Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Getting to Grips with #Hashtags - Part 1

These days, all the main social media platforms support hashtags - Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and so on. Being rather a late starter when it comes to social media, hashtags were something of a mystery to me - until recently I was unsure how, when or where to use them! It turns out they are everywhere - on the radio, on TV, on social media, on product packaging - you just can't ignore them any longer!


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What Is a Hashtag?


A hashtag is a # (hash) symbol followed by a word, a nmemonic, or several words strung together without any spaces or punctuation between them. For example, the following are all examples of what a hashtag might look like: #hash, #tag, #ht, #hashtag and #thisisahashtag. Depending on how and where they are used, they may appear quite cryptic, but they will always mean something to someone, somewhere! You may find the definition below helpful:


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Why Use Hashtags?


Quite simply, hashtags help in sharing and finding information and conversations on social media. Think about how you store files on your laptop or tablet so you can find them again easily - you probably have different types of files grouped together in different folders, each with their own unique name. Hashtags work in a similar sort of way on social media, making it easier and quicker to access information you are interested in.

What Hashtags Are In Use?


Lots of different hashtags are in use at any given moment in time. If you see a hashtag you don't understand or that doesn't seem to make sense to you, and would like to know what it means, you can check it out on tagdef.com. This handy website will even translate the meaning into other languages for you!

The most popular current hashtags are referred to as "Trending". To see what I mean, let's check out what people are currently chatting about on Twitter. First of all, navigate to your Twitter homepage. On the left side of the screen, underneath your name and photo, you will see a list of words and phrases. This is the list of currently trending subjects - in other words, this list tells you the most popular conversation topics on Twitter right now.

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Some of the items in Twitter's trending list will be hashtags, and these are easily identifiable because they start with a hash sign. They are also clickable links, and if you click on one of the items in the list, all the relevant discussions on that subject will appear on your screen. You'll notice that the currently trending list tends to be things that are in the news right now, plus other current events of general interest such as what's happening in a particular sport or on a very popular TV programme.

How do I use a Hashtag?


You can always reply to a specific tweet in the usual way, but to join in a current discussion on Twitter you simply add the hashtag everyone else is using for that discussion to one of your tweets. You can also add a hashtag to your Instagram photo to share information about that photo, or you can start your own conversation by including a hashtag in a Facebook status.

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In this way, hashtags can be used to share things like #photographs or #recipes. You can also search for hashtags on social media, to find discussions and images that you are interested in. Once you start to use them, you'll notice that hashtags are also used to market products and services, to seek solutions to questions or problems, to complain about something - the possibilities are endless!

16 comments :

jemsbyjb said...

Great info on hashtags. Definitely worth the read.

Urban Pearl Studio said...

##### ! #####

Gaiana said...

So informative! Thank you!

Ribasus said...

#awesome info from #socialmediamavin

Gemstones on My Mind said...

Yes, all the social media help I can get! Thanks Erika!

Cher said...

Love it Erika! Informative and entertaining :) I think I'll start using #strangewoman, lol

Beadsme said...

Hahaha love the little #cartoons. Great info.

SendingLoveGallery said...

#greatinfo!

Keystring said...

Excellent information!

Michele said...

With all the social media hashtags are important!!!

Mollie Ann said...

#rotfl #institches #thankyou

Brooke said...

Thank you for the valuable info!

WanderingJewel said...

Great info on hashtags!

LoveStoneArts said...

Thanks very much for hashtags 101. No one needs this info more than I do. Eagerly awaiting the next installment. #behindthecurve

cserpentDesigns said...

Thanks for the hashtag info!

Gloria Flynn - EarthEnergyGemstones said...

#informative and #hilarious