Oh you know you have asked, if not out loud then certainly in your mind, “What the heck are #HashTags!” Hey, that’s okay to question what the heck they are and just what are their purpose. I myself have asked this question, so I did all kinds of research to find the answer, but what resulted was even more confusion and no clearer explanation of #hashtags.
Yes, we are in the fast paced world of information overload. Yes, we are all plugged in to various forms of the information highway. And we are all on at least one form of social media. But that doesn’t mean we should “just know” all the little idiosyncrasies that comes with the Internet, social media or even marketing, #hashtags included. But when you come across a great marketing tool, you can bet your bottom dollar you are going to use it to its fullest! Thus the reason I would like to clear up just what the heck #hashtags are all about.
Remember the good old days when we used public libraries to gather information? Do you remember those long file cabinets full of hundreds and hundreds of note cards with words like “fiction,” “horses,” “sewing,” and other descriptive words? They are the good old card catalogs where you could find books, magazines, and various other forms of media by author, title, and keyword or descriptors. For this instance I am going to be referencing the keyword/descriptor portion of the card catalogs when talking about #hashtags.
Hashtags are like the “descriptor card catalog” at your local public library. They are the keywords or the “index” for the article, blog post, tweet, etc. They are kind of like a Dewey Decimal call number that distinguishes your hashtag content by its subject. They let the reader know quickly if the content is something they want to read more about.
A great use of #hashtags is when you are sharing a blog post, article, or press release on social media sites. Narrow down the core topic or keywords in your content and #hashtag them in your post. Hashtags are searchable keyword phrases on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.
On Facebook for instance – if I was to hashtag the word “free,” a person could easily click on that #hashtag (#FREE) and it would pull up hundreds of posts of others who have used that same #hashtag. So when you see commonly used hashtags that are also relevant to your content – use them and your post will also get pulled up in that list. Keep in mind that those posts will need to be made public so it will be listed for all to see otherwise it will only be viewed by those that are already connected to you.
Using hashtags increases the potential of broadening your marketing efforts to unlimited! There IS value in those hashtags!!!
Do you have a favorite hashtag? How many new people have you reached by using a hashtag?