3 Ways to Use Hashtags Like a Pro

Bloggers, millennials, and every social media user use this virtual phenomenon called the hashtag. It is the represented by this ‘#’ symbol, if you are not familiar. You might think, “Wait, isn’t that the number sign?” To answer your question, this is what Wikipedia says. If you are still not satisfied or just feeling geeky, it used to be called the octothorpe.

Now you can tweet about it with the hashtag and feel cool like a cool kid.

But we digress. Hashtags have been revolutionized by the rise of social media, but it is probably the most used on, and most likely started by, Twitter. Teenagers use it all the time. Bots track it. Avid Instagram users use it like their picture’s thousand words are not enough. But not everyone welcomes spamming multiple hashtags, nor do they like having to squint their eyes reading a 79-character one.

Many businesses have been using the hashtag to help with their promotion. With the number of people using social media, a simple hashtag can unite a country or start a viral movement. Making use of hashtags is very popular with internet marketers and social media marketers because if used correctly at the right time, they could bring about a lot of exposure for their companies as explained here.

If you are new to this social media thing, or just trying to understand the phase your teenager is going through, this Mashable article should quell your frustrations (and concerns). And this article should help you use the hashtags like a pro now that you know what it can do.

1. Denoting your special moments
The hashtag should be treated as a special symbol that loses its meaning if overused. Use this when you want to archive certain happenings. For example, a mother just gave birth to her first child, she could tweet or Instagram a picture about her baby using a personalized hashtag that is unique to her and loved ones that sort of acts as a folder or an archive. So if twenty years later, and mother is bored, she could revisit the hashtag and wallow in a sea of nostalgia.

2. Let your voice be seen
You read that right. Past events that are ground-breaking and shocking like the mysterious disappearance of the Malaysia Airlines plane, MH370, was noted down in history with a mass use of #MH370 on every social media platform. Natural disasters like typhoons and tsunami, and the earthquake that devastated Haiti was also recorded down in cyber history with hashtags like #prayforHaiti. Many people expressed their concerns and feelings with these hashtags. Charity organizations made use of the hashtags to encourage people to donate and to give updates on the disaster.

Many political events use a customized hashtag provided by their public relations manager to promote their political campaigns. For example, U.S. President Barack Obama lauched and promoted his healthcare scheme, Obama Care, using #ObamaCare in all his social media posts. In Singapore, this year marks her 50th anniversary so the government and various media agencies have been promoting the use of the hashtag, #SG50, to involve every citizen to contribute and mark this special year.

3. One-stop news portal
People nowadays do not have a lot of time to read the papers or prefer reading the things they are more interested in. Make use of the hashtags to find the information you want without having to sift through a miasmal of other news. Social media is popular because of its immediacy and online journalism has made reading news more convenient and accessible. This is also how teenagers keep up with their cyber-stalking skills. Love Big Bang? No problem. #BigBang and everything about the immensely popular K-pop boyband immediately fills the screen of the smartphone. Looking for inspiration to keep fit and work out? A few taps on the search bar with #fitspiration or #fitspo and you are ready to start your work out.

The world is now literally at your fingertips. There are many rules and guides about how to use hashtags, but using them like a pro is not something everyone can grasp. So, are you confident of your hashtag proficiency?

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