|How good are you at the #hashtag game?|
What's with all the pound signs? Whether you know what a hashtag is or not, they are not going anywhere.We see them on social media websites, text messages, signs, clothing, and people are even getting them tattooed on their bodies. They are the modern day symbol and they are convincing. In a recent study, 68% of college students reported using social media conversations to influence their enrollment decision. People of all ages are using them to search products, market their business, have a good laugh, make new friends and experience new things. According to Google, hashtag is defined as, "a word or phrase preceded by a hash or pound sign (#) and used to identify messages on a specific topic.
Look and see what this tic-tac-toe board is about...
#TrendingNow: The main reason anyone uses a hashtag is to be trendy, let's be honest. Here are the rules for writing a hashtag. Spaces between words or phrases are an absolute miss. Keep all the letters and words together. Grammar goes out the window here. If you want to differentiate and make a point between the words, by all means captialize the first letter of the new word. Doing so, will not at all alter your hashtag search. Meaning, whether you type #HashtagsRule, or #HASHTAGSRULE, or #hashtagsrule, it will all post the same when you search for results. Numbers are allowed, punctuation rules are not. No exclamation points, commas, special characters. Again, grammar...out the window. When you search for your posted hashtag or someone else's, you simply type in the word grouping with the pound sign in front and you're off! Do you want to know which hashtags are the most popular? Check out this website for the latest trending hashtags and track your own: http://www.hashtags.org/trending-on-twitter/
#KeepItInteresting: Since there are some pretty common hashtags floating around now (i.e. #tbt, #fashion, #food, #selfie, #cash, #business), you want to make sure your hashtag is somewhat unique to draw attention to it. A tweet or post with just hashtags is boring, make it creative. Always use some humor and voice. Journalist Rebecca Hiscott shares these examples:
- Wearing socks with Crocs is so stylish #kidding.
- The movie #Gravity is beautiful but so terrifying! #nevergoingtospace.
Be sure to give context, she adds. If you write #BreakingBad is #awesome, you really aren't taking the conversation anywhere.
#Twitter #Instagram #Facebook #Googleplus: all these commonly used media sites support hastags. Here is a quick summary of how they are used, by Mashable:
#BoostYourBusiness: Toilet paper seems pretty boring, right? I mean, it's a neccesity for the majority of us, but no one is really excited about it. Wrong. Charmin has found a way to put some fun and life into their business. With their hashtag #tweetfromtheseat, users are now generating and inventing 100s of tweets about Charmin from different social media platforms each day.
If a toilet paper company can generate this amount of buzz you can too. If you don't have a hashtag strategy for the company own or work for, get on it! Invent one and be creative, you will be surprised and how quickly you will have a following. Find popular users on Twitter and Instagram to follow you and use your hashtags, encourage your friends, employees and clients to retweet or share your posts from your social media platforms. Here are five steps to making a big sale through social media. #goforit!
Now you can see inventing, searching, posting, and tweeting hastags are as easy as playing a game of tic-tac-toe.
Just be mindful of where you put the X's and where you put the O's.
For those of you who still think hastags are annoying, you'll love this video:
Sources for more info: