We have all seen the unmistakable punctuation of a # at the end of or in the middle of a post on social media. It's not suprising if you thought, like most - 'what does that even mean?!'
This blog may help you wrap your head around the foreign language of hash-tagging!
Once known as the 'pound' symbol, the # became a function in Twitter in 2007. It's aimed to bring topics of content together without users having to know or be linked to each other. Since then most social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Google+ have started accommodating this same function.
So simply put a # is a link for a particular topic that can be used across social media but for a more technical explanation check out the Wikepedia.
Using the #
There are a few key rules to hash-tagging in your social media posts. First and foremost there can be no spaces between your words or use of any punctuation or symbols. Also, don't make them too long, you risk typos and the tag can become difficult to read.
To create a hashtag just type the # symbol and add your word string, the internet will do the rest! If you are not sure if a tag already exists you can do a search by typing in the full tag in the search bar of facebook, or if on Instagram start typing the hashtag within your post or jump on to Hashatit
If creating a new #, try your best not to over complicate it. You want it to be easy to remember, especially if planning on it's continued use. At the same time be unique, the more generic your tag the more chances your content will be wrapped up in other users unrelated content.
# tag it!
In terms of business pages, there are 3 key areas where hashtags are used best;
Bring all content relating to your business, from across all your social media platforms, together with the one hashtag. As an example #jigsawmarketingsolutions is used on almost all of my business posts. This way I can post on any of my social media channels but have one common point where the content will be located. It's a great way to organise and store your businesses social media content.
2. Join Others
Use existing hashtags that capture a broader audience and tie into current trends. The hashtag you choose may have been set up by an associate or it may be of international interest, for example #landscapedesign brings together an unlimited audience, sharing an interest in the design of landscapes across the globe.
Similarly #worldsgreatestshave is a far more targeted tag but still appealing to a broad audience. This type of tag allows participants to document their contribution to the charity's activity rather than the charity itself.
Find the tag that works best for your post to share your content with those with similar interests.
Hashtags are an amazing way to group event based content together, not just from the organisation but from the attendees as well.
For example #WFLSA was developed for attendees of the Royal Flying Doctor Service 'Wings for Life Ball'. Guests in attendance were encouraged to add this hashtag to photos uploaded to their social media. As a result all images taken by guests on the night are brought together in the one location.
As a business it is worthwhile investing some time into exploring the world of #. Click on those posted on your competitors or associates posts, create your own business hashtag, search for key words of interest to your business, or even work on developing your own key words to convert to hashtags (first make sure they don't tie in to anything you don't want your business associated with!).
"#Hashtag" with Jimmy Fallon & Justin Timberlake - kills me everytime!