Hashtags are the proverbial thorn in my fucking ass side. They are under used, OVER used (you know who you are) or inappropriately used. There are no hard and fast rules about using hashtags and in a lot of cases they are fun, but I find them so ill used that I decided to expand my knowledge of hashtags as a form of masochistic therapy. Here’s what I learned.
Invented by Chris Messina as a marketing tool, hashtags are meant to single out a specific keyword for search purposes. Looking for a #brewery in #chicago? Hashtags will target those specific keywords to help you find what you’re looking for. Many bastardized versions of hashtags have since surfaced but it appears that:
People Actually Use Hashtags For Search
Or should I say #peopleactuallyusehashtagsforsearch? It’s true. There are two major sectors of search where hashtags are used for their intended purpose:
Travel. People traveling to different parts of the country and/or world will often use hashtags to find out where they should eat/shop/stay. Helpful on Twitter but more so on Instagram where users can learn and SEE pictures of the places they can potentially pop in.
Job search. Looking for a #marketingjob? Check out twitter and use a location specific hashtag (#nashville). Find jobs in your field in your area quickly and easily.
There Are Hashtag Tools
Wondering if your hashtags are worth a damn? Quantify your tagging with tools like Hashtracking that make it possible to search hashtags and decide if your brand or field is being searched for and hashtagged properly.
Are You A Hashtag Abuser?
There are several types of hashtag abusers and for the sake of saving time, I’ll refer you to New York Magazine’s 7 Types of Hashtag Abusers. Whether you’re an emotional hashtagger or a hashtag stuffer I think you’ll agree that appropriate hashtag use has its place on Twitter, Instagram and yes, even Facebook.