HASHTAGS! You’ve probably heard them mentioned even if you don’t use them yourself. They’re used in “social media” – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other similar sites. Even if you’re not much of a social media user yourself, they’re often mentioned in traditional media as “what’s trending”. So I’m going to explain the why, where and how briefly, and then I’ve collected some great hashtags for sewing and crafting for you to check out in the next post!
Hashtags appear on a variety of sites as a way to categorize content. You can follow something exciting in real time or use it to scroll through everything that’s ever been posted about a particular subject.
When people add hashtags to their posts to help connect their posts to the content of others that relates, some of the terms are broad, like “sewing”. At the moment #sewing shows 1.45 million uses on Instagram. You can also use narrower terms as hashtags to find people who are into your more specific interests, like who you’re sewing for, #sewingforgirls, or what you’re sewing, like #sewyourstash for people who’re trying to use up what they have rather than buying more.
Adding a hashtag is easy. Just use a # and a word or phrase. No spaces, no punctuation, but you can capitalize if you want to, at least as far as how it shows up in your own posts. Once you’ve posted your caption or comment, your hashtag becomes “clickable” – so that when you or someone else clicks a whole bunch of related posts will pop up!
But why would you add hashtags to your own content as opposed to finding what others are posting? In addition to using hashtags to group content to help you as a user find great stuff, you can also use them to get the attention of a brand, blogger, online community or a designer. Love a particular designer’s fabric and want her to see the beautiful baby dress you made? Tag her and odds are she’ll see it! Love a particular type of thread and want the brand owner to know it? Tag them! A lot of designers and brands re-post work that they find using hashtags, so not only may they see it they may then re-post it and link it back to you!
So, if you’re ready to #hashtagallthethings – two tips/words of caution.
1 – Search for a hashtag before you slap it on your post. What may sound innocent enough to you could associate your post with content you find… objectionable. For example, you might tag oven mitts you’ve just made with #sewhot, but others may be tagging tiny lacey bits. On a real live body. That you can’t un-see. Doh.
2 – Might be a good time to be original. If you want to use a hashtag to group all of your own content together without the random contributions of others popping up, it’ll have to be a bit unusual. For example, we use #fridayfiver to link all of our series posts, but no one can own a hashtag, so other posts appear there too. Not a big deal, just something to be aware of. If we’d really been concerned we could have used #crafterhoursfridayfiver. But if you really want only your own family photos to show up in a group, you’ll want to skip #familyvacation and use something more like #yatesfamvaca2015.
Ready to see all of the sewing and crafting hashtags that could help you find and share great stuff? Click here to see the next post!