Hashtags (represented with the symbol #) are becoming more and more popular online. I remember being completely confused when people started adding #s to the end of their social media entries. What was the point? Why didn’t they just type out what they wanted to say? When I started a Sweetbriar Sisters Instagram page, I realized I needed to break down and learn what these things really did. So I called the biggest expert I could think of- My 13 year old niece. 🙂 I was excited to learn that hashtags aren’t too hard to understand after all, and they could actually be pretty useful.
To understand how to use them, I feel like you need to know 2 things: 1) What hashtags were made to do, and 2) How people actually use them.
- We’ll start with the real purpose. Hashtags are used to connect information on social media sites. For example, if you see a post on Facebook that ends in #SweetbriarSisters , you can click on the hashtag and every post on Facebook that has been labeled with #SweetbriarSisters will come up in a list, allowing you to see tons of photos of people making up our patterns. It’s a very easy way to share information with others. Right now, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Google+ will all do this type of search when you click on a hashtag. (They will only search within their own site, so if you click on a hashtag in Facebook, you’ll get a list of everything on Facebook with the same hashtag.
- Then there’s what I like to call the cutesy-wootsy way of using #s. Along with using them for searching, hashtags have also become a way for people to add a little spunk to their posts. For example, someone might write- “Cleaned my whole house in 30 minutes today! #YeahRight ” In this case, you can read the hashtag as if the person was saying the phrase under their breath. It’s a fun way to add a little cute sarcasm to a post. It’s cute and fun…and that’s about it- this type of use doesn’t really have much of a function beyond that. It’s not like people will be searching #YeahRight in hopes to find a list of related posts.
Practicing what we’ve learned.
Alright, so now you’ve read about what a hashtag can do, let’s try it out! Click here to go to an old Facebook post I wrote. Once you’re there, click on the hashtag in the description and see what related content comes up.
So now that we know what a hashtag does, how do we use them for crafting? Here are a couple of my favorite methods.
1) Whenever I post something I’ve made with a pattern, I try to add a hashtag with the pattern name, for example #HarryTheHorse or #DaltonTheDragon . If you click on the hashtag, you’ll find all of my other photos of items made from that pattern PLUS if anyone else made up that same pattern and labeled their photo with the same hashtag, you’ll find their picture as well. It’s a great way to see what other people are doing with a pattern, and a perfect way to gather ideas on how different colors or fabrics will look with your pattern.
2) Right now we’re in the middle of a Sew Along for our upcoming Splendid Snowmen pattern and I’ve invited participants to share their progress with #SplendidSnowmen . The idea is the same, but instead of just sharing the final product, people have the opportunity to share how things are looking at different stages. Even if you don’t know anyone else working on the Sew Along, by clicking on the hashtag you can see all the photos that have been shared by other participants. It’s a fun way to see what others are doing and encourage each other to keep going through longer projects.
3) Finding friends! I have found some of my favorite online friends through clicking on a hashtag. It’s easy to find other people who like the same types of projects I do and it’s so fun to start watching what they are working on. They often introduce me to patterns I completely love and never would have found without them.
Now you’re an expert on hashtags- go out and use them! Even if you’re not big on posting to social media yourself, you can make good use of these guys by clicking on posts written by others. You might just be surprised how much information it will give you!