By: Monica Peña (@MUNDUmedia)
A hashtag is a word or a phrase prefixed with the “#” symbol which helps describe a subject and allows it to be found again by browsing or searching. The short messages used through hashtags can be used on social sites like Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, and now Facebook to highlight an important word/subject or help brand a message whether before, within, or after the body of a post. Here are some important facts and uses for hashtags that will help:
- If a hashtag is promoted by enough individuals, it may “trend” and attract more individual users to discussion using the hashtag. On Twitter and Google+, when a hashtag becomes extremely popular, it will appear in the “Trends” area of a user’s homepage.
- If wanting to focus in a particular geographic area, it may be wise to add these types of hash tags: #Austin #Texas
- Hashtags do not contain any set definitions, meaning that a single hash tag can be used for any number of purposes by those who make use of them. People often use different spelling or words to refer to the same topic. In order for topics to trend, there has to be a consensus, whether silent or stated, that the hash tag refers to that specific topic. Do your research. Search for categories you or your company fall in to see what is presently being used.
- Hashtags also function as beacons in order for users to find and “follow” (subscribe) or “list” (organize into public contact lists) other users of similar interest.
- Certain hashtags have become popular on certain days like #FF (Follow Friday for Twitter users to be followed by any other users handles to give them kudos) or ones used just for humor like #Caturday
- Hashtags is an excellent tool for events to brand an organization, connect with other attendees, or get updates on information that may have been missed. Overall, the use of the hashtag helps create a buzz for future attendees as well as present.
- Make sure when creating a hashtag, that it is as short as possible; as some of the platforms have character limitations and the shorter the more memorable.
- Try using Tagboard, a social media hub for hashtags that searches multiple social platforms for post with hashtags.