What Are Hashtags?

What Are Hashtags?-hero-img

What Are Hashtags (and how do you use them) ?

Hashtags are everywhere. You see them in the news, in presidential debates, billboards, and predominantly on social networks. Sometimes you’ll see a hashtag for a product, an event, or a person, or sometimes you will see something completely random like #ComicBookCharactersReportCards (trending on twitter at the time of this writing). With expanding use of hashtags for different purposes, we get asked a lot, what are they and how should I use them.


A Hashtag Is a Topic.

A hashtag is nothing more than a keyword or phrase that has the # symbol before it. Typically, a hashtag is used for words or phrases that describe your post. Sometimes the hashtags are sprinkled in within a post and other times it is appended to the end of your post to describe what your post is about. Take these two examples.

 <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-cards="hidden" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">The <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Oscars?src=hash">#Oscars</a> nominations will be announced a little differently this year. <a href="https://t.co/Ab9m9oAknH">https://t.co/Ab9m9oAknH</a></p>&mdash; Entertainment Weekly (@EW) <a href="https://twitter.com/EW/status/820093826966622210">January 14, 2017</a></blockquote>

<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> 

In the first tweet, Entertainment Weekly placed the (#) symbol before Oscars in their post. In the second tweet, The Academy appended both #tbt and #Oscars to the end of their tweet.


How does a Hashtag Work?

What a hashtag does is it allows your content to be searchable and it attaches your content to other posts with the same hashtags. Social networks like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram keep track of hashtags and make it easier for users to follow them. If a hashtag becomes very popular, it will also become ‘trending’ and be visible to people all over the network.

What kind of Hashtags are there?

People use hashtags for different topics and purposes that help them make their post more visible. Here is how we like to categorize hashtags


Content Hashtags:

                  A content hashtag is any hashtag that helps people find your post. We here at Homesync like to append our posts with #SocialMedia. Sometimes we also append other hashtags that may be relevant to our post such as #facebook or #twitter. By adding these hashtags to your post, other users of social networks will have an easier time finding you. It also helps search engines like Bing and Google get more information on you so you have a higher chance of showing up after a search.

                  Many companies use content hashtags to help market products, events, or brands.


Trending Hashtag:

                  A trending hashtag is a hashtag that currently has a lot of people talking about. Usually they relate to current events or holidays. Sometimes though, you’ll see a pretty random hashtag that pops up in the trending section, such as #MuseumSelfie, where people decided to take selfies in museums and post them on social media.

Inflection Hashtag:

                  Sometimes hashtags are used less for topical reason but more for inflection. While this doesn’t help with people finding your post, it can add a tone to your post. Adding #Crazy or #Unbelievable will add emphasis to your post and help people understand the tone you were going for.



How Should You Use a Hashtag

A hashtag can be powerful if used correctly, you can read all about the mishaps of using the wrong hashtags here. Here are the keys to making successful hashtags

                  Stay On Point

                  Hashtags are great but you must be specific about it. Let’s say the Oscars are going on and you want to talk about it. Using #Oscars will be much more visible than using a hashtag like #goodmovies or #awards. 

                  Don’t Overdo It

                  Using too many hashtags or too long of a hashtag can be detrimental. One rule of thumb is you don’t want to have more hashtags than words in your post. You also want to make sure that if your hashtag is a phrase, it’s not longer than a few words. #GoingOutWithMyFriendsAllNightLong is way too long of a hashtag.

                  Don’t Trendjack

                  Using a trend to your benefit can be great but can also lead down a dark path of social media embarrassment. Even though something is trending, doesn’t mean you should use it in your post. Sometimes the purpose of a hashtag can be vague when you see it in the ‘Trending’ tab, and while it might sound enticing to jump on board, it’s a good idea to see what the context of the hashtag is before attaching yourself to it.


Share this post