Section 5: Hashtags


  • Search and use existing hashtags to connect with larger online community activist groups and contribute to larger conversations
  • Create a new hashtag or make use of an existing counter-public hashtag to further communicate your message and promote conversations around your cause for advocacy
    • Counter-public hashtags are hashtags that respond to a “public” hashtag, which represents the dominant ideology or notion.
    • Counter-publics serve to highlight the minority status and present a response in contrast to a dominant and long-standing ideology that is often oppressive.
      • An example of a counter public hashtag is #NotAllMen in response to the public hashtag #YesAllWomen 


  • Make use of hashtags and other short phrases or a few words that make up your “impact statement” which will serve as your caption
  • Hashtags can be used to promote initiatives, programs and events surrounding your cause for change. They could be the name of your specific organization or one that you would like your post to be linked to. Hashtags can be as specific or general as you would like, however, if your cause for advocacy is very local you may want to be more specific in your choice of hashtags.
    • Examples include #NoPlanetB, #PittFarmersMarket #WorldMentalHealthDay #PghFoodBank
  • Encourage your followers to use your hashtag and provide them with a  guideline so that they have a general idea of what pictures and messages they should include in their posts which include your hashtag
    • If your cause for advocacy is climate change and you want to help spread awareness of this crisis through social media, you might encourage your followers to use and spread the hashtag #EyeOnClimate and include a message about what 
  • Search existing hashtags that other activist organizations have assembled and determine ways in which you can promote the work of another organization that is closely tied with your message and goals


  • Since hashtags are not as prevalent for Facebook as it is for Instagram and Twitter, if you are using hashtags in your posts make sure to not overuse hashtags as it can detract from your message.
  • Refrain from creating long and specific hashtags
  • Short and popular hashtags link the user to the broadest web of posts