I recently met a few individuals who had questions about the use of hashtags and how exactly they work, so here is how I like to explain it. The easiest way to understand the use of a hashtag is knowing how a button on a basic website works, so here we go... For a button to work on a website and drive the user to different location it uses a hyperlink i.e. in the background the developer has added the line of code below They add some colour and character to the button and add the hyperlink around it - that's the a href part! Got it! Great! Now a hashtag works in pretty much the same way, except you don't have to write the line of code above. When you use a hashtag on platforms such as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook it gives the word(s) a lovely shade of blue - just like this #twitter A hashtag is a button with a difference! When you clicked on the button mentioned above, it takes the user from the buttons location to a new one. When you click on a hashtag, it searches that particular platform for every related hashtag and presents them in one screen - lets think about this for a second. Here's a scenario! A baker has decided he want's to join Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. As part of his Social Media Strategy, he want's to reach his target audience and has been advised that hashtags are the way to go, as they aggregate data. He has a wide variety of baked goods on offer daily but want's to push his latest addition as he has bought specific equipment to create homemade gluten free customers. From where I sit he has two hashtags already #glutenfree #homemade - still with me, great! Now Twitter is his first port of call, he will learn in time how to use the others to his advantage! He's signed up and ready to go, he has even prepared what he want's to put online that specific night with statements such as New range of #glutenfree #homemade #breads available at our #bakery #Celiac #bread now available at our #bakery freshly baked each morning did you know, our #bakery has installed new equipment to offer you, our customer a range of #Celiac products new #celiac friendly range of #products available Monday to Saturday in-store all #homemade and ready to eat You get the idea! Our baker has dedicated tonight to sit down and push his new range of products, so when someone clicks on any of the above hashtags, our bakers tweets are added to the algorithm and presented in an aggregate view to the user, if the user feels the urge, they can follow our baker, if not - he/she is lost in the midst of a million other users that happen to be tweeting about the exact same thing! Hashtags aren't full proof, but can be a very, very good way to get noticed. Just use them wisely, remember not everything needs to be a hashtag. Creating useful hashtags means figuring out which words you want to use as 'keywords' - a hashtag is a button, that button is a word, picking the right word is key! If you have any social media queries, pop over to our website www.codestack.ie and pop us an email, or give us a call!

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