Hashtags – What and Why?

The use of hastags (#) was started with Twitter

The use of hastags (#) was started with Twitter

Despite what some may think, there are many people who have no idea what a hashtag (#) could be or why it is used.

It all started with Twitter back in 2007. The originators of Twitter didn’t think the hashtag was a great idea at first. When newspaper people started using it about fires in San Diego, the practice took off.

The hashtag (# ) is used to indicate a message on a particular topic. For example, when I send out a tweet about a new post on my blog about diabetes, I will include #diabetes at the end. That way if someone is looking for tweets about diabetes, my tweet will be included in the tweets listed from that search.

When you use a hashtag (#), the the words behind it are not separated. For example, if you were tweeting about social media, you would #socialmedia. You can #SocialMedia, if you want to, it does not affect the search. Just remember there are no spaces between words.  It is acceptable to use numbers. (#50shadesofgrey)


You will often see that people will make up funny # sayings. These are generally not meant as search terms as much as they are for amusement. So, you may see #baddaygetwine, that is more to be funny than for people to find everyone who had a bad day and wants a glass of wine.

If you want to do a search on Twitter, you type the term into the search box at the top of the page and a new page with tweets on that topic will come up. On that page there are categories like Top (most popular and relevant), Live (tweets on that subject that are happening right now), Accounts (the accounts that are tweeting on that topic), Photos (photos on that topic), Videos (videos on that topic) and then a category for More Options. The tweets that come up will be for the entire “Twitterverse” (everyone on twitter) but if  you want to see just the tweets on that topic from your connections, you can go to More Options and restrict the feed down to your connections.

Also on the left side of your Twitter page, you will see a column for Trending. This column is for tweets you might be interested in based upon your tweets and connections. Contrary to popular belief, it is not the trending tweets from the entire “Twitterverse”. It could be that some of your trending tweets are trending for everyone but that is not the norm.

Generally with Twitter, you can put 1-3 hashtags (#) per tweet. These should be specific and give context to your tweet. This is yet another time in life to keep the acronym KISS (keep it simple, stupid) in mind.

Gee, I thought this was the lb. symbol...

Gee, I thought this was the lb. symbol…

While Twitter is the birthplace of the #, it is used across other social media platforms as well.

Facebook can use hashtags but it is not as popular. When you use a hashtag as a search in Facebook your results will come from all across Facebook. The results will not be limited to those you know.

Google + also uses hashtags. When you search on Google+, the results will not only be for your hashtag word but it will also give you results for related terms.

Pinterest  uses hashtags although it is not necessary there.

Instagram is the home of massive hashtag use. Research has shown that 11 hashtags is the optimal number. You will see people who use many more than that.

I hope this give you some insight into the hashtag. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. If you would like to join our mailing list, please use the form at the top or bottom of this page.

You can also visit us on Facebook (CPML Social) or Twitter (@cpmlsocial). We are also on Pinterest and Linked In. Also, check out our web site at CPML Social.

Wondering what apps we have found to be helpful? Like us on Facebook or follow us on Linked In you will get our posts about it.


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What does it mean?  Too Long; Didn't Read

What does it mean? Too Long; Didn’t Read

Part of our day is spent reading the endless stream of information about social media. It is amazing how much is written every day. One of the things we have come across is the initialism TL;DR. It stands for Too Long; Didn’t Read.

It is our feeling that you are not looking for a degree in any part of social media when reading this blog. You would like some information that you can close the page and remember. That is our goal here. To let you know about something that you can understand and remember. If a topic is too long, then we will break it up over several weeks.


If you are like most people, you are looking at the pictures and captions first.

Not only is “a picture worth a thousand words” but it catches your attention. The appropriate use of a visual will enhance the written word but perhaps more importantly will capture the attention and draw a potential reader to your written word.

Think about a Twitter feed. When you look at your feed, it is entry after entry. Those posts that have a picture take up more space and catch your attention. You will probably look at those first and according to statistics, you will be more inclined to click to find out more information.

Which post grabs your attention?

Which post grabs your attention?

Look at this page. I have inserted pictures throughout to illustrate points. Not only that, but I have captions under the pictures. Why? Because according to statistics (who does these stats?) you will look at the pictures and read the captions first to see if you want to read the rest.

Much like Apple chargers not being the same as Android chargers, all social media platforms use different sizes. (I know, how frustrating can this get?) But you really do need to use the right size for the platform. But then if you are like me, you have no idea how to get the size right even if you know what it is. To help us get the right sizes and to add some pizazz to our visuals, we use a site named Canva.

(We will talk more about Canva in our monthly “Apps we love “piece)

The Take Away

Today’s take away is that you need to use visuals both in your posts and in your profiles. Your work will be more likely to get the attention it deserves when accompanied by visuals.

Thanks for joining us!

If you would like to be on our mailing list for these posts, please click on the follow button at the top right or bottom of the page.

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Welcome!We are glad you are here!

We are truly excited to start this new venture. We’ve certainly received a great reception and encouragement from our friends and colleagues. Social media marketing is a mystery to many and it is definitely an ever changing world.  We’re hoping to help you use it to grow your business.
Looking at the top social media platforms and witnessing how they’ve evolved over time makes it exciting to imagine what will happen next.  

SOCIAL MEDIA ICONSLinkedIn started as a place for professionals to be noticed so they could move up the corporate ladder. Now it is a site where people can demonstrate that they are  experts in their field by posting pictures, videos, and publishing articles. There are many enhancements to the platform with more on the way.  

Facebook started as a way for high school senior and college students to keep in touch with friends. Now people of all ages keep in touch plus has proven to be a great place to showcase your business.  

Pinterest was a recipe site. Now it is a wellspring of visual images that still provide recipes but also products and services. It has a powerful search engine. When you tag your pictures or videos correctly it will help promote your product or service long beyond the other social media sites.  

Twitter started as a way to get your message across in 140 characters or less. It now allows pictures and short videos and has a vast audience. A picture is worth a 1000 words on Twitter.  

Yelp was thought of as a place for restaurant reviews. Now it covers all types of businesses. Claiming your Yelp business page allows you to post pictures of your business and reply to comments made on your page. (Remember to thank people along with checking on complaints)  

Google + is a place to find others with your similar interests and as a business; a place to showcase your expertise and your products.  

Instagram is a photo sharing platform that shares (for the most part) cell phone pictures and hashtags. Businesses are using Instagram for contests and recognition.  

While this list covers some of the top sites, there are many more and there will be more in the next year or two. There will always be newer and better and we are having a great time finding out about all the latest and best. Not only is it of interest to us but we know that our clients will need to know the best places for their business to be marketed and they don’t always have the time or inclination to research the field. 

That is where CPML Social comes in – to advise, set up (or re-imagine) and help maintain social media sites for small businesses.  

Also, when we find articles or apps that help us with our business, we will share that information with you. We will share on our web site and also on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest so please join us on those sites as well. 

Thanks for joining us!

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