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How to use Hashtags correctly for your nonprofit

Hashtags (#) are a great and free way to get eyes on your Giving Tuesday campaigns. In this post we’re going to explore hashtags and how to use them for your Giving Tuesday campaign.

Let's start with the basics...

What ARE hashtags?

The Hashtag, is previously known as the "pound key" for phone systems, and even before that was exclusively used as a computing symbol.

Hashtags can be a word, or phrase, that’s preceded by the pound sign (#). Social media platforms use hashtags—TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and even YouTube as a way to connect users from anywhere in the world with the same interest.

Hashtags are a means of indexing and searching for posts that include that hashtag. You can think of social media platforms now as their own version os a search browser.

By searching for a hashtag you can discover trends, look for the posts that are using the hashtag, and find people who are passionate about the topic.

How to use hashtags

Simply add the #hashtag symbol followed by a word or phrase relevant to your topic, just as we did here. Social Media platforms are designed to recognize the "#" symbol and link your post with all the others using that hashtag.

You can click on hashtags in other posts to see more people using that hashtag, you can type a topic in the search bar to see others writing about your topic, cause or nonprofit.

Why use hashtags?

Let's talk about Twitter (where the # originated)...

The average number of hashtags used each day on Twitter is 125 million. Using 1-2 hashtags can get you 21% more engagement. Tweets with more than 2 hashtags might have 17% lesser engagement. (source)

Today, Hashtags, no matter the platform you’re on, are a great way to find others who care about the same topics. Adding them to your post increases your reach from those who care about what you have to say and increases discoverability from people who aren’t your followers. 

If you’re a water-focused nonprofit, you might search for and target people who are following or using #cleanwater. People using and engaging with that hashtag are more likely to be interested in your cause than those who are not. 

You can use this info to target your campaigns and as a means of finding potential donors to engage with to drive them back to your own campaign.

Top Giving Tuesday hashtags

  • #GivingTuesday
  • #GivingTuesdayNow
  • #GivingTuesday2022

Nonprofit hashtags to use on Giving Tuesday

  • #Donate
  • #Nonprofit
  • #Giveback
  • #Charity
  • #Fundraising
  • #Giving
  • #Philanthropy
  • #SocialImpact
  • #SocialGood

Giving Tuesday hashtag tips

  1. Search for and engage with hashtags relevant to your nonprofit and your Giving Tuesday campaign
  2. Comment, like, and engage with other people’s posts (look for ways to add value)
  3. Follow relevant hashtags to keep an eye on during Giving Tuesday and the months ahead. It’s an opportunity to be a part of the conversation!
  4. Make use of different-sized hashtags on Giving Tuesday 
  5. Don’t use too many hashtags in your posts. Too many can feel spammy and you might even get diminishing returns.
  6. Get cause-specific. Do some research and use hashtags that niche down on your nonprofit’s focus, such #disabilityawareness or #climatechange.

You may be asking..

Why is my hashtag reach so low?

You may not be using the right hashtags. Don't assume your hashtags, as clever as they may seem, are what people are searching. Take a few minutes to search the hashtags you're wanting to use. Most social media platforms will give you an idea of how many posts there are with the exact hashtag you want to use. Alternatively, platforms like Twitter will also share what's trending in that moment. 

How many hashtags should I use?

That all depends on the platform. For example, Instagram allows up to 30 hashtags per post, while Twitter doesn't have a hashtag limit. However there is a character limit and you don't want to use all up with Hashtags.

Should I be using the same hashtags across all platforms?

The short answer is, no.

Each platform has a different demographic of users. To learn more about which demographics which platform, read this. To better understand which hashtags should go where, do a quick search in each platform with the hashtags you intend to use. You will begin to follow the pattern of where your efforts should be when you see where the volume of trending hashtags for your topics is. 

It’s not ONLY about the hashtag

When organizing your campaign and writing copy, don’t forget to keep in mind:

  • who you’re trying to reach,
  • the story you’re trying to tell, and
  • why your potential donor should give.

Successfully using hashtags is an essential part of a Giving Tuesday strategy, but they aren’t the only part. You still need to identify an achievable goal and tell a compelling story with an effective Call-To-Action.

Thankfully, we’ve got you covered with…

Some more tips on how to make your Giving Tuesday and future campaigns the best they can be.

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