During a talk last week on internet marketing and sales I was surprised to realize that many users of social media for business are still not comfortable with the idea of hashtags and how to use them. Here is our Hashtag 101.

What is a Hashtag?
A hashtag is a word or series of words that begin with the symbol #. Hashtags became quite popular when Twitter was launched and have been used on other social platforms to varying degrees. Our opinion is that they are best used on Twitter and on Instagram. They are available on Facebook but rarely used on that platform.

Hashtags are like a hyperlink website URL…If you click the link on the platform(s) you are using it will take you to the conversation for that hashtag. You will be able to see who is contributing to the conversation and what they are saying.

Remember, if there are any spaces in your hashtags the link will be broken and not work.

How Business Can Use Hashtags
Hashtags are great for finding people in your area and/or with like interests, increasing engagement and being a part of relevant conversations. We often see hashtags used for locations such as #YVR (for Vancouver), #Kelowna, #Invermere etc. You can search these hashtags to find people using the platform you are on who are in or talking about your local area.

Find out your local area’s popular location hashtag and remember to use it in relevant tweets so that others in the area may find you even if your businesses is not what they were looking for.

Hashtags are also commonly used by groups of people attending an event or to follow a conversation if they couldn’t attend an event. Most conferences now have a hashtag.

Finding Business With Hashtags
You can also search hashtags related to your business (in our case we both search and use #golfmanagement) to keep up with what is happening in the business of golf. You can search for relevant topics or current news. We suggest you follow hashtags for golf in your region as well as other prominent local businesses. You may find opportunities to take part in a conversation, provide an opinion or even become an authority.

Begin by treating hashtags as an opportunity for your business and spend some time each day reviewing the conversations, the results will surprise you. And you may also find some relevant hashtags that you can use that you might not of thought of before.

Use Hashtags with Meaning
It is common to see hashtags overused and with no real meaning. These hashtags will rarely start a stream of conversation. If using hashtags on Twitter we suggest 2 or 3 relevant ones with up to 5 or even more on Instagram. Once you start using and following hashtags you will get a better idea of how they can work for you. So don’t be afraid. Start hashtagging!

A Classic Hashtag Video
This has been around for a while (since September 2013) and has almost 29 million views but even if you’ve seen it already it is worth watching again.

We, Jeff & Tara Ciecko of CK Golf Solutions write two blogs, one is our 19th Hole Blog where we share personal experiences and the other a Biz Blog where we comment on business best practices and give golf industry related opinions. We have owned CK Golf Solutions for 7+ years and provide marketing, social media and business services to the golf and other industries. We DO NOT get paid for ANY of the blogs on our website. These are the places we visit and the things we do because we want to. When we say that we like or dislike something or have a good or bad experience this is our opinion and the truth as we see it. If you have any questions or comments feel free to contact us anytime.