identifying characteristics because I don’t want to be an asshole.

This tweet used SEVEN hashtags. SEVEN. (That’s a lot. Especially when Twitter themselves says using two is ideal.)

In the red boxes you’ll see non-strategic hashtags…

Why are they classified as non-strategic?

Because this restaurant only has locations in Alberta and the festival they’re talking about is Taste of Edmonton, “#beef”. “cheesebread” and “#glutenfree” don’t do anything in terms of attracting new customers.

But, why?

Because people cruising the “#beef” (etc.) hashtag aren’t going to be solely in Edmonton, everyone in the world could be looking at the #beef thread…

But, why?

#beef would be more appropriate for recipes that use beef in them, or for a foodie type Twitter user who’s talking about their meal. It doesn’t matter if someone from another country sees this post, unless they are actually coming to Edmonton to eat at this specific restaurant.

Does that make sense? I hope I explained it clear enough!


The major takeaways from this article are:

  1. Use TARGETED, LOCAL hashtags if you only serve a specific area
  2. Fight the urge to hashtag stupid shit or #stop #hashtagging #every #word

Have questions? Book a discovery call and let’s chat!


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *