What, Why, Where and How of Hashtags

I was lucky enough to attend a webinar on Hashtags and Facebook by Kim Garst at Boom Social last week.  It made me think a lot about how little I actually knew about using Hashtags in general.  I figured I’d do some research and then Pass It On to all of you – see how I did that, Pass It On, smooth, right? – because my guess is you aren’t paying as much attention to Hashtags as you should be either!
(tips at the end . . . don’t miss them!)

 

Christine and I focus on 5 major social media outlets: Twitter, Facebook, Google +, Pinterest and Instagram.  They don’t all get the same amount of attention from us but we do post regularly on each of them.  I discovered that we can benefit from using Hashtags on all 5 of these sites!  Let me break it down for you.

What:

So, what exactly is a hashtag?  You’ve seen them . . . they look something like this: #MTMMixer – that just so happens to be the hashtag that you will use for the Twitter Party on Friday during the Mixer.  Each site has slight variations on how to use the hashtag and why to use the hashtag.  But on ALL of them a hashtag is the # symbol followed by a word or group of words with no spaces in between them.  So – #MTMMixer (YES)  #MTM Mixer (NO).

Why:

Why use a hashtag?  On all the sites mentioned above the MAIN reason to use a hashtag would be because it makes your post searchable by that hashtag.  To use #MTMMixer and our Twitter Party as an example – you can search the hashtag #MTMMixer and see all of the people tweeting about it!

That’s how you participate in the conversation.  If you see a hashtag that you know something about popping up on Twitter, jump in and use the hashtag, too!!!

On Facebook and Google +, searching a hashtag will bring up any posts that have that hashtag attached.

On Instagram (I used gramfeed.com to search the hashtags), you see all of the pictures with that hashtag attached.

On Pinterest, though, you see posts containing the hashtag AND the word itself without the # symbol in front.

I read somewhere that hashtags are like the index of the internet.  Use them and people will see your content connected to subjects.  That includes other bloggers AND brands looking to work with bloggers on specific subjects.

Where and How:

Here’s how a hashtag search looks on each of the Social Media Sites listed above:

Facebook Hashtag Search for #MTMMixer

Google + Hashtag Search for #MTMMixer

Gramfeed Hashtag Search for #DoYourMakeup (which my daughter is obsessed with right now)

Pinterest Hashtag Search for #cocktails

(which I am obsessed with right now)

Twitter Hashtag Search for #MTMMixer

Finally, how to make the most of hashtags – here’s some tips I learned:

  • Use personalized hashtags.  If you talk about food on your blog, come up with a unique hashtag that falls under your genre.  To check and see if it is unique, just do a search for it.  Then USE IT!
  • Only use 2 hashtags when posting.  I know it’s tempting to overload a tweet or post with a ton of hashtags but if you do that you are going to annoy your readers and that means they won’t stick around to read all the wonderful things that you are using hashtags for!
  • Pick 6 – 8 hashtags that you feel you can use for posts and try to stick to them as much as possible.  Having your posts show up in a feed that you are writing about over and over will make you look like an expert!
  • Avoid Acronyms – they are confusing to people who don’t know what you are talking about.  For example, #GOT is one of my favorite cable TV shows . . . do you know what it is?  Not if you don’t watch it and that’s annoying.
  • Capitalize the first letter of each word in a hashtag.  #RockingRecipes is so much easier to understand than #rockingrecipes, isn’t it?
  • Keep it relevant - don’t use a hashtag that has nothing to do with your post. That’s just misleading and annoying.
Anything I missed?  I’m sure there is a lot!  I’d love to hear your thoughts on how you use hashtags and why or why not?
If you found this post helpful or informative then:

Pass It On!
 
Pass It On is a blog series we created to allow bloggers to share information about the blogging basics in a simple straightforward way. Visit Pass It On to see more in this blog series and please share the information with those who would find it helpful! Feel free to grab our button to share with your readers: 

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Comments

  1. Janene Krajci says:

    Thanks, Trish! Glad you found it helpful! Hope you will Pass It On! :)

  2. Janene Krajci says:

    Thanks – glad you found something that you can use! :) Let us know if you do come up with a hashtag all your own and we will use it when we chat on Twitter!!! :)

  3. Janene Krajci says:

    hashtags.org – I meant to write about it in this post and TOTALLY forgot! Hope that helps!

  4. Janene Krajci says:

    Apparently, a lot of people think that FB using hashtags is going to be some kind of game changer – that’s what Kim said on her Webinar. I’m not seeing it but it will be useful for searches, I guess. From a blogger standpoint, I can see advantages but FB isn’t my favorite social media outlet . . . and from a personal standpoint I think hashtags on FB are kind of pointless for me. I could be wrong – it does happen – though, and FB hashtags could someday change my life. :) Guess we will just have to #holdourbreathandseewhathappens (you know, it’s really hard to type a hashtag that long without pressing the space bar at least once!)

  5. I bet it will. Thanks so much for the resource!
    KC

  6. Janene Krajci says:

    Glad you found something in it useful! :) Hope you will Pass It On when you get the chance! Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  7. Janene Krajci says:

    I agree! I think it’s overkill and I hate when the hashtags aren’t even post appropriate . . . and it leaves me wondering why they used that tag! :)

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  8. Sarah Schultz says:

    I am so glad hashtags are used on every major platform. It makes it much easier to “tag” your posts so you know if people are searching and/or seeing them.

  9. Another great tutorial girls!!

  10. Janene Krajci says:

    Thanks, Kristen! Thanks for Passing It On, too! :) We really appreciate it!

  11. Janene Krajci says:

    I always hated when people had their Twitter and Facebook connected and used hashtags on Twitter because they were pointless on FB. Now they aren’t! Thanks for stopping by and commenting! ;

  12. Natalie says:

    I am actually on a bloggy break when I happened to see this title I had to read it…b/c I had no idea how #hashtags worked on each social media. Thanks for sharing gals!

  13. This was a great post. I really didn’t know too much about hashtags.

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