hashtags in facebookA Hashtag is really “in” right now and even non-techies can understand and use it to their advantage because hashtags have become an important part of creating a solid digital presence.

In today’s digital age, when you hear about the word “hashtag” you can expect that it has something to do with social media. Keep reading for some basic hashtag education.

What are hashtags?

On social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, and Google+, hashtags are words or phrases preceded by a hash or pound sign (#).  Hashtags are used to identify and categorize messages or posts about a specific topic.  You can use Hashtags on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, tumblr, Google+ and even on youtube.

What do hashtags do?

When included in a post, a hashtag becomes a searchable link.  That means that if you click on a hashtag, you will be redirected to a page that displays other posts marked with that hashtag.

Using a hashtag in your posts increases the likelihood they will be seen by a wider audience. It is a type of label or meta data tag used on social networks and microblogging services which makes it easier for users to find messages with a specific theme or content.

You can simply create and use hashtags by placing the hash character (or number sign) # in front of a word or unspaced phrase, either in the main text of a message or at the end. Searching for that hashtag will then present each message that has been tagged with it.

Also, you can for example use a social media hashtag to clarify what you write, but also for more people to find you and thus get more followers. Once you have created a hashtag, it frequently becomes a link that you can click on it to view all posts where precisely the tag used.

Which characters can you include in a hashtag?

For beginners, spaces are an absolute no-no. Even if your hashtag contains multiple words, group them all together and If you want to differentiate between words, use capitals instead (#InternetSecretsMadeEasy). Uppercase letters will not alter your search results, so searching for # InternetSecretsMadeEasy will yield the same results as # internetsecretsmadeEasy.

Some things to remember about using hashtags

If you’re using a hashtag to join a conversation, make sure the hashtag is specific and relevant to your topic. Hashtags that look like links will look spammy if they are used too often, so make sure to always double check if your hashtag is relevant and not spammy.

A tweet, post or update that contains only hashtags is not only confusing — it’s boring. If your post simply reads, “#happy,” your followers will have no idea what you’re talking about. Similarly, if you tweet, “#Superman is #awesome,” you’re not really adding much to the conversation. You need to have at least texts or image in the beginning of your posts to support your hashtags on what they really mean.

There are also several frequently used Hashtags in social media that can be a bit difficult for a beginner to know what they mean. Examples are #tbt #throwbackthursday, which you use when you post an old picture on Thursdays or simple one way to remember the past.

Have you decided on what will be the first hashtag you will use? Please share we love to hear your feedback below.

#ISME101 #hashtag #beginnersguide