Hashtags, hashtags, hashtags!! Everyone is talking about them and using them. I had no idea what they were! What are Hashtags and how could I use them? The only thing I knew when I saw one for the first time is that it looked like a pound sign (#). After a whole year of blogging, I still wasn’t sure how they worked but I started to use them anyway. I started out using just two hashtags, at first.
What are Hashtags?
Hashtags were first created by Twitter users to categorize their messages. Hashtags are meta tags. I couldn’t figure out what that actually meant. Pathetic, right? Why couldn’t I figure out this funny little # sign out? It baffled me to the point where I was pulling my hair out. I began to ask around, read, and read some more.
Somewhere down the line, I eventually clicked on a hashtag and woala it was a link to similar content. Something clicked and I immediately made the connection in my mind – Meta tag meant a link. It linked common content, photos, and comments on Twitter, on Facebook and on Instagram. Once it clicked for me, I was on a roll and from 2 #s I went to using 10, 15.
How Do You Use hashtags?
How are hashtags used? Let’s say you’re on Twitter and you’re visiting a famous spot in NY, for example: Central Park. You take your picture, upload it to your tweet and at the end of your tweet you write #NYC, #CentralPark (no spaces, one word), #travel, or any other relevant hashtag. Now when someone clicks on that hashtag all related content will be pulled up on their Social Media account.
Hashtags are vital in order for us to communicate appropriately online and it’s important to understand how to use them and learn which hashtags are popular. Hashtags help you follow a conversation or even join a Twitter Party. Once you get the hang of them they’re really fun to use. In laymen’s terms hashtags help you categorize content.
[bctt tweet=”Hashtags are vital in communicating appropriately online #IBABloggers” username=”IBAbloggers”]
Like everything else, there are do’s and don’ts for using hashtags. Once I finally had a better understanding of how to (and how not to) use them I started to play around with a few relevant hashtags.
Below are some of the popular Hashtags I’ve used. These have worked nicely for me since my blog is mostly about food and recipes. But there are tons of hashtags out there. Find the ones that work best for you!
Of course, you must always use the # in front of the word without spaces ex. #food
#foodie, #recipes, #buzzfeast, #recipeoftheday, #grubsofnyc, #thedailybite, #foodstyling, #cook, #baking, #newforkcity, #nycfood, #huffposttaste, #happyplate, #simplyrecipes, #instafood
Here are also some nonfood hashtags I like to use:
#travel, #ibabloggers, #bloggers, #bloggerblast, #instagood, #FF or #FollowFriday, #instagrammers, #like4like, #photoofthday, #instalike, #summer, #like, #igers
And if you have sponsored posts: #spon #sponsored #ad
How do you know if the hashtag is working for you?
How do I know what works for me and what doesn’t in terms of hashtags? I use a hashtag that I know is popular. Then, I check my response and engagement on Twitter and Instagram. If my followers and responses grow, the hashtag works! You can also click on a hashtag before you use it and you can see how many people follow it. This will help you choose a popular hashtag.
Hashtags are also excellent for Twitter parties, for example here at the International Bloggers Association we use #ibachat for our weekly Twitter chat. Whoever clicks on it can join our party, which means they can engage in the conversation.
If you don’t know what hashtags to use with your brand, all you have to do is a quick Google search.
I usually Google search popular food hashtags and find a long list to choose from. I’ll click on a few to check them out and see what others are posting using that hashtag. It can be lots of fun and the use of hashtags has increased traffic to my blog. Now other #foodies can find me if they just search the hashtags I commonly use. Who knew it could be that simple?
Hashtags are a source of communication! Will you give them a try? What’s your favorite hashtags? Let me know in the comments section below.