5 Easy Ways to Start Using Hashtags Now

Learn to use hashtags

About the hashtag

Chris Messina is the man credited with inventing the social hashtag when he said he sent a private message on Twitter to one of the journalists, Nate Ritter, who was covering a fire in San Diego. He asked him to use the hashtag #sandiegofire for all of his Twitter updates on the story. And so it began. That was in 2007, but many people are still wondering what a hashtag is and how it’s used. So here's the scoop. Basically, a hashtag is a way of identifying a topic or event with the pound sign (#) when posting to social media. Using hashtags makes it easier to find related posts and allows you to join in the conversation. Make a hashtag by starting with the pound sign and adding one or more words or an abbreviation (e.g. #ebooks, #retirementplan, #haveagreatday, #TGIF). Don't use spaces or special characters. You can use numbers in your hashtag just not at the beginning (e.g. #Conference2017 not #2017Conference) otherwise it won't be converted to a hyperlinked hashtag. Some people like to capitalize the beginning of each word in a hashtag, and that's fine, it's your preference — hashtag searching is not case-sensitive. It is easier to read some hashtags when the first word is capitalized (e.g. #bestdayever vs. #BestDayEver). Another tip is don't overuse hashtags, three maximum per post, but one or two is better. Either placing hashtags within your post or tweet or at the end is acceptable. Take a look at some of the different examples of hashtag placement below.

3 examples of using hashtags on Twitter

5 easy ways for you to start using hashtags

  1. When you see a hashtag on TV or elsewhere, go to a search engine like Google or Bing and search for the hashtag to see what people are posting on Twitter. You don't need a Twitter account to view tweets.
  3. Type “#” (without quotes) into a search engine and you can view what’s trending on Twitter. Click on the one that you want to view.
  5. Use a hashtag (e.g. #iphone, #travel) in Facebook's search box to find interesting posts or new pages to follow.
  7. Click on any hashtag that you're interested in — you'll learn what it's about or find other posts or tweets that are similar. You can do this on sites like Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter.
  9. Add a relevant hashtag to something that you post or tweet — just start by using the same hashtag that you see other people using for an event or topic.