If you’ve spent anything more than 60 seconds on social media sites, you likely will have seen hashtags in multiple posts, emphasizing someone’s #YummyDinner, #greatfriends or #coolkids. The hashtag has become an internet sensation, and one who’s claim to fame will last longer than 15 minutes. If your business utilizes social media platforms, (and it should), you have got to get on the hashtag bandwagon to optimize your posts. You’ve put the work into a carefully worded, interested post, but you want that post to actually get read and a hashtag can help widen your audience. The key is picking the proper hashtags for your posts. You want to choose hashtags in the same way that you would choose keywords for your website: what is a person going to search for? Would they search for #MyCarIsAmazing ? Or would #Camaro get more searches? Use relevant, but straightforward hashtags, as well as consistent branding hashtags. First, you must have your standard hashtags that go on every single post that you do. #YourBusinessName should definitely be first in line on that list, as should #YourProductOrService. Don’t forget to include #YourState, #YourCity, and/or #YourNeighborhood if you sell within a certain area. You could include #YourTagLine or #industry as well as any information that would flag #YourTargetCustomer. Finally, don’t forget to bring attention to whatever #Information or #content that you were posting about. Pay close attention to any character count limitations (such as Twitter’s) so that you hashtag the most important keywords. Once you have posted (with hashtags), pay special attention to your posts that get noticed. Are there consistencies in the hashtags used amoung the posts? It doesn’t take long to figure out which hashtags are driving traffic toward your social media posts. Utilize the words that get you traffic more often and you’ll find yourself with more likes, comments and followers. The whole point of having social media!