If you have been around social media for a while, you probably have taken notice of hashtags used. Hashtags can be seen as keywords with the # symbol on Twitter and Instagram, and newly on Facebook. They do more than let others know what you’re talking about and providing an entertaining element, they are functional in social media by helping people search for what they need through social media more efficiently.
What is a Hashtag?
A hashtag can be difficult to define, though if you see it, you understand what it is and how it works. Hashtags are like keywords to explain something and file something. Take, for example, a file cabinet. In each file cabinet there are different file folders for different subjects and topics. A hashtag is like a file folder, prviding more information to any given topic. Through social media, different people use hashtags in different ways, ranging from adding humor to their status update, to wanting to file it away for later.
How to Use Hashtags
Currently, haghtags are frequently used on Twitter, where they originated. You can also find them other places too, like Facebook, Instagram, Vine and even YouTube. Whether you use social media for branding or just general business, you should learn how to use them effectively. A good way to look at them is like descriptive keywords and filing information. If you are updating your status with a more personal Twitter post about your pet to become interactive with your followers, find a hashtag other pet owners on Twitter use, such as “PetsOfInstagram.” Yes, this is a very popular hashtag. When someone searches this “PetsOfInstagram” hashtag, they find yours among the results and take notice.
Tips for Using Hashtags for Business
If your main purpose to social media is for your business, consider these tips for finding and using hashtags:
• Do a daily search of trends and hashtags being used often. Can you use these in your own status updates?
• Click Twitter trends and find out what the buzz is about, using a similar hashtag for your own updates.
• Consider what your audience is searching for when choosing hashtags for your updates.
• Follow your competition and see which of their hashtags are popular, using this as inspiration for your own.
More Uses of Hashtags
Not only do hashtags help you find what you need and let your status updates get seen by more people, but it also helps you to interact and get involved in interesting discussions. Even contests on Twitter and Facebook now use hashtags. If you want to start a contest during the holiday season, create a hashtag for your business with a unique keyword. Let people know if they post anything with that hashtag, they get one entry in the contest. Before the end of the contest giveaway, do a search for that hashtag, and tally up the votes, choosing the winner.