This is something that I’ve wondered about for a while, so I thought I’d do a little research on the subject and put it out here for you.
As a Baby Boomer myself I’m not always quick to grasp the latest trends. To be honest with you, I don’t understand half of the things I see going on in the world. I feel like most of the world is trippin’ and creating their own reality anyway.
I guess we all tend to do that, don’t we? I’m just trying to make sure that my reality jives with the majority of people I’m trying to reach.
I’m seeing these #Hastags everywhere.
I began to wonder, do they make a difference in articles, posts or tweets that you want the world to see? I didn’t have an answer. So, I spent some time doing a little research that I am glad to share with you here.
Before we get too serious about life though, let’s watch this little video to put a smile on your face:
“#Hashtag” with Jimmy Fallon & Justin Timberlake”
Are you smiling yet?
OK, this is what I found out about #Hashtags
Hashtags seemed to have originated with Twitter so we’ll start with something directly from the Twitter Help Center.
From Twitter Help Center:
Definition: The # symbol, called a hashtag, is used to mark keywords or topics in a Tweet. It was created organically by Twitter users as a way to categorize messages.
Using hashtags to categorize Tweets by keyword:
• People use the hashtag symbol # before a relevant keyword or phrase (no spaces) in their Tweet to categorize those Tweets and help them show more easily in Twitter Search.
• Clicking on a hashtagged word in any message shows you all other Tweets marked with that keyword.
• Hashtags can occur anywhere in the Tweet – at the beginning, middle, or end.
• Hashtagged words that become very popular are often Trending Topics.
Using hashtags correctly:
• If you Tweet with a hashtag on a public account, anyone who does a search for that hashtag may find your Tweet
• Don’t #spam #with #hashtags. Don’t over-tag a single Tweet. (Best practices recommend using no more than 2 hashtags per Tweet.)
• Use hashtags only on Tweets relevant to the topic.
• Suggestions and tips
• The use of hashtags is still an emergent phenomena, and as such, etiquette is negotiable, though some have already expressed their distaste for hashtags.
• Used sparingly and respectfully, hashtags can provide useful context and cues for recall, as well as increased utility for the track feature.
• Used excessively can cause annoyance, confusion or frustration, and may lead people to stop following you. It’s best to use hashtags explicitly when they’re going to add value, rather than on every word in an update.
• When creating a hashtag for something that may consist of two or more words it’s a good idea to use the “CamelCase” format to maintain legibility. The idea is to join words with each words initial letter capitalized. For example if I wanted to create a hashtag for South Africa, I would type out: #SouthAfrica instead of #southafrica.
To put it simply a twitter hashtag is simply a keyword or phrase, spelled out without spaces, with a pound sign (#) in front of it. It’s simple a way for people to search for tweets that have a common topic. Some hashtagged words will often become trending topics. Who knows you may become a trend setter.
Be Careful and don’t get #Hashtag Busted!
The following behaviors and others like them could cause your Twitter account to be filtered from search, or even suspended:
• Adding one or more topic/hashtag to an unrelated tweet in an attempt to gain attention in search.
• Repeatedly tweeting the same topic/hashtag without adding value to the conversation in an attempt to get the topic trending/trending higher.
• Tweeting about each trending topic in turn in order to drive traffic to your profile, especially when mixed with advertising.
• Listing the trending topics in combination with a request to be followed.
• Tweeting about a trending topic and posting a misleading link to something unrelated.”
It was in July of 2009 that Twitter realized it made more sense to turn hashtags into links. When a Twitter user clicks on a hashtag, it goes to the stream of tweets containing that hashtag. You can also find hashtags using search. This is how you find things on Twitter by topic.
Keep your hashtag short and easy to remember. Twitter users are only allotted 140 characters in each tweet, with or without a hashtag. By keeping the hashtag brief, you’ll save your audience room to include more commentary about your content. You see a lot of funny hashtags on certain posts, but remember that a hashtag is a search. They’re meant to label a topic or filter a conversation.
Why do I see #Hashtags on Facebook?
A hashtag is only useful if people know about it. So, you can start generating conversations through your hashtag by simply adding it into your existing resources and channels. You can add your #hashtag to other social media post as well. Get in the habit of including it in your facebook posts and landing pages. It will display as a link and direct people back to the topic you’ve hashtagged.
When I post my blogs I have wordpress set to post it on twitter, facebook, google+ as well as some other sites. If I have a #hashtag in my article I don’t have to change it for the different social media sites and it will display as a link where ever it is.
I would always check to make sure that the re-direct is taking them some place you want them to be. For example you wouldn’t want to direct them to someone else’s page.
In a way, hashtags allow you to create communities of people interested in the same topic by making it easier for them to find and share info related to it.
Just think of Hashtags as Keywords, a way for people to search for tweets that have a common topic. That will help others find and appreciate your posts. Don’t over complicate it!
Like I said at the beginning I’m new to this as well, but I will begin today to start playing with the information I’ve learned. I hope you do too.
Are you already using #hashtags? How has it been a benefit to you?
I’d like to know if you found this information helpful. Feel free to comment below.