The power of hashtags and how to use them.

Ten years after they were first introduced, I finally get the professional value of hashtags, or, in the world of social media, #.

I have my son JP, a fourth year computer science student, to thank for this. Last summer he worked an internship to gain a better understanding of how to connect to target audiences via technology. Also this past summer, I attended the national salt and pepper shakers club convention, not as a collector, but to support my mother, who owns close to 1,000 sets. However, I’m a marketer at heart, so when the opportunity to advance the organization by creating an Instagram account presented itself, I volunteered.

I didn’t know much about Instagram at the time, only that it’s a social media platform frequented by younger audiences (55% of all online users aged 18 – 29 are on Instagram, and 28% of 30 – 49 year olds), and with an average age of shaker club members being nearly 60, we needed to connect to fresher fans. And in the world of Instagram, hashtags drive and direct the flow of information.

So I set up an account with the handle @shakerfun, and then JP jumped in to help with the hashtags, adding a string of them (18 altogether) such as #saltandpepper#collectables, and #shakers. He then showed me the potential of the mighty #symbol, and how I could search on the terms I’d used to find others posting under them, too. Voila! My tribes could be identified with simple hashtag searches.

From there I could started searching out and following other pages, both in and outside of the world of salt and peppers. I’ve since filled my feed with content that inspires and advances several things I’m working on. And although hashtags don’t apply to every professional interest, you may be delightfully surprised to discover several that do match your career and entrepreneurial focus, whether it’s #3dprinting, #bigdata or #realestate.

So if one or more of your priority goals needs a jumpstart, (or in my case, to be shaken up a bit) it may be time to hop into hashtags.


Photo credit: © Pavel Losevsky

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