What the #?

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Social media can feel like learning a new language, but it is an important resource for reaching out to new clients and staying connected with current and past ones. A particular social media function many people are unsure about how to use are hashtags (#). Learn what they are and how they can pack a punch in social media posts.

Hashtags are words, oftentimes short phrases, that categorize and define your post. When used correctly, they can enhance social media posts and help you reach a larger audience.

How to Use a #

Hashtags are word strings preceded by a pound sign (#) that are used in searches for information on a subject or phrase. By adding a hashtag to your own word or phrase, you also make your message searchable so that people –  even those who don’t follow you – can find it and read what you have to say.

Take a look at a post about home staging as an example. You’ve put together a photo collage of the “before and after” of a room to show how effective staging can be. In this particular post, staging could possibly be one of the reasons the home sold so fast. At the end of the descriptive text, you could add hashtags like: #stagingsuccess #stagingsells #homestaging #letmestageyourhome. In future posts, you could use the same hashtags, and when people click on them, they will see all the posts made with the same tags.

Here are a few important tips when using hashtags:

Familiarize yourself with common real estate hashtags and use them to show up in searches.

Don’t use spaces. If your hashtag contains multiple words, group them together. If you want to differentiate between words, use initial capital letters.

Be specific. Specific hashtags are better, and more useful, than general hashtags. Since your goal is to find and target a certain audience, it’s important that your hashtags speak to the right audience. That said, don’t be too specific. For example, while #AustinHomes may be more useful than #TexasHomes, #SkylineDrive is likely too specific.

Use hashtags sparingly on Twitter because they count toward your 140-character limit. On Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest, use as many hashtags as you desire. Unlike Twitter, on Instagram you can add up to 30 hashtags without going over your character limit or being associated with spam.

While there are existing hashtags, there is no preset list. Don’t be afraid to create a brand-new hashtag. You can create one unique to your business.