You've heard about hashtags, and you probably know
that they are widely used on Twitter. You may even know that
they are now being used on other Social Media platforms such as
Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Google+.
You may also wonder, "What the heck are they exactly?"
A hashtag is
a way to label content written for Social Media so it can be easily
shared with people who are interested in, or following, a certain
You create this label by placing a hashtag (#) in front of the
keyword or keywords that are relevant to the subject you are writing
about. Clicking on a hashtagged word shows you other posts
marked with that keyword. It can also be used as a search item.
make you more visible to your target audience, and attract others
interested in the topic to follow you online as well. For example, if I post my newsletter on Twitter, I add
the hashtag relevant to the subject I am writing about:#webdesign or
tells about the many ways they can be used.
(Yes, there is an organization devoted to hashtags!)
"Hashtags can be used to advertise, show emotion, announce an
event, introduce a product, recommend or find people with the same
interests. The main purpose is to make the topic easy to find and to
look for relevant users that can help expand your network."
Hashtags.org has a Quick Start Guide to
Hashtags. It is a good resource. Another
way to learn about using hashtags is to research how other people use
them and then experiment.
It is easy to Create a Hashtag.
- Begin with the # symbol, then add words,
letters and/or numbers
- No Spaces, even if you are using a
phrase or multiple words
- Also, no punctuation or symbols (other
than the # symbol at the beginning, of course)
- Numbers are OK, but you must also have
at least one letter (hashtags can't be only numbers)
Or You Can Use a Hashtag That Already Exists
You don't always have to create a new hashtag, you can
use exisiting hashtags to add to a topic or be part of an ongoing
Don't Spam with Hashtags
no more than two hashtags, or three tops.
sure your content and hashtag are relevant to each other.
add a hashtag to an unrelated message just to promote yourself.
be very useful, but sometimes people can get carried away. Here is a
recent video poking fun at hashtags.
"#Hashtag" with Jimmy Fallon
& Justin Timberlake
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