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    Hashtags: Are they a thing of the past or are they still relevant in social media in 2020?

    [fa icon="clock-o"] Thu, Jan 09, 2020 [fa icon="user"] Christal Shiller [fa icon="folder-open'] Digital Marketing Advice

    Picture1-4I have been watching You, a popular Netflix series in which the 2nd season was just released. Within this new season there is a young 15-year-old character named Ellie. Ellie’s character is smart, trendy, and when it comes to her social media, on point. In the Netflix series, there is a scene where Ellie gives the main character, Joe, some tips about his social media posts. And, what she tells him in this scene, made me stop and think a minute. “Don't hashtag, they're thirsty,” she said. What? Did this mean what I thought it did? Were hashtags a thing of the past? Were they uncool now and not relevant in the social media world? I had to explore.

    First, let’s talk about the meaning of the word “thirsty” here. I may have heard that slang term
    in passing before, but I was a little unsure of its definition. So, I looked it up. According to Urban Dictionary and some other online dictionaries I found, the definition is “1. Too eager to get something (especially play) 2. Desperate.” I was right about the definition. Ellie’s character meant that they were no longer cool to use. What?! Is this true? I really hope not.

    Second, for those of you who might not know, the definition of hashtag as defined by Wikipedia is a type of metadata tag used on social networks such as Twitter and other microblogging services. It lets users apply dynamic, user-generated tagging that helps other users easily find messages with a specific theme or content.

    There are multiple reasons to use hashtags for personal or business use in social media. They are searchable, people follow certain hashtags to find new content, and in a second, they can give someone an idea if your content might be something that they are interested in exploring. In my mind, there are 3 main ways to use a hashtag in a social media post.

    1. To target the right audience. Using a hashtag that highlights your post specific to a certain group, audience, or industry will help those interested or within that group find it. Examples: #newmoms, #workingprofessionals, #leaders, #digitalmarketing.
    2. To brand yourself or your business. Creating a unique hashtag for when someone sees it, they know it’s you or your business. If used correctly, it can be a great way to build your brand. Example, our team uses #DMGThriveHive in all of our posts to drive our brand.
    3. To highlight specific content or a message. Example: Using hashtags will help people interested in learning more about them find this article if I were to post it on social media. Or, we all saw how #MeToo caught on to create a movement.

    So, back to Ellie’s words in You …”they’re thirsty.” Sure, using hashtags means that you want someone to recognize or relate to your content. I searched and saw more than a few articles showing that they are, in fact, still relevant in 2020. Major brands are still using them, celebrities are still using them, and everyday professionals are still using them. Without them, it would be harder to find relevant information or ideas on social media. I really don’t see them going away anytime soon. There are a lot of articles that you can find on best practices to use, including an article from our team - How to Use Hashtag Marketing to Grow Your Business.

    If you plan to use hashtags, research the best tips on how to use them. There is a faux pas or 2 that can happen when using hashtags. Here are a few tips from me:

    1. Don’t overuse hashtags. Pick one or 2 at most for a post. Remember, you don’t need multiple ones in every post either.
    2. Don’t use ones that make sense to no one else but you, unless that’s what you are trying to do. Then, by all means, use it.
    3. Make it relevant to your business or the content you are posting.

    And, if you want to watch a funny clip about hashtags, lookup the Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake video on YouTube about hashtags. It’s funny!


    Consulting with a trusted digital specialist can make this process easier for any business. Contact DMG+ThriveHive today to help you grow your business with a strategic digital approach.

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    Christal Shiller

    Written by Christal Shiller

    Digital Sales Manager with 18 years of experience helping local, regional, and national businesses reach the perfect consumer through audience-focused marketing solutions.

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