The Intern Diaries: Hashtags

We get a lot of questions from social media newbies regarding hashtags. Our intern Jayna breaks them down, Grannie-style. 

Dear Grandma,

Now that you are on “The Facebook” and learning the ways of social media, I’m sure you’ve seen this little guy: #. Beware, this little symbol has a completely different meaning to me than it does to you. But my meaning could be a great tool for you to use in your new social endeavors. 

The hashtag symbol: #

Formally known as the pound sign or number symbol and was used back in the day of telephones and telegraphs.

A hashtag is simply a way to search for common topics on social media. It also can be used as a "tag" to categorize your own posts (tweets and Instagrams are best) to make your content discoverable.

For example:

If you search #4change, you can find a whole list of environmentally conscious content. You will only see the posts relating to this topic because that is how people have labeled their own web content. Unless of course someone "hi-jacked" a post simply to get more views and likes.

Some things to note:

  • Hashtags are not case sensitive. For example: #LOVE and #love will have the same results. Capitalization is more about aesthetics than functionality. 
  • #2many#hashtags#are#a#pain-in-the-butt#to#read. #Can#you#understand#this#QuestionMark. Some people really overdo it with their hashtags. They are not to be used as full sentences.
  • Never say the word "hashtag" in a sentence. Your 13-year old granddaughter may say “like, oh my god, hashtag awesome”, but she has yet to learn how silly she sounds.
  • Be specific with your hashtags; you can make up your own to be funny or try to start a trend. Most brands do this as part of their campaign strategy- be it engagement or brand recognition. 

Now go make your grandkids proud. Make them want to use #ThatsMyGrandma.