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Why #Hashtags? Part One

01/07/2013
admin@michigancreative

Hey guys, as you can see I am doing a two part blog on hashtagging. This week I wanted to just go ahead and jump right into this week’s topic of hashtags on social media sites. An interesting topic, eh? Well let’s start off by defining exactly what a “hashtag” is. The “hash” symbol looks like this #. A “hashtag” is a word or a phrase prefixed with that symbol. Some people really love hashtags. They hashtag on every twitter post and every time they post on any social media for that matter. And the others…well, they are the exact opposite. Meaning they hate hashtags, they don’t use them, and they constantly complain about the people who do use them. I like hashtags, I use them every once in a while. But why are they important?

Once you hashtag a word, all account users that search that word can and will be able to see it. This allows users who aren’t following you, to see what you tweet or the post content that you put on these different social media sites. Now, the recommended amount of hashtags per tweet is 1-3 words. But you really need to be careful. You don’t want to flood your tweets with hashtags because that can make your company look like spam.

Some users like to use hashtags for fun, which is what I like to do. And some users use hashtags to brand their company and keep track of it through their social media sites. Some businesses have even gone viral off of hashtags and get nation-wide attention.

Now I want to start talking about hashtags for different social sites, starting with Twitter. The term was originally created by Twitter users as a way to categorize messages. Now I think that the number one unwritten rule of hashtags, is to not overuse them. Like I mentioned earlier, if you use them too much it tends to look like spam, therefore people will shy away from you and your tweets. Now, when used correctly, hashtags are actually a great conversation starter. If you want to start a conversation, introducing hashtags is an awesome way to do this. If you want to join in on a conversation that’s already happening, find the hashtag that is being used and join in! A hashtag is a simple way for people to search for tweets that have a common topic.

Now the last thing I will be talking about in part one of this blog is hashtags on Facebook. If you haven’t heard, Facebook now supports hashtags. This allows users to find and follow popular and topical conversations. According to an announcement post, hashtags on Facebook will allow users to search for specific hashtags from their search bar, click on hashtags that originate on other services (for example, Instagram), and compose posts directly from the hashtag feed and search results.  Before hashtags were supported on Facebook, users were limited to seeing all of the posts by their friends, the pages they likes, and the pages that their friends liked, as well as promoted posts. Any hashtags that you use on other social sites that are connected to your Facebook page, will be automatically clickable and searchable on Facebook. In the news release, Facebook went into detail about features they plan to release in the next couple of months and revealed that trending hashtags are in the works.

Well, that is all for this week’s part one blog. Look out for my part two blog which will be talking about hashtagging on the social sites Instagram,Google+, and Pinterest. Until next time….

-Sheryl