Hashtags were created for Twitter by Chris Messina.  When he proposed the idea to Twitter the response was, “These things are for nerds. They’re never going to catch on.”  Since the adoption of #hashtags, Words with a Pound sign in front of them, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, Google+ and other social media platforms have started using hashtags to group conversations or subjects.

So what is a Hashtag? First, a hashtag is the Pound (#) sign on your phone or laptop keyboard. A hashtag is also a word or a phrase to group a conversation or your content.  When using a #Hashtag in a social media post it becomes a hyperlink that takes you to the results of that tag.  A hashtag, when searched, allows people to search for specific content on a specific topic, brand or conversation.  It filters online content for those that share the same information as you.  My branded #hashtag is #CoffeeWithCarrie.  Marki Lemons-Ryhal also an instructor uses #ReMarkitable.  If you search for either of these phrases with the pound sign in front of the phrase, you’ll find every post made that is grouped in this conversation.    Check out my Instagram account and add the #CoffeeWithCarrie hashtag.  You’ll see all of my grouped posts on Instagram.

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Hashtags can be used to brand your business and create engagement among your customers and followers.  A great way to build the conversation online.  When you tag your content with a hashtag you’re adding it to a specific conversation.  That hashtag is now a search link that puts your post in a specific category.   By using hashtags it immediately spreads your reach beyond those that actually follow you.

There aren’t really “Rules” to how many hashtags you should use.  However, let’s think about your network and people using a specific hashtag.  If you use too many hashtags it might take away from your key message.  If you use a hashtag that isn’t searched often you won’t be found.  Should you tag a business with their hashtag in your post?  Yes, if it’s relevant to their brand.  But don’t take a hashtag to steal followers.  It’s just bad business.  Let’s look at the top social media platforms and apply #hashtags:

Start Implementing #Hashtags in your Business Today!

  1. Create a simple hashtag
  2. Start using the hashtag each time you post on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Instagram.
  3. Research your industry to determine the top used hashtags. Add these hashtags to your posts.
  4. If you are using a newly created hashtag to brand your business, add that hashtag to your YouTube channels, live streaming platforms and direct mail. Tell your network to use your hashtag find your posts and engage in the conversation.
  5. The number one way to lose followers is to not engage with those followers. Make sure you are checking social media daily.  Yep, I am sure most of you went, “really Carrie, daily”.  Yep, daily.  It’s easy when you turn on notifications and maximize your smartphone apps.  Ok, If not daily, then schedule time to check your updates.   Make a point to engage with your followers just as you would your actual clients.
  6. Check out the top used hashtags for any industry at top-hashtags.com or click now for the top real estate hashtags.

 

Facebook

Twitter Google+

Instagram

2 to 3 hashtags 1 to 3 hashtags 2 or less is better. This is the only social media site that will suggest #hashtags if you allow permission. No rule.  Consider adding 2-4 #hashtags then revive your post a few days later by adding new #hashtags to the comments.

 

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