A Lesson In ‘#’ Hashtags

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To understand this blog post, it is assumed you are familiar with social media and you’re a regular user of Twitter.

Until recently, I don’t think I bothered with Hashtags. (That little symbol on your keyboard that looks like a tic-tac-toe grid: #)

It’s called a “Pound” sign all over the world except for Britain, where we call it the “Hash” sign. As described by Chris Messina, “Hashtags are a community-driven convention for adding additional context and metadata to your tweets. They’re like tags on Flickr, only added inline to your post.

You create a hashtag simply by prefixing a word with a hash symbol: #hashtag.”

One day, out of the blue, I used hashtags to promote this image;

upfront

I was very proud of those cookies, and I couldn’t help but write a joke about the use of the name as it’s related to computer programming too. As expected,
people saw it, laughed, liked and retweeted it, but what I didn’t expect was the attention my profile received as a result of that image!

I had the Hashtags to thank for that, and I’ve been using them in most of my Tweets ever since. What Hashtags do is turn certain words in your Tweet into
“Keywords”, which make the Tweet identifiable. For example, I use #web-development in most of my Tweets and this organises the Tweet into a
category of “Web-Developer” related Tweets. Then what happens is users who are interested in web-development may see your Tweet in their notice boards or search results, which will draw them to your profile.

My list of followers grew larger when I started using Hashtags, this includes expert digital marketers such as Mike Kawula. I find this great for making connections as not only does it betters my chances of employment, I wouldn’t have found out about UpFrontConf 2016 had I not found the team through a Hashtag.

Bearing in mind that in this day and age, businesses use Twitter for marketing purposes. Depending on how popular they are, they may get more likes than independent freelancers like me, and your tweets do not always get noticed. Using Hashtags does help, but not all the time.

I’ve since learned not to use too many Hashtags as it could be considered the same as spamming. Two is enough, so it’s important to make them relevant to the topic you’re Tweeting about. This is what gets you noticed when you’re looking to expand your business online. It works for them, it works for me, it will work for you too.

and also…the cookies were delicious!