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HashTags: Why You Need Them and How to Use Them

I’m sure that you have heard about Hashtags before in social media, and maybe even know what they look like or have tried your hand at using them yourself.  But do you know why you need them and how to use them?

If you do not know how to use hashtags, it is time to sit up and take notice.  The reason being is that hashtags are now being used by Facebook (at the time of this writing, they are slowly being rolled out to Facebook users worldwide).  This should be a game changer for many online marketers as before this news, if the company did not use Twitter, they figured that there was no sense in learning how to properly use Hashtags.

But this has all changed now.

Let’s dive right in and discover exactly what a hashtag is.  A hashtag looks like this: #.  The hashtag becomes activated when it is paired with a keyword like so: #environment.  Let’s break this down further.  The “#” sign before the word environment signifies it as a hashtag and the word environment is the keyword used to identify which conversations on Twitter or Facebook to link your update to.  Why does this matter?  This will pop your tweet or update into a category of people talking about the subject #environment.  You see, after you create your hashtag and send a tweet or update, it will become hyperlinked.  If you click the hyperlink, it will take you to the stream of EVERYBODY site-wide speaking about #environment.  Talk about exposure, eh?

So, how do you create your own?  Simply add the # sign in front of the keyword that you would like to use to enter your update into a stream of conversation.  If you want to use a phrase, don’t use spaces.  For example: #socialmedia instead of #social media.  For the second one “social” will be the only phrase that is associated with that hashtag.

Why use them?  You would be surprised about the extra exposure that you will receive.

First, as stated above, when you use a hashtag you are being connected to other conversations on Twitter and Facebook where people are talking about the same topic – so obviously a fantastic way to get in front of not only a targeted market, but a targeted topic and conversation.

Going above and beyond this fact, posts with hashtags are proven to get two times the amount of exposure!

So that is Hashtag 101 – go out there and create your first one and share it with the team and I @thegoagency using the hashtag #myfirsthashtag.

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