How to Use Hashtags

Hashtags (those hyperlinks symbolized with a “#”) pop up all over the place in social media, but are most common on Twitter and Instagram. They are used to organize conversations; when you click on them, you’ll see recent posts carrying the same hashtag, so that you can eavesdrop on or take part in a live discussion.

4 common ways Hashtags are used to organize conversations:

1) By Topic – Hashtags can be used to Hashtag-Handscarry discussions on everything from current news (#PolarVortex) to gossip (#DeportBeiber) and TV shows (#TheWalkingDead).

2) By Event – If you’re promoting an event, you can assign a Hashtag (such as #MixMingleNetwork) and have attendees and organizers chatting before, during and after the event. Not a bad way to build buzz for your event!

3) By Neighborhood – Local businesses and patrons can jump on neighborhood Hashtags and help promote each other and build a sense of community (check out #Toronto #JunctionTO ). Read more about using neighborhood hashtags here.

4) By Category – You can attract more readers with hashtags that aren’t overly specific (#blogging #SocialMedia #Awesome)

Anyone can invent a hashtag (they don’t belong to anybody) and you can use more than one at a time. Just be careful not to overuse them… it looks cheap, like wearing too much jewelry!

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