The short answer for using a hashtag is for others to be able to find your content. Without using hashtags, it is much more difficult to be found. Let’s say you open a restaurant in an area that doesn’t get a lot of traffic. How would you spread the word? Without advertising, it would be difficult to earn business if you are relying on “being discovered” or even “word of mouth.” Using hashtags allows people searching those hashtags to be able to find you.
How do you know which hashtags to use? That is always the question! There are websites/apps that can help you based on your niche, but a bit of research is all you really need. A good rule of thumb is to use several hashtags related to what you are doing. Say you post a picture of a trail clean-up in Big Cottonwood Canyon for Earth Day. You could use: #bigcottonwoodcanyon #trailcleanup #litterbug #hiking #serviceproject #earthday
Those are specific and someone looking for pictures of the event could probably find them with those. Some of those hashtags have a lot of pictures, so they could also be lost in the posts.
How do people find you with hashtags? Most platforms have areas where you can search using hashtags. For example, if I am on Instagram, I can go to the searchbar and type in a word. Maybe I am looking for stuff at the U. So I type in “#universityofutah and it will pull up anything that was posted with that hashtag. Sometimes people will use hashtags even though it has nothing to do with the hashtag. Not everything will be related or relevant.
Since this post is about hashtags, we will leave off locations and other ways of searching but will cover it another time.