All about Hashtags

The birth of Hashtag

On August 23, 2007, Chris Messina, co-founder of Citizen Agency, tweeted, “how do you feel about using # (pound) for groups. As in #barcamp [msg]?" Voilà! The star is born.

What is a Hashtag?

A word or more words without space preceded by a hash mark (#), used within a social media post to identify a keyword or topic of interest and facilitate a search for it. It categorizes or brands your message.

Hashtags can be inserted anywhere within a sentence, either preceding it, following it as a postscript, or being included as a word within the sentence.

For example, if you wanted to post about women in tech, you would include #womenintech in your tweet to join the conversation (e.g. "We all need to take part to support #womenintech"). Anyone who clicks on a hashtag will see the other posts in a chronological order.

What word or words can be used in a hashtag?

Anything and everything! For example, #ouch, #selfie, #entrepreneur, #style, #swag,.., and even #me is passable.

For a phrase that contains multiple words, concatenate them together by leaving out any blank spaces, e.g., #MyFavoriteBook (My Favorite Book), #topstories (Top Stories), #doyou (Do what you feel is best for you, in short, do you.), etc.

Which social media platform use hashtag?

Hashtag was originated on Twitter. Due to its popularity, other social media such as Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, Google+ and Pinterest have since adopted it into their domain.

Each hashtag lives within its own social sphere. Facebook hashtags will only appear on Facebook and will not be found on other social networking sites.

Why are hashtags important?

One thing that every social media platform has in common is hashtags. The widespread acceptance of hashtags make them a powerful tool to reach audiences beyond the typical followers, which means a hashtag can reach anyone who is interested in that hashtag phrase or keyword. Ultimately, they can be used to foster and build communities of loyal fans and brand advocates.

Essential characteristics of Hashtags

  • Hashtags are cost effective. In fact, it is FREE!

  • Hashtags are no-brainers. No experience required.

  • Hashtags are universal. Anyone on the social network can view it, click it, and explore.

  • Hashtags create engagement. Anyone who clicks a hashtag trail can see your hashtag, your profile, you. Your influence extends outside the boundaries of your own followers.

  • Hashtags are the Jean Grey of X-Men for growth hackers. While Jean Grey possessed one simple ability initially, her repeated involvement with a powerful force has given her near-infinite power. Although she is on the side of good, if she is ever controlled by another or loses control of her ability, she can wreak ultimate devastation. Beware!

How to (and how not to) #Hashtag

  • No spaces

  • No special characters

  • Don't start with or use only numbers

  • Capital letters don’t matter in searches (Although they improve readability).

  • Plurals do matter

  • Check your spelling carefully

  • Variations on syntax and grammatical tense produce different results (eg. “innovate” vs. “innovating” vs. “innovated” vs. “innovation” )

  • Cater hashtags to the social network you’re using

  • Don’t have more hashtags than words in your post

  • Don't hashtag everything

  • If you Tweet with a hashtag on a public account, anyone who does a search for that hashtag may find your Tweet. (Remember that the hashtag belongs to the community, even if you created it yourself. You can’t censor or control how others will use it, so be sensitive to situations that could fuel a hashtag backlash.)

"A hashtag is prone to changes of opinion, whims, boredom of users, and can fizzle out just as quickly as it came." ~ Richard Eaves

Related posts: Top 20 Social Media Marketing Tips, 12 key features of popular Social Media sites, 101 Social Media Post Ideas, What can Social Media do for you?, Digital Marketing Jargon Explained

#SocialMedia #SocialMediaStrategy #SocialMediaMarketing #Facebook #Twitter #Instagram

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