*Disclaimer – Hashtags are not a guaranteed solution to grow your social media following. They are a supplemental tool that may improve visibility on your content (depending on the platform), and help you better organize campaigns/initiatives. This guide is intended to help you utilize them in an effective way that fits your campaign.
The goal of this document is to provide a guide to using hashtags across each social media platform. It will cover what they can be used for, how many to use, how to format them, and more.
- Post quality and consistency is most important. Good hashtag use will not save or boost content that is boring/uninteresting. Showing polished content regularly is the first step.
- Find your niche and look for the golden middle ground for hashtags.
- Only using very popular hashtags will drown your content out, while using hashtags that have no engagement will not help either. Try to use a mix of both if possible.
- Search hashtags before using them to find an effective balance.
- A/B test! This is meant as a guide, not a set of rules.
- Experiment with different hashtags, times of day, formatting, etc. to find something that works for your game and then stick with it.
- Hashtags are a very useful tool organization for your campaigns.
- Hashtags are a good research tool to find what content is working best in your niche/genre.
Purpose of Hashtags
Highlighting Quality Assets
- When sharing new assets (GIFs, concept art, BTS video of development, etc.) there are many hashtags you can use to boost discoverability, and give the assets the best chance at being shared.
- Hashtags are a great way to track/group specific initiatives. Things like fan art shares, contests, community screenshots, etc. can all have a dedicated hashtag created to help you search through submissions and stay organized.
- Gaming event hashtags are a great opportunity for your brand to be part of the conversation surrounding the event, and can be used to engage your community with questions related to the event.
- Monitoring and finding ways to utilize trending hashtags can be a great way to improve discoverability for your account.
- Important to consider which hashtags you do engage with. If your feed is only memes and trending hashtags, it can come across as spammy and scare off your followers.
- While you’ll want to react quickly to these trends to benefit from them, you should still take a step back and consider whether there could be any blowback from your meme/trending post.
- Use hashtags to see what content is currently trending or successful in your niche! The social media landscape is always changing and it’s important to follow what’s currently popular and what is performing well on each platform.
How to Use Hashtags
- Twitter recommends tweets in user feeds based on topics they are likely to engage with. Hashtags can help sort these tweets into these topics.
- You can use relevant descriptor hashtags to help your posts be seen by your target audience.
- The algorithm still plays a role here, and the posts will need to perform well to be recommended to users, but it’s good to strive to get your posts listed under relevant topics.
How to use on twitter:
- Use hashtags in a sentence
- Or, separate by a line break
- Hashtags are functional in that they can be searched and sorted. However, they are not recommended to users in the same way they are on Twitter, and so they are much less effective.
- Won’t significantly improve discoverability for your posts, especially for smaller indie games. Facebook ads would be more effective at increasing exposure.
How to use on Facebook:
- If possible, use the hashtags in a sentence, OR use a line break and put them at the bottom of your post.
- Instagram has a 30 hashtag limit. When you are aiming to grow an audience, it’s advised to use as many appropriate/relevant hashtags as possible.
- Use hashtags that best describe your game’s genre, niche, style, etc. in order to show up in the Explore tab for users that are most likely to like your game.
- Do not use ONLY hashtags. It’s still important to have unique/interesting copy in the caption for your post, or your account will seem lifeless and not encourage engagement.
- Remember, your goal is earning new followers and building a community for your game. Communities need to feel as though effort is being made for them, and they are being seen and heard.
How to use on instagram:
- Separate the hashtags into a block that is separate from the main copy of the post
- Gives a cleaner look to the post, and hides the hashtags
- Two common ways to do this:
- Using symbols/bullets underneath the main copy:
#hashtag1 #hashtag 2 #hashtag3 …etc
- Posting the block of hashtags in a comment on the post.
- Using symbols/bullets underneath the main copy:
- Both of these methods are effective, but A/B test to see which works best for your account
Some hashtags to get you started
- General hashtags to use
- #gamedev #indiegamedev #indiedev #gamedevelopment #indiedeveloper
- #games #gaming
- #indiegame #indiegames #indiegaming #indiewatch
- Time Sensitive / Specific Day hashtags
- 2PM EST every Wednesday
- Dev software/tools
- #madewithunity #unity
- #madewithunreal #unrealengine #UE4
- Art focused
- Game genre