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Your basic guide to hashtags
3 October 2018

By Clodagh O'Carroll.


If you use social media at all, chances are you’ve come across something that looks like #this. This is a hashtag. Hashtags are an important tool for marketing and promoting online. This blog post will give you the basics of what hashtags are and how to use them.
Hashtags have been around since 2007. Named because they use the hash symbol on your keyboard, hashtags make words or phrases searchable online. This means that people searching for a specific hashtag can find your content. For example, if you create a Twitter post and use the hashtag #event, people searching for #event on Twitter may find your post and your organisation’s page. Using hashtags can increase and widen the audience of your post, so it’s not only your followers who can see that content.
How to use hashtags
Hashtags are mostly used on Twitter and Instagram. They can also be used on Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, and Tumblr, but Twitter and Instagram are really the two main social media platforms where hashtags are popular and useful. 
Fortunately, hashtags are easy to use. You just hit the # key and follow up with the word you want to be searchable, like #that. If you want to use another hashtag, use the spacebar and then hit the # key and type your second hashtag. It will look #like #this.
You can have a hashtag with one word or multiple words in it, although you can’t use spaces. For example, if you’re posting a link on Twitter to your art class description on Events Pronto, you should type the hashtag as #artclass or #ArtClass. While you can use capital letters for aesthetic or clarification purposes, the use of capitals won’t affect the search results. This means that someone searching the #artclass tag will also see posts tagged with #ArtClass. You can also use numbers in hashtags, but not punctuation marks, so commas and apostrophes aren’t necessary.
One of the benefits of hashtags is that not only can you use existing hashtags that people are likely to search for, but you can also create your own. This can help you to create excitement and encourage your followers to post about your event using that hashtag. 
It’s also important to note that some people use hashtags for sarcasm or humour. While you may or may not use humorous hashtags for promoting your events, it’s useful to know you have that option. It’s also important to realise that hashtags shouldn’t always be taken seriously, and you can have fun with them.
Suggestions for hashtags
If you don’t know where to start, here are some ideas for hashtags that may be useful for your event promotions. These are all existing hashtags that people can search for but remember you can also create your own. If your organisation is large enough, you may also find it useful to start a hashtag with the name of your organisation.
Not all of these hashtags will be relevant for your events, so choose one or two that best suit your event and your organisation. Note that using more than three hashtags in one post may irritate your audience and look unprofessional.
Ten possible hashtags for children’s art classes
Ten possible hashtags for adults’ pottery classes
Ten possible hashtags for fundraising events

An article by Clodagh O'Carroll
Clodagh O’Carroll is about to graduate with a Bachelor of Communication Studies. Her special interests are public relations, writing, and media studies. She also has an interest in non-profit organisations.

An article for Events Pronto and its followers
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