What are Hashtags?

Simply put, a hashtag (#) a way of creating a easily searchable link from a string of words.

Katie Davidson

A UX designer with roots in digital marketing.

Simply put, a hashtag (#) is a way of creating an easily searchable link from a string of words. For example here is a recent tweet from @VireoMedia

In this post I have used the hashtag #PokemonGo and #Market and #SMM. Those were topics relevant to my tweet that I know other people are also using in their posts. When I click on #PokemonGO I can see other people’s tweets on this same topic.
For the most part, hashtags are used to continue a larger conversation. For example, I know that other people are tweeting about #WebDesign which is one of the core services of my business so I frequently use that hashtag in my tweets (and I have added it to my Twitter bio).

My favorite use of hashtags it to see what is trending. The Panama Paper’s are trending this week with the hashtag #PanamaPapers. So far 396,000 tweets have gone out with that hashtag. Trending hashtags vary in topic, from serious political issues to #NationalPuppyDay.

A few things to note when using hashtags:

  • For small businesses I don’t generally recommend trying to brand your own hashtags a branded hashtag like #ShareACoke works well for a company like Coca Cola, but for a small business like me it is highly unlikely that people are going to use the hashtag #VireoRocks (I would really love it if you did though!)
  • You will have to throw grammar out the window. While capital letters are allowed, spaces, punctuation, and symbols are not.

Featured photo credit: Michael Coghlan

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