What the Hashtag?

hashtagsSeriously, What the Hashtag? Hashtags still confuse a lot of people. Here is a short primer on what they are and how to use them, as well as which ones are trending now.

So, what is a hashtag? Some of you (Generation X and Boomers) may still call it a pound sign! The pound sign (#) first became called a hashtag back in 2007 with the dawn of Twitter.

Best Practices? Businesses use hashtags on all the various social media platforms. However, they are most popular on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest, but are used frequently on Facebook and are becoming more common on LinkedIn due to recent site changes.

People on Twitter used them to categorize things. Why? Well, back in the day, Twitter wasn’t searchable. Thus the hashtag became a way to track specific subjects and trends. Of course, Twitter is searchable now. Which of course makes you ask, why are hashtags still popular. And, the main reason is that they increase business metrics. Savvy social media marketers understand that effective hashtag use equates to new leads, increased interactions, more followers, improved engagement and more.

Choosing the right hashtags is important, and there are free sites that can help! Two I like are ritetag.com and best-hashtags.com. These sites help identify the most popular hashtags, as well as the ones that will work best over time.

Businesses often create custom hashtags for contests and promotions. At Denim, we often use the hashtag #DenimFuel to describe how we fuel or power our client’s social media and marketing programs. We also create custom hashtags for contests or promotions. Make sure to search all the hashtags you create and have multiple people look at them to make sure it says what you think it says and doesn’t imply anything else!! (See hashtag fails!)

Hashtags can be use for networking to discover people to follow. For instance by searching #FollowFriday #AtlantaRealEstate or other hashtags you will discover people using these hashtags that you might want to follow.

A great example of how new hashtags are created includes COVID-19, an entire series of new hashtags is being using to describe things going on during the outbreak and social distancing.

Popular Hashtags during COVID-19 include:

#Covid19 & #Covid-19 & #Coronavirus – breaking news and coronavirus information.

#StayAtHomeChallenge – showcasing the most imaginative ways to pass the time while hanging out at home.

#SafeHands – promotes videos of people washing their hands correctly.

#StayHomeStaySafe & #StayHome – urge people to stay home and stay safe.

#IStayHomeFor – nurses, my grandma, to prevent the spread. Who do you stay home for and why?

#ViewFromMyWindow – often goes along with a photo to share what you are looking at.

#MyPandemicSurvivalPlan – from sharing how they are passing the time indoors to planning their next out in into the great outdoors.

#TogetherAtHome – this is used for all the various ways people are passing the time while at home with others.

#QuarantineAndChill – Ways to chill out and relax during quarantine.

#Covidiots – All the stupid things that people are doing.  And, what you don’t want to be.

#SocialDistancing – maintaining that 6 feet of separation and staying safe, staying home.

#FlattenTheCurve – what we all hope is happening while we stay home.

#WithMe & #WithYou – things you can do with me or I can do with you.

#ImDoingFine Because – My dog is with me, I have toilet paper, etc.

Let us know your favorite hashtag uses. And, let us know if we can help with your social media marketing.

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