Hashtags and How to Use Them
Hashtags are very commonly used across social media platforms, however, hashtags may seem confusing to people who aren’t familiar with them and don’t spend as much time on social media as their younger, more social media-savvy counterparts. Hashtags allow you to search for a certain topic on social media platforms that support hashtags. The use of hashtags started with Twitter and is now also supported by the following social media platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Google+, Tumblr, and Pinterest.
On these social media platforms, a person can either create their own hashtag or use a previouslycreated hashtag to add to the hashtag’s conversation. Anyone can add a hashtag to their message on one of the aforementioned social media platforms and then when someone goes to search for comments or information regarding the hashtag, the person’s message will come up and appear as part of the search results. Anyone on social media can create and start their own hashtag, but here are some simple guidelines to keep in mind when creating a hashtag.
First off, hashtags cannot include any spaces or punctuation, but they can include numbers. Also, capital letters can be used to separate words, but the use of capital letters will NOT alter search results. For example, searching for #TampaElectricians will yield the same search results as searching for #tampaelectricans. Furthermore, on Twitter, using a hashtag will not tweet someone directly. The @ symbol has a completely different function than the # symbol. By using the @ symbol followed by a person’s twitter handle, you can send a tweet to that person while also allowing your followers to view it.
There can be various uses for hashtags as well. One important fact about hashtags is that a person can click on a hashtag in any posted comment or message that uses a hashtag and the person will be led to a page of all of the other tweets or posts that use the same hashtag. This feature is especially useful when searching for information concerning a certain topic or event. People can use hashtags to stay up to date with information on media or news topics such as the Boston Marathon bombings – a terrible bombing attack and developing story which occurred in 2013. By using hashtags to follow relevant, current events, it is extremely easy for people to stay informed and know exactly what is happening anywhere, with the click of a button. Other times, hashtags are very broad and simply convey a general feeling, idea or common occurrence, such as #worstdayever or #TGIF. Conversely, hashtags are
sometimes so specific and unique that there are no search results attached to them, but these odd hashtags are used to make a point or add comedic value to a Tweet or post. An example of such a Tweet is “My dog just stole my sandwich #Brunothesubbandit” or “Just dropped my second ice cream cone of the day #icecreamconefail.” Moreover, people can also use hashtags to benefit their business.
Since hashtags can create a discussion around a certain topic and draw attention to that topic, they are perfect to use in order to spread the word about your business or service. For example, Toyota created an advertising campaign which features a Prius being chased by police cars and started the hashtag #GoPriusGo. The #GoPriusGo hashtag allows people to use Twitter to comment on the commercial and acts as a platform for people to talk about the Toyota Prius, which creates interest and business for the Toyota company and their Prius model.
The use of hashtags is a fun way to enhance the social media experience. This savvy use of hashtags can be very effective in drawing interest and visibility to your topic, idea or product. Small and large companies alike would be smart to utilize hashtags as a legitimate and effective advertising tool. #GetSome