Are you using hashtags in social media?

We’ve noticed many companies on Facebook and Pinterest are not using hashtags. It seems that the only site where hashtags are accepted as part of posting etiquette is on Twitter. This is understandable since Twitter is where the hashtags first appeared widely used.

Hashtags are searchable identifiers. It really is as simple as that. Even the most cleverly worded titles, using keywords, are not as powerful as they are when hashtags are added. Now that other social media platforms are using them, there really is no reason not to.

In addition, hashtags identify topics that are trending. So if you want your content to be included in the search results for a trending topic, add them.

Deciding what hashtag to use is one reason that businesses tend to steer away from them, and this is understandable. No one wants to make a mistake or look uninformed. There is a way to combat this though.

Try this on Twitter and you will see how easy it is to choose the right hashtag –

Choose a subject to search on Twitter, for example, try ‘Friday’. Now look at all the hashtags you see in the search results. Another great source of well used hashtags is Hashtag.org. This website lists all the most well used hashtags on Twitter. There are also lists for hashtags on Instagram and other sites. A simple search for them on Google will reveal the links you need.

Hashtags are the best way of placing your post directly within the community who are discussing that subject or topic. So for example, last weekend, Twitter was trending with the simple #Oscars hashtag. Anyone who posted or tweeted using that hashtag was immediately grouped with all the other posts referring to the Oscars.

By using a hashtag you are giving your content a power boost – so that it can be more easily found, so that it is grouped in the right place, and so that it is easier to find.

And hashtags are completely free, so why wouldn’t we use them?

Try them out for yourself. It won’t take long to get the hang of it, and you will start developing an eye for using already trending hashtags in your own posts to boost their readability power. It’s another way to use them and make sure you get noticed.