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What is WCW, TBT?

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As a social media manager, I have found it is my lot in life to answer people’s social media questions. I’m often questioned about how I pass the time from day to day. Do I just surf Facebook for a living? Do I really get paid to write blogs? Can anyone do it? I provide valuable trivia to people in response to their barrage of questions. Yes, the fastest-growing demographic on Facebook is really the baby boomer generation. No, the internet will not steal your soul and run away to Narnia with it. Yes, I know what a hashtag is.

There is one question, by far, that is the most popular question I am asked. It is both the bane of my existence and one of my favorite questions to answer. The answer to the question is so multifaceted that I love to answer it, but when people look at me as though I’ve suddenly spouted the second head from my shoulder, it becomes tiresome. Essentially a hashtag is a way to identify and search a specific interest. For example, when I type #blog into a tweet, it allows others to search for the same hashtag and pull my post as part of the stream. Don’t let me lose you just yet.

When I’m introducing a newbie to the principles of hashtags, specifically those using Instagram, I make myself available for a ton of questions. There is always the bracing period, when I have to show people the way of the social media world. Recently, I showed one of my relatives my Instagram profile, and she pointed to a popular hashtag and asked me what it meant. She had seen it previously, and never understood what people were saying. I’ve found this is quite common, that people don’t know what the popular hashtags mean, but they just smile and nod and go along with it. This one is for you.

#TBT – This hashtag is super popular, and it means Throwback Thursday. It is the one day each week people use to post old pictures of themselves. Typically, it is a picture of them as a child, or a picture of when their children were very young. Done in celebration of the passing time, a #TBT photo is a way to reminisce without waxing nostalgic with a long and drawn out social media post.

#FoodPorn – While these posts drive most sane people, or just me (?), crazy, they’re posts of your dinner. While I’m all for posting a photo of an outstanding sushi plate or your incredible crème brulee, I don’t want to see your scrambled eggs. If you’re having a hot dog at Fenway, go ahead. If you’re having a hot dog in your backyard, that isn’t food porn, it’s a hot dog. Your dinner at Morimoto? Yes. Your dinner at Hole in the Wall Diner in Your Neighborhood? No. Restrict use of this hashtag, please.

#WCW/#MCM – Woman Crush Wednesday and Man Crush Monday are the days on which users are encouraged to share the men and women in their lives that get them through the week. It can be a photo of your significant other, your mom or dad, or your children. It can even be a perfect stranger. There are no rules for Instagram, but people may judge you when you have a different one every single week. Use wisely people, use wisely.

#TransformationTuesday – These are my favorite posts on Instagram. As an avid fan of anyone making a change in their lives, I love to see the way they’ve transformed. A Transformation Tuesday photo is one displaying a change in your life, of any kind. You’ve remodeled your kitchen, you’ve lost twenty pounds, or you’ve finally cut your hair off, Transformation Tuesday is the way to show your friends and followers your big change.

#Goals/#Fitspo – I use Instagram for two purposes. The first is to see pictures of my niece doing silly things. The second is for new workouts with which to torture myself. #Goals/#Fitspo are used when people post before and after photos from a vicious workout program, or have finally mastered the perfect Bulgarian Split Squat. It is a way to signify that you aspire to the same level of fitness in the future.

Any way you slice it, hashtags are useful in identifying a common interest with other people. I’ve found people that are interested in crazy workouts, makeup tips, and crazy animals. The popular hashtags I’ve mentioned above are only the tip of the iceberg in social media hashtag world. My best advice regarding hashtags is to use them sparingly. No one likes the person hashtagging seventeen different things, so keep it simple! You can’t go wrong with a one-word hashtag or a popular phrase. #TheEnd

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