(on social media sites such as Twitter) a word or phrase preceded by a hash or pound sign (#) and used to identify messages on a specific topic.
Twitter is really where the hashtag was born. I notice a lot of people go hashtag crazy on Twitter and really use hashtags that make no sense to use or they use it to be funny.
An example how not to tweet…
“Watching #volleyball during the #2016 #olympic #games. #summerfun #nothingelsetodo”
Hashtags on Twitter were really created to track a conversation. Take the Summer Olympics for example. You could easily follow along with other people watching and talking about the Olympics by using #Rio2016.
— #TokyoOlympics (@NBCOlympics) August 22, 2016
If I am watching a TV show, I like to know other people’s thoughts or snarky remarks while watching it, so I’ll usually follow the shows hashtag on Twitter. It also let’s me follow other people who might share a similar interest to me.
Hashtags on Instagram like Twitter can be used to track events. I use Hashtags on Instagram to tag my photos to show up with other like minded photos. For example, since I live in the Pacific Northwest, I usually tag most of my shots with #NorthwestIsBest. #NorthwestIsBest is a hashtag used to curate photos taken in the Pacific Northwest. I also use hashtags on Instagram to engage with other people who take similar photos as I do.
If you look at the first comment on any of my Instagram posts, you’ll see the Hashtags I use. I do this so my photo doesn’t come up as spammy. Putting the hashtags in the first comment allows it to still show up though with the other photos under that hashtag.
Hashtags don’t really serve a purpose on Facebook. If they are event based, then that’s OK but other then that, Facebook shows “Trending” based on keywords rather than hashtags. You can see an example of “Trending” to the right of your newsfeed.
There you have it. Hopefully this post left you more informed and empowered about how to use hashtags more appropriately. They are useful when used correctly and really annoying when used just because you want to use them.