Master Hashtags

If you want to learn how to master hashtags in business, study Late Night host Jimmy Fallon and pop icon Justin Timberlake. They have been on the leading edge of social media hashtags, and may even be responsible for helping make #hashtags a thing. They largely did so by making hashtags entertaining.

If you can master hashtags, you can leverage one of most effective ways to network in business today. A hashtag is a word or phrase preceded by a hash or pound sign (#) that is used to identify messages on a specific topic.leverage on social media. People tag their tweets and Instagram posts as a way to attract others interested in the same topic.

At a Timberlake concert I attended at Madison Garden, the pop star had his fans send him tweets while waiting for the show to begin.

Timberlake now has more than 64 million followers on Twitter -- that's million with a capital M.Click To Tweet Fallon serves up weekly Late Night Hashtags. On Twitter, he weighs in with a respectable 50 million followers. Who better to poke fun at hashtags in a comedy bit for taking over our everyday conversations?

Timberlake puts his social media savvy to use in marketing campaigns promoting his work, as marketer Stephanie Frasco’s blog details.  In fact, he’s invested in social media, putting up a major stake in the purchase of MySpace from News Corp. (Oh, well.) Of course, Justin not only invested in social media, he starred in the motion picture. The Social Network written by screenwriter Aaron Sorkin tells the story of how Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg created the social network that we now call Facebook.

Social media serves as regular fodder for Fallon’s comedy bits. Fallon unearthed rare footage of The Beatles after their Ed Sullivan Show performance proving the Fab Four were really, really ahead of their time.

Amber Whiteman blogging for the digital marketing group Metia Group this month highlighted 5 social media trends of which we should be aware. The hashtag video by social media gurus Fallon and Timberlake hashtag made the top five.

So if you want to master hashtags, study Timberlake and Fallon. You can use hashtags to build a following or to find a community of like-minded people. In fact, you can use hashtags to find interesting topics of conversation to cultivate business relationships. I’ve written previously that retained executive recruiters can be hard to get to know. It may be easier to get to know a recruiter on Twitter than it is on LinkedIn, which has far too many candidates vying for a recruiter’s attention. (To increase your chances, check out my post Top 20 Things Headhunters Want to See in LinkedIn Profiles.) Master hashtags and the art of online conversation and you just might be able to get in front of a retained search partner before they have a search to discuss. (You can find me at @KristaBradford.)