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Hashtags 101

Hashtags don’t have to be intimidating. Learn how to use these distinctive features of social media with or hashtag crash course!

Jeremy Harrison


The social media scene can get confusing. If you’re a small business owner, you value keeping in touch with your customers. If that means following them into the social media world, then so be it! If you’re new to this online community, you may be seeing a ton of hashtags. This is a key term or phrase with a pound or “#” sign in front of it.

The Purpose of a Hashtag

Because you’re a small business owner, you’re in luck when it comes to hashtags. These neat identifiers point out the main idea of a post. Why does this matter to you? You can develop your own hashtag for your small business. Keep track of who’s talking about you online! This is great for eWOM because you can monitor what people are saying about your business in a casual, online setting.

What should your hashtag be?

When the time comes to social media posting for your business, pick a hashtag that’s easy to remember. Here are two examples of hashtags Spire Advertising could use:

1. #SpireAd

2. #StartWithSpire

Once you’ve decided on a hashtag for your business, continually using that hashtag will help your customers because they have a way to associate with you online. This also helps you track your progress because you have a universal search term to identify you virtually.

Using General Hashtags in Posts

Aside from using your small business’ hashtag in a post, you can also use industry related hashtags. These terms would be more general to what your business does, such as services you provide. Check out these hashtags Spire may use in a post:

1. #marketing

2. #SEO

3. #SmallBusiness

4. #entrepreneurship

Using hashtags like this have multiple benefits to you. One, you come up in searches on social networks when users look up these hashtags. So if a person wants information on marketing, they could go to Twitter and type “#marketing” in the search bar. Tons of tweets would pop up.

Now, imagine that Spire had just tweeted the following:

The person searching for #marketing would see our tweet in the mix with other real-time posts about the topic. 

You can also use these hashtags in your bio if you’d like!

The other benefit of using generalized hashtags is that you are able to connect with like minded people and seek out opportunities for your small business. Use this as a resourceful tool to better your online presence and gain leads.

Hashtag Etiquette

By now, you’re thinking, “Okay, I understand how to use hashtags, but how often should I be using them?” This is a great question, so let’s dive into the answer! You don’t want your post to look like spam, so keep it to a maximum of three hashtags per post. You don’t have to use a hashtag each time you click the “tweet” or “post” button, but if you are using hashtags, remember to use your business oriented one and then a more topic specific hashtag discussed above!

Hashtag Hacks

To recap on your hashtag lesson, here are a few #hashtaghacks to get you started on social media success!

Know your social network before posting. Each social media channel has a different tone when it comes to posting. If you’re on Twitter or Facebook, your hashtag will be about the content of your post, or the main idea. If you’re posting on Instagram, your hashtag will be more photo based.

Short and sweet. This is one of those times where a little goes a long way. Keep your hashtags short. See our examples mentioned earlier if you need guidance!

What not to do: When posting remember to steer clear of these hashtag hiccups:

  • No special characters like $,%,&, etc.
  • Don’t begin with numbers.

Being a pro with hashtags takes practice. Experiment with different hashtags to see what gives you the best results, and most importantly the right traffic to fuel your growth!

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