What are # (Hashtags) and How to Use them on Social Media
Once upon a time, # was but a simple pound sign or hash. But then came Twitter and turned this mundane sign into an online sensation. Today, whether you are on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, YouTube or Facebook, you simply cannot escape the all encompassing presence of the #hashtag.
To the social media novice, hashtags might seem confusing, annoying and pointless at first glance. But if you understand their purpose and learn how to use them, hashtags are a powerful tool to help you engage your target audience and increase your brand awareness.
So What is a # Hashtag?
A hashtag is a keyword or phrase preceded by the hash symbol (#), that people include in their social media posts. Essentially, it makes the content of your post accessible to all people with similar interests, even if they’re not your followers or fans. For instance, let’s say you’re an Apple fan and that you’re playing with the idea of buying an iPhone 5. A simple “#iPhone5” search on any social network will open a dedicated news feed with all iPhone 5 latest updates, deals, rumors and hacks. The results you see on this feed are the aggregated posts of any users who used “#iPhone5” in their posts. But usually, users don’t actively search for hashtags, but simply spot them. Hashtags appear as clickable links on posts they see and a mouse click will display a real-time live feed of every other post tagged with the same hashtag.