Decoding Social Media Hashtags

August 16, 2016

  Photo Credit: @Doohsarahcuda

 Photo Credit: @Doohsarahcuda

#WhatIsAHashtag?

That question is one that’s often raised during the social media training sessions I conduct, and I thought it was time to break down the typographical symbol that’s making waves in the social media space. The pound sign (or as us social media geeks call it, a hashtag) has big social media ambitions.

Formerly known only to us on our telephone keypads, we are now seeing them scroll across our TV tickers, adhered to the backs of sports jerseys and even playing a large role in the breaking news.

In my opinion (and it’s not because I occasionally like to correspond solely in hashtags, I promise),  this commonly misused social tool is not only a fun way to add some personality to your social posts, but an amazing tool you can leverage in a variety of different ways.

So, where did the infamous hashtag come from? Twitter.

Early Twitter adopters started using hashtags to categorize tweets by topic so members of the Twittersphere could follow conversations. (Note, give this a try: search #modernsalon#beautyMOB or #hairstylist on Twitter and see what comes up!).

The good news is, the uber-popular Instagram has also adopted the use of hashtags and coming soon, so will Facebook.

Today we most commonly see hashtags as tools to give the writer the opportunity to comment on his or her own emotional state, perhaps in a sarcastic, ironic or joking manner. On the flip side, it’s a great way for your stylists and clients to contribute to your social conversations by utilizing a hashtag that represents your salon. And because these pound signs curate like-type content in one place you can also track the conversations about your salon by using them as a search term within Twitter and Instagram. Then, you can join the conversation, creating additional buzz around your salon!

In our next blog we’ll give a few shout outs to salons and stylists that have mastered the hashtag phenom. As always feel free to contact me at: kehlers@evokebrands.com to share your social story with the Modern Salon and Salon Today family.

Until then…#StayCool #StaySocial and connect with me using your favorite #hashtag!