What is that #hashtag sign?

You might not believe it, but several friends have asked me this question recently.
Even though hashtag has been used on the social networks since 2007 and had its peak in 2009 on Twitter, the Slovaks started hashtagging only in the recent year or two. And not only in the private profiles, but also in advertisement. Moreover, we even have a political party with a hashtag in Slovakia.

So, this blog is dedicated to everybody who have no idea what the hashtag is, or just don’t know how to use it.

So, what is it?

Hashtag is used with the word that plays the key role in whatever you post. Using a proper hashtag helps sorting the posts about a specific topic. That means that you can browse the posts on a topic you are interested in. Simply, by searching a key word.
Example. Let’s say that you had a dog’s day and you want to cheer up with some funny dogs. Open your Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and type in #funnydog. And here it comes:

Source: Instagram

If the airport carpets are what helps your sad soul, there’s a hashtag for you too: #airportcarpet.

Source: Instagram

Hashtag helps you to follow the current events. Everything has its hashtag nowadays!
Snow storm in America? ##Blizzard2016
This year’s Oscars boycott? #OscarsSoWhite
Slovak parliament elections? #volby2016

So, now you know what it is. But you probably still don’t know how to use it.
Otherwise you wouldn’t be doing this:

1. #No, #you #do #not #put #hashtag #in #front #of #every #single #word

Yes, of course there are situations when you can use hashtag in front of every single word, but most of the times you just don’t. If you post the photo of your good friend with #she #is #my #big #sister, what do you think people will find when they click on #is?
The Islamic State! Posts about cutting heads and a photo of your friend.
And if you want your friend to be associated with #big hashtag, go on and put it there. But is it really a good idea?

Always try to use the relevant hashtags that describe the essence of the photo or are just related to it. In this case, you can only write: she is my #bigsister or #bestfriend. Hashtag should be related to the post so that it can lead everyone else to the topic that they’re interested in.


2. Hashtag is #keyword, #hashtagisnotanessay

It should contain one word, maximum two. If you really need to use more, at least use capital first letters, like this: #ThisHashtagIsTooLong.

Not like this:
Source: Twitter

3. #Hashtag# #is# #not# #a# #parenthesis#.

If you want to use is, put it before the word, not after it. It’s not a parenthesis.

Not like this:

4. Hashtag#is#not#space.

If you want to use several hashtags, put spaces in between them so people can click on them. Especially if you want to use hashtags on Facebook.

Remember this rule when you share post from Instagram on Facebook, otherwise you’ll end up like this:

If you still don’t get it, it’s OK. You can use it wrong on purpose, but it must be funny.

Using hashtag in a funny and ironic way is my favorite. It’s the situation when you want to underline your point without trying to categorize your post for consecutive searching.
The champion of the funny hashtagging is demotivacia.


Translation: “GET OUT! I AM NOT READY YET!!!” #gollum #myprecious #ladyoftherings #queenofmascara #mordoreyeshadows #evilempire #backoffsatan #exorcist #poltergeist #saw #fiona #shrek #returnmywoman #noworknoface #nofacenomoney

Still don’t get it? You can at least bake a hashtag pie.



PS: Resemblance with the posts of my friends is quite coincidential.

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