Decoding Social Media Hashtags

By Kelly Ehlers | 05/15/2013 9:00:00 AM


Kelly Ehlers decodes Hashtags


That question is one that’s often raised during the social media training sessions I conduct, and I thought it was time to break down the typographical symbol that’s making waves in the social media space. The pound sign (or as us social media geeks call it, a hashtag) has big social media ambitions. Formerly known only to us on our telephone keypads, we are now seeing them scroll across our TV tickers, adhered to the backs of sports jerseys and even playing a large role in the breaking news.

In my opinion (and it’s not because I occasionally like to correspond solely in hashtags, I promise),  this commonly misused social tool is not only a fun way to add some personality to your social posts, but an amazing tool you can leverage in a variety of different ways.

So, where did the infamous hashtag come from? Twitter.

Early Twitter adopters started using hashtags to categorize tweets by topic so members of the Twittersphere could follow conversations. (Note, give this a try: search #modernsalon, #beautyMOB or #hairstylist on Twitter and see what comes up!). The good news is, the uber-popular Instagram has also adopted the use of hashtags and coming soon, so will Facebook.

Today we most commonly see hashtags as tools to give the writer the opportunity to comment on his or her own emotional state, perhaps in a sarcastic, ironic or joking manner. On the flip side, it’s a great way for your stylists and clients to contribute to your social conversations by utilizing a hashtag that represents your salon. And because these pound signs curate like-type content in one place you can also track the conversations about your salon by using them as a search term within Twitter and Instagram. Then, you can join the conversation, creating additional buzz around your salon!

In our next blog we’ll give a few shout outs to salons and stylists that have mastered the hashtag phenom. As always feel free to contact me at: to share your social story with the Modern Salon and Salon Today family.

Until then…#StayCool #StaySocial and connect with me using your favorite #hashtag!


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Style Sync is an on-line social media training, personal branding and business education platform designed specifically for salon owners and stylists to help them magnify their image and multiply their results.

Style Sync, a division of Evoke Brand Strategies, is an on-line, subscription based social media training, personal branding and business education platform designed to help individual stylists and salon owners turn social media prowess into more clients and more money for your salon.


At Evoke Brand Strategies we develop digital, social and mobile strategies for salon professional, beauty, hospitality and entertainment brands. As branding and public relations veterans, yet early adopters of all things digital, we understand the importance of creating measurable, buzz-worthy campaigns that generate bottom-line results.







Kelly Ehlers is a recognized leader and expert in social and mobile media for the salon and beauty industry. Her firm, Evoke Brand Strategies, specializes in providing innovative digital solutions for salons, stylists and brands looking to connect with their customers in today’s technology-driven society. By combining traditional PR and relationship building with today’s social platforms, Ehlers bring a fresh perspective to the industry.

Having literally grown up in the industry (her mother was a successful salon owner for 40 years), Ehlers’ unique perspective combines years of PR, marketing and social media knowledge with real-world salon experience. In February 2012, Ehlers launched her newest venture, StyleSync, teaching small businesses, salon owners, stylists and students how to easily utilize social media to grow their businesses and personal brands.

For more, go to, and follow her blog at


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