Ah, the all mighty hashtag. Hashtags are an integral part to an effective social media presence. People use hashtags across Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, and even Facebook. There are thousands of hashtags out there, so the trick of choosing the right ones can be little daunting. Nowadays, hashtags are a big deal when it comes to how we use and engage on social media. So, if you want to promote your business, brand or blog  it’s important to understand how to use hashtags.

hashtag-crash-course

But why should you use hashtags?
At their core, hashtags are keywords used across social media as a way to search for similar content. Hashtags create an indexed filing system for any image or post that uses a similar hashtag. This is great because, let’s face it, the internet is saturated with content. And using hashtags this way means more exposure to your content. Using hashtags immediately expands your post’s reach beyond those who follow you. They reach anyone interested in that particular hashtag.

The hash symbol or #, turns any word or phrase (without spaces) into a searchable link. Therefore, hashtags are a really powerful and useful way to connect with new people, build digital communities and grow your following.

Here are three reasons why you should consider using hashtags.

  1. Keep track of what everyone else is posting.
  2. Build your audience.
  3. Get someone’s attention.
  4. Follow along with an event or conference.

So how do you use hashtags?

  • It’s easy. Just add the # sign before a word or phrase without spaces or punctuation.
  • Try not to use too many. The max  is three hashtags per post. Now this doesn’t mean that you can’t comment with more hashtags – use as many as you want in that case. The goal is to not clog up the caption with hashtags. #cluttered (See what I did there? 😉 )
  • If your goal is to use hashtags to build your audience, the best way is to make a list of the people you admire on social media, take note of which hashtags they use and add the appropriate hashtags to your content.

If you’re looking for a way to analyze hashtags, headover to hashtags.org. You can enter in any hashtag and see how well it’s done in the past 24 hours.

P.S. It’s especially relevant to add that on Instagram you can “hide” your hashtags within the caption.

  1. Use a text editor to save all your hashtags in one paragraph.
  2. Add 5 dots with each dot on a separate line.
  3. Add all your hashtags below the 5th dot.
  4. In the text editor, copy & paste all the dots and hashtags into the caption.

You Can Even Create Your Own Hashtags
Keep in mind that you need to be smart about it because #toolonghashtagscanbereallyannoying But creating a hashtag for your business is smart! Let’s say your business, Cyclcops Co. just started using Instagram. Therefore adding #cyclopsandco to all of your posts is a great idea. As a result, this will help people find your product. Most importantly, it encourages customers to add the hashtag to photos they post of and about your product. This can really help spread the word.

While hashtags are a great way to increase your exposure on social media, don’t fall into the trap of simply cramming as many as possible into your posts. It’s important to carefully choose the most relevant hashtags that allow those interested to find you. Hashtag popularity is ever evolving. So, it’s a good idea to stay current.

 

What hashtags do you use? Leave a comment below and let’s discuss!