A few years ago, okay, quite a few years ago, I created a Twitter account, and that was the first time I had ever used a hashtag. It was new to me then, and I didn’t exactly understand the purpose at the time. I thought it was neat that I could write things like #Whatweretheythinking OR #Mustread, but I didn’t really understand what they were for until much later.


Hashtags are used to search for a common topic or track topics. So if you wanted to know for example, what people were saying about gardening you might pop that into the search tab, and anyone who had posted something that used the hashtag #gardening would come up. Or if you were at a conference and everyone posted a picture with the hashtag #Awesomeconference2018 it would link all those posts together.


You can use hashtags on most social media sites. The largest ones are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Google+ but there are other smaller social media sites that use them as well. At one point, Facebook didn’t use hashtags, but you would still see them when someone was describing something such as #Livelifetothefullest or something like that to summarize a post. They adopted hashtags in 2013 as they realized the advertising potential that could come from using them.


From a marketing perspective, it’s a great way to reach new customers because for me if someone wrote in the search section of their social media site that they were looking for a content writer if I had hashtagged that on some of my posts then it would be easy for them to find me. It’s also a way of getting people excited about your brand with a hashtag like #Gardenersunite which may go hand in hand with your companies slogan.


It’s similar to going to google and doing a search, but with hashtags, you can also find interesting companies or pages that you might want to follow. If in that same search for gardening there was a blogger who posted articles about gardening that you liked to read you could follow that person and hopefully (depending on the algorithm of the social media you are using) their next posts would come up in your news feed.

The organizer in me loves hashtags, it keeps things neat, categorized and makes searching for things way easier than scrolling through thousands of posts and the marketer in me loves them too. If you are looking for new ways to get your business out there be sure to throw in some hashtags!

If you want to learn more about the history of hashtags and delve a bit deeper here is a great article.

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