How to Use Hashtags

If you are looking for ways to increase your visibility through your social networks, hashtags have evolved as a great tool. Hashtags aren’t just for Twitter anymore.  LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram, Facebook and more have embraced hashtags – giving their users an easier way to search and find information and marketers a great way to gain visibility.

What are Hashtags

A hashtag is any word or phrase that is preceeded by the  hash(#) mark. Hashtags are used to identify a keyword or topic of interest someone might search on. For example, if you wanted to find information on social media, you could run a search on a social networking like Twitter or LinkedIn for #socialmedia. All the content posted with this hashtag would then populate.

Why use Hashtags

Hashtags are being used today for many reasons. Some of the most common include

  • Getting more visibility for your content beyond your connected network
  • Getting exposure to other users interested in similar topics
  • Linking online conversations together (like all tweets from a conference)

In addition to greater exposure, hashtags are a great way to identify people to connect with through your social networks. By searching with the hashtag through your social networks you will see other users talking about similar topics of interest. It’s also a great way to gather competitive intelligence on trending topics.

How to Use a Hashtag

Using a hashtag is as simple as including the hash symbol(#) in front of your keyword or phrase in your social update.  When using a phrase versus a single keyword, we recommend making sure there are no spaces. It can make search much easier. For example:

Here is a great post explain how to use hashtags. #socialmedia

Or

Hashtags explained for the #CPA looking to grow their visibility online.

Finding Hashtags

Hashtags can be created on the fly, which is especially helpful for conferences or events. However, for most other purposes, we recommend using those that are already established. Newly created hashtags have to be promoted for use. If you are only person using the hashtag, your visibility will be limited. By using hashtags that already exist or are trending (see Twitter for this), you will have better exposure to a larger audience online. You can easily find a hashtag by searching on your respective social network or by going to hashtags.org.

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