The term “hashtag” has been around for several years now, but it just recently began gaining popularity.  It was even added to the Oxford English Dictionary in June of 2014. Essentially, a hashtag is the use of the number symbol or pound sign before a word or phrase to form a label or metadata tag. It allows an electronic search to return all messages that contain that term. The first use of a hashtag was in a blog post in 2007, “Hash Tags = Twitter Groupings.
Twitter was the first social media site to use hashtags, as well as the first site to show trending topics. Twitter sifts through the “twitterverse” looking for the most-used hashtags or keywords and compiles a trending list. The list changes as the conversation changes. Many social sites have since started using hashtags, as well as the trending topics.

For business and brands, hashtags can be very useful. They can categorize what people are saying about your brand, product or even certain advertising efforts, making is easier to manage, communicate and share. It also lets you join other conversations and helps extend the reach of your message to a new audience. One of the best, most recent examples of this happened during the American Music Awards on Sunday night. Jerry Riekert went from a simple man from New York who makes lamps to an Internet celebrity, solely by using one hashtag.

During the AMAs, Jerry tweeted about the teenage boy band One Direction while using the #amas hashtag, and Twitter exploded. If you have seen anything about One Direction, you may have noticed that they have extremely loyal fans. Well, One Direction fans saw Jerry’s tweet while they were reading the #amas feed, and now Jerry is no longer just a simple man from New York.


Like any smart businessman, Jerry utilizes his increased audience by showing off his products. He even started crowd sourcing his followers for ideas for a One Direction-themed lamp.

Jerry Riekert Tweet

Though Jerry’s story is rare, it still shows the power of using hashtags. Using popular hashtags properly can extend your message and help you gain new followers and potentially new business.  Still have questions on hashtag usage or social media in general? Call Robmark Web. We can extend a helpful hand or handle the creation and management of your social media sites.