For the older generation, the Hashtag symbol started out as a boring old pound sign. Now it has transformed into a social media mechanism to generate a large viewership. Social Media such as Twitter and Instagram have taken Hashtags to the next level by using the Hashtags to gain followers and retweets. People and businesses take part in the Hashtag mania all the time, without even knowing the purpose of the Hashtag. Sure they're fun to use, but what exactly does the Hashtag do?

Think of a Hashtag as title or continent summary. By using “#” you are essentially categorizing the content of your post. Every time you attach “#selfie” to your post it is being linked to hundreds of other posts with the same hashtag. It is a way to reach further than your own friends and expand to a viewership that can be on the opposite side of the world than you. The Hashtag originally gained its fame from Twitter as a way to find and follow content that people have a specific interest in. What's great about the Hashtags is that it is a promotional tool that can be used by anyone no matter their experience or educational background. The Hashtag is easily accessible to anyone with a social media account. The best thing about the Hashtags is that they throw out all the rules of grammar. You are not limited to spaces or any form of punctuation. You can go wild and forget everything the rules of schooling has ever taught you.

Creating a hashtag is not only a fun way to express your post, but they add a ton of benefits to your post. Hashtags allow you to be found by your targeted audience. When you hashtag something, think of it as a social media filing cabinet. As soon as your post goes viral your hashtag gets filled alongside other posts with the same or similar content. Let say the hashtag on your post was #selfie; when someone looks up that hashtag your post will be among their searches. For the average person, hashtags are used for personal enjoyment. However, for others, this can be a tool to promote themselves or their business.

Depending on what a person is looking for the Hashtag can go beyond generating likes and repost. It can draw in business to your company. A great way to draw in people to your business through social media would be to promote your business name in a hashtag. If you really want your hashtag to spread like wildfire in the social media realm you should try to encourage your clients to tag or hashtag your company or business in their posts. By having clients use your businesses hashtag it is getting your name to a wider range of people. If you are a company trying to draw in business through daily or weekly Instagram post general and simple hashtags are the way to go. Let's say you're trying to promote your startup company, some go to hashtags might be:

#Entrepreneur #businessowner #*insertyourcompaniesname* #marketing.

Sometimes less is more. Keep it simple and use umbrella terms that you know your clients might be searching for. You want something that will describe your company and your post all at the same time. With that being said you never want to spam your post with too many hashtags. Not only does that look like you’re hungry for likes and attention, but it may derail your audience from wanting to view your posts.

An overboard of hashtags will only hurt you in the long run. In a way, the Hashtag is the SEO writing of Instagram and Twitter. SEO or Search Engine Optimization is a way to alter the visibility of your website. They are both ways to organically gain a following and viewership to a targeted audience. Like SEO you still have to use the correct keywords. For example, let's say you have an Instagram page about business management, you can't just use any hashtag it must pertain to business management. You need to have the right hashtag for the photo or written post if you want to gain and maintain the right audience. You also want to choose the hashtag that is or has the possibility to be trending. Before creating your awesome Hashtag just think about your audience and if you were them what terms would you be searching for. Still looking for more ways to upgrade your following? Another great way use hashtags are to hashtag events you have attended. This allows people at the event and those who are looking into the event to find your post and possibly follow you. Haven't been to any events lately? Then create a catchy Hashtag for your own event or promotional deals that your business is taking part in. When it comes to promoting an event your business is contributing to is where the creativity really matters. The hashtag must be easy to remember and have a distinctive element that makes tracking easier. If you are on posting on an Instagram or Facebook platform and fear that you have too many hashtags try saving your hashtags for the commenting section. This will make it seem less spammy and by posting your hashtags in the secondary commenting section a few minutes later will allow your post to be refreshed to be alongside the more current post.

Hashtags are not complicated, so don’t over think it. This is an easy creative way to get your brand out there. Using the right Hashtag can dramatically help allow people to find you or your business. Just remember to keep it simple and always keep your target audience in mind.

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