If you are brand new to social media you may find yourself feeling majorly confused with the term “hashtag” and their purpose. Through Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram and now even on Facebook – you will see people posting stuff #likethis.
A hashtag is created by online users to discuss specific events and relevant issues. They are categorically arranged so that other online users can easily search for the topic and participate in the conversation, no matter where in the world they may be located.
Actually, Chris Messina(a guy considered to be a social technology expert) has been given the credit of coming up with the first hashtag on Twitter. He posted this in August 2007 and his tweet went like this:
“How do you feel about using # (pound) for groups. As in #barcamp [msg]?”
So how do you use hashtags efficiently?
As mentioned above, hashtags are normally used to gather a statement into a category. This makes it easier for other online patrons(your target groups) to identify what your topic is and to also be able to find you through a quick hashtag search.
Say for instance on Instagram. This social platform is based on sharing photos. Every post you make is a photo. Then you can of course add on text in the description underneath. However, just a photo and some regular text won’t make your photo visible to others unless they are your followers or they know your username and search you up. To actually spread your photo and make it “viral” you have to give it some tags.
Hashtag your photos in categories you see fit for the photo, but also do a quick search to see what are popular tags. When people search for hashtag categories, your photos will pop up in the category as they are posted.
I use tags a lot on my instagram profile. Some of my favorite hashtags are #bigideamastermind #anythingispossible #believeinyourself #quotestoliveby #success…
These work for me as they are all related to the topics of my photos and my business.
If you are into food, good hashtags can be: #instafood #foodporn #yummy
If you are into fitness, popular hashtags can be: #fitness #fit #health #workout
In general, some of the absolute most popular instagram hashtags are: #love #beautiful #sky #picoftheday #photooftheday #instamood
Whatever your topic is and whatever you are trying to attract, find the most popular hashtags for that category and tag it to your photo.
I used Instagram as an example because that is where I am the most present myself. I have gotten GREAT responses using various hashtags there. The principle is the same for all the social media platforms that accept hashtags. It’s not very complicated. Just play around with it and see where it takes you.
Here is an example of my #hashtag use:
You may suddenly find yourself completely hung up on hashtags. Overuse is definitely possible, trust me I have had a tendency to go a little overboard with my hashtags as I was figuring it out. It won’t really hurt in any way though, it just may look like a lot of text happening.
Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake just made this, to me, hilarious video on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Topic: Hashtags! It’s funny and I definitely partially recognize bits of myself in there.
It’s funny – Enjoy!