# hashtags - reaching out on social media
Many businesses and professionals, especially
independent authors, have begun to utilise social media as a useful tool to promote themselves, and to connect to their audience. It is a great way to interact with existing and new customers. So, how do we connect with new people through social media? The answer is hashtags. A hashtag is a hash followed by a keyword(s) eg #writing. They don’t include spaces or punctuation marks and are typically found at the end of a post rather than within a paragraph or sentence.
Hashtags provide a way of labelling a post which is then available to anyone searching for that specific topic, this extends the reach of the post to any potentially interested parties. The trick is to include a range of hashtags relevant to the subject of your post and aimed at the audience you are trying to attract. Be aware, too many hashtags may put readers off, so stick to 1 or 2 relevant tags on Facebook and twitter posts. Instagram offers more leeway as the focus of the post is the photo and not what is being read, still, try to stick to less than 10.
Hashtags are a great tool for marketing when used correctly and can boost followers tremendously. Give it a try! Good luck and happy hash tagging.
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