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The # Hashtag

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The power of social media is that it forces necessary change. Twitter first introduced hashtags to the social media world in 2007. They’ve been confusing marketers and media professionals ever since.

Hashtags have a place on most popular social networks today, including Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Vine and Pinterest.

The #hashtag is likely the most popular means of categorizing content on social media currently. It makes your own content discoverable and allows you to find relevant content from other people and businesses. The hashtag also allows you to connect with and engage other social media users based on a common theme or interest.

Knowing how to use hashtags is fundamental to your success on social media. Here are a few best practices to help you achieve that success. In practice, hashtags are used to categorize social media content into easily navigable lists. By including the #[INSERT KEYWORD] in a tweet, it then becomes visible inline with other posts using that same hashtag.

3 elements of the perfect #Hashtag are one that is memorable, unique and relevant. Remember to keep it simple and somewhat specific.

  • Don’t hashtag everything.
  • Don’t have more hashtags than words.
  • Don’t go too long or too clever.
  • Do keep It Simple And Relevant: …
  • Do utilize Trending Hashtags: …
  • Do use Hashtag On Multiple Social Media Channels: …
  • Do search The Hashtag Before You Use It: …
  • Do be Specific And Unique: …
  • Do Create Brand Engagement: …

And finally, be sure cater hashtags to the social network you’re using.

While hashtags on all social networks have the same fundamental purpose of content tagging and discovery, the use of hashtags still varies by network.

Before using hashtags, do research on the proper way to use them for that particular network. Most networks will have guides for hashtag selection and use. Take a look here at Twitter’s). Also take the time to discover the most popular and most relevant hashtags on a specific subject for each network. This extra time you invest will pay off in engagement down the road.