What IS “#Hashtag,” Anyway?

Lately, I have been approached with a common question: “Can you explain these hashtag things to me?” Hashtags have long been a part of social media sites such as Twitter and Instagram, but lately they have crept there way into sites like Pinterest and Facebook; sparking interest from a whole new potential-hashtag-using audience.

So what is a hashtag?  A hashtag is a word or a phrase prefixed with the symbol #. (Wikipedia, 2013). More precisely, a hashtag is a keyword or phrase that is searchable within the social media site as long as you place the # symbol in front of it. It is very important to know that if you are using more than one word that you do not add spaces, i.e. #kevinkubota or #Photoshopactions.

There are many articles out there on great ways to harness the hashtag to increase business. I suggest reading them and applying them to your favorite modes of social media.

Here is a quick crash course on using hashtags:

Focus on trendy hashtag topics. This way, when a trendy topic is searched via hashtags, your company hashtag and post also receives exposure.

Example for Pinterest:  You are posting one of your great wedding images on Pinterest (don’t forget your watermark and URL on the image).  Add your photo description and #weddingphotography #yourstudioname #yourcityorstate. Now when a potential bride is searching wedding photography, your brand also receives exposure.

Here is your assignment for the weekend: If you are not already using hashtags, try entering #weddingphotgraphy into SEARCH on your favorite social media site. Get the hang of using #hashtag and then make one attempt at a hashtag post.

Please feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions or suggestions for using hashtags.

Have a great weekend!

Kathryn Osborne
Marketing Director