A hashtag can convey irony or sarcasm, suggest emotion or mood, pose an answer to an implied or rhetorical question, or even directly contradict the actual tweet. The effect can be humorous, provocative, informative, or mysterious.

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This humble little symbol (#) can now connect conversations on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, Google+ and Pinterest. Check out the Top 100 trending hashtags on Instagram right now.



How do I use hashtags?

Everyone knows that you’re supposed to use hashtags on social media to get more attention, but it can be tricky to know what to say and what words to use. Here are some of the most useful ones for small business owners.

1) Post using a trending hashtag

A trending hashtag is one that is being used by many users, usually during an event or in response to a current fad. If something is trending, (like #grammys during the Grammys) it means that your post will be buried by hundreds or even thousands of posts within seconds. Makes it hard not to get lost in the crowd; on the other hand, you don’t want to add the least popular hashtags that no one looks for. There are endless sites that provide constantly updating lists of trending hashtags.

2) #shoplocal

Using this tag can help find other local businesses and provide a great way to network. Additionally, this tag also generally carries the benefits of being labelled to businesses that care about customer satisfaction and service as opposed to creating profit wherever possible.

3) #smallbiz

This tag may seem obvious; but it works. This can be especially helpful for the more official small business posts, like government or banking programs or scheduled online discussions led by business leaders, or for those who prefer more interactive learning as opposed to just reading endless online posts.

4) #socialbusiness

This hashtag is mostly for small business owners who are specifically trying to improve their use of social media to grow their business. This hashtag will most likely result in a combination of useful articles and people trying to sell you stuff, as is always the case, but if someone consistently posts that hashtag with useful articles, they probably know what they’re talking about.

5) #startups

You can use this tag to learn about cool startups and can be valuable for both possible collaborations and, more importantly, to learn from other entrepreneurs’ efforts.


If you use Twitter for nothing else, use it to learn from others. Head to hashtags like#SMB or#smallbiz for advice, resources and current news of the small business variety (also follow along duringTwitter chats). Although broad hashtags like these can generate an overwhelming number of tweets every day, tune in every so often for a quick update. A couple of scrolls down the feed could inspire your next blog post, marketing tactic or bestseller.