Hashtags are mainly used on social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. As you can already see in its name, a hashtag tags or marks something: A keyword or topic. A hashtag consists out of the # symbol and a word or phrase; and no, spaces, punctuation and special characters cannot be used. Once created, a hashtag automatically turns into a link. By clicking on it you’ll land on a new page, showing you all content connected to this keyword.

Hashtags can be used in the beginning, middle or end of a post. Nobody owns a hashtag. And make sure you double-check your creation – inappropriate new words hashtagcould appear within the hashtag.

Hashtags categorize, filter or group content on social media platforms. They make it easier to find specific pictures, videos, accounts and information. An example: If you want some inspiration on what to cook for lunch, you could search for #whattocook, #food or #foodie.

Hashtags also enhance finding – and be found by – people who share similar interests and ideas. You can start collaborations and conversations without knowing each other, as well as following and keeping up with trends: Trending hashtags show you what topics people currently talk about.

When you are a business, create a brand specific hashtag – especially for events and online competitions; and encourage your followers to use it. Make them your brand ambassadors. They will be happy to get exposure in return when you repost their material. Trough such a strategy you won’t only get free user generated content. You’ll get insights into your clients thoughts and user-experiences – highly valuable feedback. In the end hashtags help you build and maintain relationships, grow engagement, increase your exposure and brand awareness.