What You Need To Know About #Hashtags
Posted on May 13, 2014
Filed Under Brand Building, Content Marketing Strategy, Facebook, General, Internet Marketing, Marketing, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Social Networks, Traffic Building, Twitter
A hashtag is a keyword phrase used in Twitter conversations that is preceded by a pound (#) symbol and written without any spaces in between, for example, #ilovefood. The hashtag is used to highlight keywords or topics within a Tweet and can be placed anywhere within a post. In social media, posts that have the same keywords prefixed with the # symbol are grouped together in user searches, bringing a level of order to the often frenzied and messy world of Twitter and now Facebook.
The use of hashtags is not just for Twitter, although this is the most popular. Hashtags are also used for other micro-blogging sites including Google+, identi.ca and Instagram. Through the use of hashtags, different social media users from different countries can tie their conversations together; click any particular hashtag in a message and you will see the list of posts using the same hashtag.
In social media today, hashtags also allow an audience to interact live during events such as conferences, TV shows and political events. At any point in time, a comprehensive list of popular hashtags can be found at Hashtags.org. HootSuite is a third-party downloadable app, which also monitors hashtag activity.
Next, let’s talk about how to create a hashtag. First off, what you need to know is that it doesn’t take a genius to apply a hashtag to a message. All you need to do is type your text and then insert the pound (#) symbol at any part of the message and then send. Of course, the hashtag is not just any word. It has to be a carefully thought target keyword that is relatable so that other Twitter users will be inspired to use it as well.
Popular Hashtags of 2013
TV/Entertainment: #dwts, #glee, #idol, #xfactor
General: #news, #love, #photography, #fashion
Business: #jobs, #business, #marketing, #socialmedia, #startup
Tech: #android,#iphone, #iphonegames, #ipadgames, #app
Education: #edtech, #lrnchat, #teachers
Environment: #climate, #solar, #globalwarming, #drought
Social Change: #socialgood, #cause, #4change
Astrology: #gemini, #capricorn, #scorpio, #cancer, #pisces, #leo, #sagittarius,
Hashtag Fails of 2013
While hashtags are indeed a trend that is here to stay, some people and companies have totally failed when trying to make something big. Instead, it backfired…
R. Kelly created the hashtag in an attempt to promote his album titled “Black Panties”. However, users soon attacked the hashtag and talked about his dressing habits and sexual activities with minors.
After mistakenly naming a female celebrity after a male one (They called Alfre Woodard…Idris Elba… LOL!), a lot of fun was poked at the company. People started using the hashtag and uploaded pictures of black celebrities while captioning them with the names of other celebrities. Okay, I’m guilty of laughing at that one – you’ve got to admit; that’s pretty smart on the trolls’ part!
Initially intended to mean “What the French Fry” to spur some excitement about their new product, Burger King was “innocently attacked” by random Twitter users who used the hashtag to rant. The tweets were automatically added to the same convo.
The lesson here is that when you’ve got a genius idea for an acronym, do yourself a favour and check if it’s taken for something else…especially for controversial things like sex, racism or profanity. Sounds obvious, but if the big Burger King guys did not do it, I thought it was worth mentioning.
How to Build a Trending Hashtag?
Want to have a hashtag that’s actually a WIN? Then there are a few criteria you should fulfill…
1. Is the Message Clear?
Be clear. Use appropriate keywords (up to 2 – 3 keywords if needed).
For example, the hashtag #VSFashionShow2013 trended very well in 2013 as did the hashtag#DisneyParade
2. Will the Social Community Find the Hashtag Interesting and Relatable?
You can actually MAKE your hashtag more interesting and relatable by attaching it to a nice picture or video, or by encouraging people to chime in with their opinion.
3. Is it Current?
Some people rely 100% on social media for the latest trends and news. And if you have a look at the successful hashtags, you will see that a lot of them are about topics that are trending.
So a good idea would be to use a hashtag whenever you are posting about something hot. This would give people a reason to search for, and mention your hashtag whenever they want fresh info in your industry.