You already know that one of the best ways to promote yourself online is to post great content to the web—photos, videos, writings, and whatever else you think may attract people to you. You also already know that you should take steps to help people who may be interested in your content to actually find that content amidst the sea of images and info out there.
When we’re talking about the stuff you put on your website or your blog, one of the easiest ways to help people find your content is to incorporate keywords, meaning the common phrases that a person might associate with your content. But when you’re using social media, you can and should also incorporate hashtags, which are simply keywords with a pound sign put in front of them like this: #hashtag. When you’re writing a hashtag, run all the words in the phrase together, no caps or spaces, and put the pound sign before the first letter.
As far as I know, hashtags are now supported in all of the most common social media platforms. It started on Twitter, but now Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram, Tumblr, Google+, and possibly other platforms are using them. Just as keywords work on the web, hashtags are a great way to help people find your content on social media.
Not sure which hashtags to use? Start by going to the social media platform you want to use, and key in the hashtag you think you want to use. Of course, you can always invent your own, but you’ll have a better chance of connecting with people if you use the hashtags that are already commonly used.
Here’s an example. Let’s say you’ve made a video demonstrating some cool painting technique that you want to show people because it will help attract art buyers and possibly art students. So you go to YouTube’s search bar and type in #paintingtechniques:
Well, look at that. Despite the gajillion painting demo videos on YouTube, no one’s using that hashtag. But people are using—and searching for—#painting, so use that one instead:
Now, I’m not suggesting that you go nuts and start cramming in a dozen hashtags to every post. In fact, stuffing in too many hashtags will just annoy people and turn them away. So choose anywhere from two to a max of five, and work them in however you can. You can embed a hashtag within the flow of your message like this:
Or you can add your hashtags to the end of your message like this:
If you’re really at a loss for words, you could even create an entire message out of just hashtags. Personally, I’d prefer more of a message, but at least this artist is drawing attention to her work:
No matter how you choose to insert hashtags, the important thing is to use them. People are using hashtags to search for content on social media platforms, so don’t pass up this opportunity to make connections with the people who are interested in the kind of art you have to offer. Instead, take the time to sprinkle in a few hashtags to every post and tweet. It only takes a few extra seconds!
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