Recently I was educating a local organization on Social Media, mainly Twitter and Facebook, and one of the biggest hangups was hashtags. To me they are simple, I use them all day every day, but when you actually sit back and think about it a hashtag is a bit complicated.
I mean, how do you explain what it is…?
It’s a pound sign in front of a word or phrase or random numbers and letters to allow people the ability to follow a convo, be a part of the convo, get their tweet in front of new people or just add some “flava” to their Tweets.
If you’re shaking your head, have no fear as I’m sure you aren’t alone on this which is why I am going to try my hardest to show you how to use a hashtag and why using them could be extremely beneficial to your overall Twitter experience.
Using Hashtags To Find Help or Give Tips
1. Search the hashtag. In this example you’ll see we are searching the hashtag #TwitterTips. By adding the # in front of the words Twitter Tips – NO SPACES – you are able to search relevant Tweets pertaining to Twitter help. You can also use the hashtag in a Tweet should you be the one giving the tips for others to find.
2. Hashtag searches are in real time and are updating as they are Tweeted.
3. Search through the Tweets until you find something that catches your eye.
Hashtags For Twitter Chats
Participating in Twitter chats is a great way to either share your knowledge OR get answers, be inspired and meet new Twitter users.
Follow the questions and responses by following the designated hashtag, in this case it’s #SMBChat.
Hashtags For Live Events
1. Follow the designated hashtag
2. Find Tweeters relevant to that hashtag
3. Follow the live convo happening whether it’s Tweets leading up to the event, such as these, or Tweets happening during the event.
Whether it’s an educational event, election, concert, meetup or any other event you can think of; using the designated hashtag allows for you to meet like-minded individuals and possibly connect with new Twitter users.
People unable to attend the live event are able to also follow along and connect with people that are there, receive tips and content that they would have otherwise missed.
A hashtag can also be a Trending Topic. These are found on the right side of your Twitter timeline.
The #ThingsThatShouldBeBanned hashtag was a Trending Topic a few days ago and this is the Tweet I Tweeted. Anyone following that hashtag had the opportunity to see my Tweet. These people DO NOT have to be following me already, but may turn into new followers.
Tip: Join in the conversation!
My Ridiculous Hashtag Usage and Possible Abuse
I LOVE to use hashtags, sometimes a little to much and a little too often. I make up my own hashtags a lot.
Why, you ask…
Hashtags are a great way to follow a specific conversation, weed out Tweets that do not pertain to what you are searching for or talking about and to stay in the conversation.