I am sure that everyone on twitter has noticed hashtags on twitter. The recent news is that even Facebook is trying to implement it’s own version of hashtags. In fact, after the advent of twitter, I see hashtags everywhere, on TV, at the movies, everywhere! This is taking people’s fancy. So I decided that we need to have a post about this here too. Let us talk about hashtags today.
For those of you who have been on twitter for a while, you most likely have noticed and know what a hashtag is. For those of you new to twitter, you may be saying, good god not another twitter term I need to know about. Actually, hashtags can be a great tool and serve many useful purposes. Not the least of which is the fact hashtags are wonderful if you are following a particular conversation on twitter
Hashtags serve a number of functions
- They get a topic noticed by those on twitter
- Help get you noticed on twitter too if you are the one who is pushing the hashtag
- Hashtags are picked up by the search engines and do great there too
- They are a powerful community builder on twitter
- You can use them to promote and tease tweeters about an event or product
Some of the above are pretty simple, let us look at the important ones now
Promoting something (event/film/series/product)
Not only could those attending the event get updates by following the hashtag. Those not there could do the same thing. The best way to do this is to use twitter search and type in the hashtag. The same is applicable to a TV Series or a film or a sports competition. If used correctly, they can also serve as the “point in time” archive of all thoughts about a particular topic. Pretty nifty and useful for analytics.
Simply put the hashtag in your tweet and it will show up in your stream and in the search results as indicated above. Using them is a great way to promote anything you are following or that you want people to notice and keep up on.
Following a conversation thread and archives
The best example of this is a twitter event and/or conversation which takes place weekly, #blogchat. This is an open conversation on twitter where @MacCollier invites those on twitter to engage in a conversation. If you are curious how this works and what a great tool it is, take a look at the transcript from this weeks #blogchat.
Selecting a Hashtag for your tweets
When you are first looking at selecting a hashtag, you need to look at what you are wanting to talk about. The topic; is it an event or a product. It could even be an regular ongoing conversation taking place on twitter, like #blogchat mentioned above.
The main thing to remember is to try to make your hashtag suit the product or event and keep it short. And that is key. Don’t make people think when they go to type in your hashtag.
You want your hashtag to communicate to those on twitter what it is you are talking about. Be consistent too. Once you decide and select your hashtag, stick with it. Don’t change it or rename it in anyway. People are going to use tools like twitter search to follow hashtags. And if you change it, you are going to loose your intended audience. They will get only partial conversation references if you change hashtags in the middle.
Tell me if I have left something out.