How to Maximize Your Exposure with #Hashtags

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Hashtags are a simple way to make your posts on most social media platforms seen.

For local governments, this is another great way to ensure important information reaches the eyes of the public. 

A major way municipalities and agencies use hashtags is to promote tourism. The City of Clearwater, Florida for example, makes use of the Visit Florida hashtag #LoveFL to draw attention to one of its pristine beaches: 

 
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Beyond that, as Civic Plus points out, include hashtags for possible searches by social media users looking activities in your area. They point out how the Town of Amherst, Massachusetts tweeted a link to maps with #hike.

Not only that, but the town also tried to get visitors in on the conversation and increased interaction with the inviting hashtag #showusyourhike. 

Tracking a potentially serious weather event? Bring an official voice to the conversationwith the most popular hashtag that people are likely searching to get and share information. Most recently, #wildfire has been trending as officials, reporters and people affected by the devastating fire in California interact on different platforms, often along with the names of specific fires. 

Many governments make use one of the most popular hashtags out there, #ThrowbackThursday or #tbt. They might share a historical photo or reflect on a past community event that went well. 

Some take that light-hearted engagement a step farther and create posts related to trending national holidays. For example, throw a tweet or instagram post out to a favorite local doughnut shop on #NationalDoughnutDay. It’s a fun way to draw attention to local business or show there a people with a sense of humor behind the screen. 

Take a look at how the New York City Department used popular Earth Day hashtags to make activities known ahead of time:

 
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Smaller government agencies can get in on this sort of campaign hashtag, too, by promoting initiatives and programs that fit with those trending themes. 

There are a few different ways to find out which hashtags are trending. Check out the “Trends” tab on Twitter to see what’s trending locally. You can set your trends tab by country, region or city. Take that search up a notch with tools like Trendsmap, which allows you to search popular hashtags, along with Tweeted words and accounts, visually by map. 

Create your own hashtag! Start a conversation with a simple, catchy hashtag. Some cities make use of their nicknames or abbreviations. For instance, the City of Toronto used the short and sweet hashtag #CityofTO to alert residents to new services and potential job opportunities on LinkedIn. They also use #Toronto, a variation of a hashtag that many cities have been using to promote community and support following a tragedy. 

 
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