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Did You Know Hashtags Are An Engagement Multiplier On Social Media?

What is a Hashtag?

A hashtag labels content. It helps people who are interested in specific content, locate such content quickly and accurately.

A hashtag looks something like this:  #DigitalMarketing or #SocialMediaMarketing.

Hashtags are used mostly on social media sites to draw attention, to organize, and to promote specific chunks of content.

Twitter was the first social media platform to start the use of Hashtags for making it easier for people to find, follow, and contribute to a conversation.  Now social media platforms, like Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Google+ offer the use of Hashtags.

Small business marketers have figured out inventive and useful ways of using hashtags.

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7 Ways To Create A Hashtag

Hashtags are simple things.  There are just a 7 technical requirements:

1. No Spaces Allowed

A hashtag can be a single word, an abbreviation, an invented combination of letters and numbers, or a phrase.  If it is a phrase, there can be no spaces between words.  All letters and numbers must run together without spaces in a hashtag.  You can’t have punctuation or symbols in your hashtag (other than the # symbol at the beginning).  Numbers are OK, but you must also have at least one letter with the numbers — hashtags cannot consist entirely of numbers.

2. Start With the # Symbol

A hashtag always starts with the symbol # followed directly by letters and sometimes numbers.

3. Create Your Own Hashtag

Anyone can create a hashtag.  Numerous hashtags are created over the years by everyone.  You could create one of your own or several, if you wish.

All you do to create a hashtag is think it up.  Then start using it in your messages. Usually you add it to the end of messages.  But you could add it anywhere in the message that makes sense, as long as it’s readable.

You are not required to register a hashtag anywhere.

4. Make Hashtags Unique

If you think you’ve invented a hashtag that’s completely new, do a search first on the social platform you intend to use it on.  We find that about 25% of the time, the hashtag we want to use is already being used for some other purpose.

Now, there’s no hashtag police.  So technically, there’s nothing stopping you from using a hashtag already in use. But doing so will cause confusion, or worse, be seen as an attempt to hijack a discussion just to gain attention.  If the hashtag you want is in use, it’s best to go back to the drawing board.

5. Make Hashtags Easy to Remember and Understand

Keep hashtags as short as possible. That’s especially important for Twitter where you have a limited character count.  It’s best if a hashtag is an understandable word, phrase or abbreviation.

Hashtags that are long, hard to pronounce or hard to remember, will be hard for people to use, too.  You can’t go wrong with something short and easy to remember.

On Google+, you get an added benefit:  Google’s technology will automatically assign a hashtag to your content, without you doing anything.  You can tell it not to add the hashtag, if you prefer, so you can manually add your own hashtags.

Do and Don’ts of Hashtags

Here is an infographic that helpfully describes all the Do and Don’ts of Hashtags .

Infographic courtesy of: thinkcreativecollective.

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May 16, 2017

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