Adding a hashtag (#) to a tweet is like adding cream to your coffee – it kicks your social networking up a notch and makes it way more effective.
A hashtag is any word or phrase that is preceded by the number sign (#), with no spaces in between.
In a tweet, a hashtag (such as #jobsearch in the example below), turns those words into an active link. Clicking on the hashtag leads to a collection of other messages that contain that phrase. Go ahead and try it in this tweet!
While hashtags originated on Twitter, they’re now also used in much the same way on two of the other major social networks, Google+ and Facebook, as well as on other social networks like Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube (comments section) and Vine.
Hashtags help you discover valuable information
Use the social network’s search box to find news, tips, resources or links from a particular topic such as #career, #jobinterview, #resume or #leadership. As you discover new resources, you may wish to follow these people and companies for ongoing insights and information.
You can also combine hashtags in a search to find specific opportunities in your city, industry, and area of expertise, such as #jobs #toronto #accounting. Or use Twitter’s Advanced Search to find hashtags used by specific people or from a set time period or location.
Hashtags help you to be discovered
Once you’ve spent some time exploring different hashtags, look for places you can add value to these conversations by using hashtags in your own tweets. These could be motivational messages and tips, or links – to your own blog posts or the best articles you uncovered during your research.
Now when people search for or click on that hashtag, your post will show up!
Choose your hashtags carefully
Some people create their own hashtags using humorous sayings or phrases. While this can be an effective way of reinforcing your personal brand, it can backfire if a reader doesn’t quite get your sense of humour, or if your post lacks professionalism.
When you’re in career transition, always research your hashtag before using. Only use hashtags that are used for the same intention as yours, otherwise your tweets could end up in questionable company. A word – or especially an acronym – that may seem logical and relevant to you could have a whole other meaning to someone else.
If you are really serious about attracting the maximum attention on the major social media platforms that utilize hashtags (Google+, Twitter and Facebook), you need to embrace hashtags as a tool.