If you’re a social media novice, hashtags — those short links preceded by the pound sign (#) — may seem confusing and unnecessary. But they are integral to the way we communicate online, and it’s important to know how to use them.
On Twitter, the pound sign (or hash) turns any word or group of words that directly follow it into a searchable link. This allows you to organize content and track discussion topics based on those keywords. So, if I wanted to post about you getting your business online, I would include #getyourbusinessonline in my tweet to join the overall conversation on getting your business online. Click on a hashtag to see all the posts that mention the subject in real time.
Not everyone knows how to use hashtags well. When used properly, hashtags (# signs that help categorize social media content) make it easier for users to find related content. They can help increase the visibility of your messages and boost your social shares. When used inappropriately, however, they can negatively impact your credibility on social media. This can have the inverse effect of decreasing your social activity. The issue is more complicated when we look at hashtag used beyond Twitter, where they’re most popular.
Keep in mind that the @ symbol does something completely different. Using @ before a person’s Twitter handle will tweet at him directly, letting him know you have written to him via the @Connect tab. A hashtag will not. Sometimes users will hashtag a celebrity’s name instead of using her Twitter handle — it is acceptable to tweet #businessconsultant or @erasmuslaura. But if you are trying to reach someone directly, don’t use a hashtag.
You can use the Twitter search bar to find hashtags to know what folks are currently using.
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Source – https://coschedule.com/blog/how-to-use-hashtags/