What is a hashtag and how do I use them?

You keep seeing the pound sign (#) and hearing people talk about hashtags. What are they and how do you effectively use a hashtag?

But let’s start with this video below. Stop using stupid hashtags just because you keep seeing other people use stupid hashtags.

Stop Using Stupid Hashtags

What is a hashtag?

The short answer to what is a hashtag is that it is a word or a phrase with the pound sign in front of it used for search and filtering on social media. There. you can stop reading the post now.

This makes any term (without spaces or punctuation) searchable on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

On Twitter you can use numbers in a hashtag like #Year2012 but the hashtag can’t only be a number like #2012.

Although hashtags generally function on Facebook and LinkedIn now, they are only relevant if the audience actually clicks on them.

They’re generally only seen there from cross/auto-posts. However, since they bought Instagram, there is an infusion of hashtags and I read rumors they’ll be usable in the future.

Why would you use a hashtag?

It helps give you exposure on Twitter by making terms searchable outside of your following.

4 Comments

  1. Carol Stephen (@Carol_Stephen) on May 15, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    I love when hashtags are used sarcastically, or for self-deprecating humor. Those are my favorite uses of hashtags. #seriously

  2. […] find myself saying this often: hashtags are links. They are for filtering and search. Use them at the end so your copy is easy to scan and […]

  3. […] Though they function, hashtags have no business on Facebook. When is the last time you clicked on a hashtag on Facebook? The […]

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