What Are Hashtags?

What Are Hashtags?

Understanding all the online marketing terminology (like hashtags) can get overwhelming! What are hashtags? Why are they important? What makes them so effective? How can they help you and your business grow?

These types of questions can be overwhelming, so let’s break it down for you into easy to understand terms and examples.

How to Use Hashtags

The reason to use hashtags with your social media posts is to gain exposure!

Just like keywords help people find your website on search engines, hashtags help people find your posts who might not be following you yet on social media. People can follow hashtags and see your content without actually having to already be a follower of your business page. It is one of the easiest ways to gain exposure on social media!


For example: 

  1. A person might follow the hashtag #calgaryseniors because their mom is older and they are looking for activities in their area to keep their mom engaged and active. Every time someone uses the hashtag #calgaryseniors it will filter and be shown not only on your page but a special category page of posts with this hashtag.
  2. Through this hashtag they might find that you are hosting an open house to learn about brain health for #calgaryseniors. 
  3. Then they may be interested in looking at more of your content to see if you host more events or give tips for aging parents so they will go to your social media profile page. Most likely if you have good content they will follow you! 
  4. And next time you use the hashtag #calgaryseniors, they will recognize you again and want to keep coming back for more on your profile.


Remember hashtags are to Social Media what Keywords are to Google.

Just like you want to use the right keywords to be found on search engines, you want to use the right hashtags to be found on social media.

How to Use Hashtags

So, how do you pick the right hashtags? After all, there are thousands of options!


You wouldn’t want to just use simple 1 word hashtags as a general rule. The hashtag #seniors can sound like it would be a good idea for your home care business but when you look at the posts using that hashtag, you quickly realize, seniors in high school are using this hashtag, not aging adults so you won’t be targeting the right audience picking this hashtag.


If instead you use longer tail hashtags you can reach a more targeted audience.

We call these longer tail hashtags high level hashtags and focused hashtags.


High level hashtags help you get more exposure by the right people. 

Examples: #seniorcare #eldercare #homecare #independentliving #seniorliving 


Focused hashtags get you local eyes on your services or products.

Examples: #yourcity #yourcityandstate #downtownyourcity #yourcityliving #yourcityseniors 


Don’t use hashtags with millions of posts, you can get lost in the sea of these posts. Instead look for hashtags that relate to your business that have at least 400+ if they are local, to a few hundred thousand posts if they are higher level keywords. 


How do you find hashtags to use?

To find the right hashtags for you, go to your Instagram/Facebook search bar and start your search by using the hashtag symbol: #

After that, type in the word (or words) that you are looking for. When you find a certain hashtag, you can see how many posts there are that use that hashtag. You’ll be able to see how relevant that hashtag is and whether it is effective or not. It’s SUPER easy.

How to Search for Hashtags

We work with a lot of home care businesses and so we’ve created a handy guide to help you get a head start on your hashtag strategy. Check out our handy PDF with lots of hashtag ideas for home care businesses. It is a great and simple place to start. 


And when you are ready, you can start searching for more on your own via Instagram. Simply go to the search bar in Instagram and start typing #yourcity, #senior, #elder, or #yourdowntown, wait to see what other ideas are generated and how many posts there are and see if any additional related hashtags will work for your business marketing strategy. If you need more ideas for what hashtags to use, we like this free hashtag generator tool.


Do Hashtags and how you can use them for your business make more sense now? We hope so! Now get out there and start using those hashtags to gain exposure on your social media accounts!

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