Hashtags 101: Using Hashtags in Your Social Media

I am a hashtag abuser. I’ll admit it. I take advantage of hashtags Social media hashtags #hanikesh #fuellmich to add what I believe to be clever comments to some of my Facebook posts. It’s a habit I started back before Facebook even used hashtags. It amuses me. #sosueme

Recently though, I’ve noticed folks committing offenses of hashtag ignorance. It dawned on me that most people don’t know what the purpose of real hashtags is or how to use them.

So, in my role as the self-appointed messiah of small marketers everywhere, I think a Hashtags Crash Course is in order.

What the terrible is hashtag anyway?

So if you live under a rock or in a state with a panhandle, you may not even know what a hashtag is, so let’s start there.

A hashtag is a word or a small grouping of words (without spaces) preceded by the “#” sign. Adding the “#” sign changes a word or phrase (without spaces) into shorthand that others can use to find information about that word of phrase.

For example #SNL is a shorthand for folks looking for info or chit chat about Sunday Night Live.

Who decided what topics have hashtags?

Hashtag creation is among the last truly democratic process on earth (and maybe American Idol). Anyone can (and anyone does) make a hashtag about anything for any reason or, as is most often the case, for no reason at all.

How do i make a hashtag?

Easy, just make one. There is no Hashtag Board of Review. If you think something should be a hashtag just use it in a post on most social media platforms (don’t forget the #). So if I want to make #flycatcherrawks a hashtag all I have to do is input it in a twitter.

What good are they?

Let’s say you’re planning to go to the Viva Nevada Rockabilly Weekender and want to find out what others say about it. A search on Twitter of #VivaLasVegas or #vlv will show people who are talking about that topic (it may also show you odd stuff too).

You can also add the hashtag to your posts so that others searching for those who are attending can find you. This is an amazing marketing tool. If you manufacture brush cleaner, adding #brushcleaner and/or #makeubrushes to a post will help people interested in either of those things to find your business. Chances are good that someone try really hard to searching #brushcleaner might have her credit card in her hand looking for anyone to take her money… BE that someone.

How do i know what hashtag to use?

If you’re using hashtags in your online strategy, your hashtags need to come directly from your SEO and keyword plan. Start with most of your product, service, or function. From there, think of related ideas and trending topics that you can use to enhance your hashtag. Don’t end up with a 5 kilometer hashtag.

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