A quick tutorial on #hashtags and what #nottodo when using them

You’ve seen them in your Facebook feed, on TV, on fliers and pretty much everywhere. What you and I at one point called a number sign or pound sign has been renamed completely and is used in a different way. So, before you go out and make the mistake of using these classic words, only to find a confused look on the face of the person you’re speaking to, read this tutorial!


The modern day use of the hashtag became popular on Twitter. Before that it was used on IRC to label groups and topics. The first hashtag was used in 2007 on Twitter. Beginning July 2, 2009, Twitter began to hyperlink all hashtags in tweets to Twitter search results for the hashtagged word. In 2010, Twitter introduced trending topics on the Twitter front page, displaying hashtags that are rapidly becoming popular.


A lot of people who don’t use hashtags or aren’t familiar have a negative first impression. I have seen posts by my friends that make fun of them because they don’t know how to use them, or go as far as blocking friends that use them. To put it in the same light as voting, you vote because you want your voice to be heard.  You use hashtags the same way.  Here’s a situation where you would use a hashtag:

That was a crazy penalty!  #badcall

In this situation, using this hashtag will put your post with everyone else that uses that tag that thinks the penalty was bad. If there a lot of people that use the same tag, it becomes a “trending” topic, or a hot topic.  Then, it often catches the attention of people and it will spark a lot of discussion. Clicking on a hashtagged word in any message shows you all other Tweets marked with that keyword.


  • When you are posting a hashtag from an account that can show publicly, anyone who searches for that hashtag will see your post.
  • Twitter suggests using no more than #two #hashtags per post (your Instagram friends may not know that).
  • Hashtags can be used on most social networking sites, like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.  Most have now integrated them into their systems too, so you can click on a hashtag to see other users posts.


Use a hashtag for a wedding. Any of your guests can use a cute hash tag, like #theMartins2015 so the wedding party and guests can see everyone’s pictures. Also, creative ideas like a favorite recipe, use the hashtag #dinnertime so others can see the picture of what you’re cooking. Maybe you want to start a trending hashtag (now that you know what that means). Put your finger in ice cold water for 10 minutes and use the hashtag #myfingeriscold. Maybe millions of other people will do the same.  Not that we’d suggest that!