Hashtags can be confusing and sometimes annoying when used incorrectly. This infographic from Huffington Post breaks down exactly what a hashtag is and, just as importantly, how you should use it.

So what are hashtags? Hashtags are tools that allow social media users to link a post to a group of others about the same topic or alert a group of likeminded individuals on a topic in real time. For small businesses, an effective hashtag can boost brand recognition and customer loyalty.

But how do you use hashtags? Twitter recommends using no more than two hashtags per tweet. While this is not a hard and fast rule, it's important to remember not to overload tweets with hashtags. Not only does using several hashtags take away from valuable character space, but it will make your hashtags less memorable. Keep you tags short and sweet to make long-lasting impressions on your followers.

For more useful tips and details on hashtags, check out the full infographic here and don't forget to use hashtags #shopsmall and #smallbizsaturday to promote Small Business Saturday this weekend!