A guide to hashtags for churches in 2021


Are hashtags useful for a church on social media? Perhaps you’ve asked this question and may have already searched the internet for an answer. The answer is not always clear, especially when the advice is focused on business users and influencers. In this blog, we look at what hashtags are and how a church can use them effectively.


A guide to hashtags for churches in 2021



What are hashtags?

Hashtags are used on social media to group topics and conversations, and are searchable, enabling users to find a post that has used the hashtag, without following the account. Hashtags should be included in the caption of a post using the # symbol followed by a word or short phrase.

Here, the Church of England has used the hashtag #DayOfReflection in a post on Twitter to raise awareness of an upcoming day.

Twitter post with hashtag


What do you need to know about hashtags?

  • Any word or phrase can become a hashtag, just use the # symbol. For example, #ChurchOnline#Church and #ChurchAtHome are all popular hashtags
  • The hashtag needs to be written in the caption of the post
  • They are widely used on Instagram and Twitter, however typically not used on Facebook
  • Posts with hashtags typically gain 392% more comments than those without (Agorapulse)
  • Hashtags make it easier for others to find your content, even if they don't follow you
  • Hashtags help you find other content on a topic using the same hashtag
  • Try it for yourself. Go to the Twitter or Instagram app, press the magnifying glass and use the search tool to look up a word. You'll discover posts from accounts you've never seen before.


Are hashtags helpful to churches?

Yes, as mentioned above, posts that use hashtags typically receive 70% more likes and 392% more comments than posts without (Agorapulse). This could enable a church to reach significantly more people using social media than if they didn't use any.

How to use hashtags strategically

Before we go on, it’s important to say that hashtags are not a golden ticket - they won’t guarantee large numbers of followers - but they will enable more people to see your posts. After that, it’s up to your social media content to welcome, inspire and invite.

So, let’s go on to talk about strategy. As a church, there are three main groups of hashtags that you could use on every post.

These are:

1. Location-based hashtags

These can be used with every post. Use the name of your town, village, borough, county and neighbouring areas too.

For example: #Norwich, #Norfolk, #NorfolkBroads and #NorfolkUK.

Alongside these, use local hashtags which are commonly used in the area.

By searching #Norfolk on Instagram, we discovered: #NorfolkLife, #NorfolkLiving and #NorwichUniversity which may help the post be seen by Norfolk residents and University students.

2. Topic-based hashtags

Next, choose hashtags that are relevant to the topic. For example, a post about an online service could include the hashtags #ChurchOnline, #SundayService or #ChurchAtHome.

3. Trending (popular) hashtags

Each day a hashtag may become trending (popular) as a large volume of posts use it. It’s not possible to predict what these will be as they are often in response to current events, culture or news. For example, during BBC Question Time the hashtag #BBCQT will often trend on Twitter as many people share their views using the hashtag.

Frequently, days of the week become trending hashtags, such as #MondayMotivation #TuesdayTips #WednesdayWisdom #ThursdayThoughts #FridayFeeling #SaturdayVibes and #SundayFunday. These could inspire your social media throughout the week.

Take a look at what's trending:

  • From the Twitter app, press the magnifying glass then Trending. Search for a topic or take a look at what is currently trending in the UK or around the world.
  • From the Instagram app, press the magnifying glass, then tags and type in a keyword relating to your topic of interest. Instagram will suggest popular hashtags and show the number of posts currently using this hashtag.

When writing your hashtags, choose a mix from each of these groups. Create a note on your phone with relevant hashtags and copy and paste from here when writing your post.

Can I make a custom hashtag?

Any word can become a hashtag, just use the # before writing the word or phrase. It can be a fun way to engage your community in a particular project or discussion. For example, create a hashtag around a sermon series and invite your community to share their thoughts or questions using the hashtag. All the posts using the hashtag will be seen by searching the word or phrase on social media, making it easy to reply, comment and share the discussion. During Lent, the Church of England used the campaign hashtag #LiveLent. Search through the posts engaging with the campaign here.

Learn more about how to use hashtags on Twitter and Instagram


We hope this guide will help you get to grips with hashtags in 2021 and how they can be used as a strategic tool to reach out and engage with your community. 

Liz Morgan
Church Digital Champion

Keep up to date with all things digital and join our Digital Labs newsletter

Subscribe here