Posted on Oct 15, 2021
When you see the “#” symbol, what’s your first thought? In 2021, depending on your generation, it could have a variety of meanings. However, did you know that this little tic-tac-toe box could help your club leap into the spotlight?
Known as a “hashtag” in social media, websites and applications, this symbol serves a serious function. It’s like a digital trigger that groups common content together. And when a bunch of hashtags get used, magic can happen in the digital world. This is called “trending.” In the 2021 digital world, trending is the equivalent of being handed a giant megaphone with a world-wide audience.
So how can your club use hashtags to launch your club’s content? Here are a few tips:
  1. Use hashtags to draw attention to your most important content. An article about your club’s donation to polio may include words like #polio, #endpolio or even #vaccine (a hot hashtag right now). Using these hashtags will lump your content with world-wide discussions about those topics.  
  2. Create a list of key hashtags that will be used regularly. For example #rotaryclubofnewyork, #rotary, or even your city/town name to keep it local. Yes, using common hashtags are best, but don’t be afraid to customize to your club or community.  
  3. Speaking of local, don’t be afraid to use local hashtags. Find them by visiting your local community social media pages. Remember, the majority of your future members and likely donors will come from your immediate geographical area. Using local hashtags like #salemmainstreets or even local campaigns like #supportportlandbusinesses can get your club local attention.  
  4. You can also use hashtags to link your club general searches. Like writing a resume, use hashtags that get you the notoriety you want, not necessarily the notoriety you have. For example, we want your club to pop up if someone searches “bestvolunteerorganization” or #service, or #volunteer. Make sure your club is a part of that search content.  
  5. Before posting, search for top hashtags of the day. For example #food, #family, #picoftheday, and #lifestyle are usually in the top 30. Use these to your advantage!

Important reminders:
  • Generally speaking, using 10 hashtags is the max number for a post. It’s recommended that you utilize 3-4 that are specific to your club, then the rest related to content or to connect to a bigger campaign.
  • Numbers are not permitted in hashtags. Although you can type one in, it will be excluded from most social media application searches.
  • Spaces and symbols are also not permitted.
  • Share your key hashtags with anyone in your club that may post to maintain consistency. They can even use your club hashtags on their personal posts. The more the better!
  • Hashtags are mainly used with Instagram and Twitter, but feel free to use them consistently on all of your social media applications including LinkedIn, YouTube and Facebook. Copy and paste can be your best friend.

Finally, the main strategy with hashtags is the more the better. The best case scenario is that your club, members, partners, and donors all tag your club using its hashtags. Asking visitors or speakers to use your hashtags is ok too. You can keep a list handy to give out for them to make sure they get them right. Remember, using hashtags are still one of the best was to get new audiences. By having as many accounts post using your hashtags, your club may “trend” and get the spotlight it deserves quicker!
For some more helpful hints and suggestions on using hastags, check out this video: