A hashtag is simply a keyword or short phrase used in a tweet or post. It starts with the (#) pound sign and is followed by the specific word or phrase (ie: #socialmedia, #weddingplanning).
A #hashtag marks a post as part of that particular conversation so it is categorized on the social media site. When users call up that specific #hashtag, your tweet or post will show in seach results.
#Hashtags can be used for a multitude of reasons including following conversations, keeping track of conference information or specific events, and soliciting information on a specific topic.
Be careful when using hastags in posts. They can not include any spaces. For instance: #CruiseShip does not equal #Cruise Ship.
What social media sites use hashtags?
#Hashtags originated and have become embedded into Twitter culture and are an important part of optimizing your use on Google+. I have heard rumblings that LinkedIn is using them but have not seen that yet. Facebook just introduced the use of Hashtags to posts.
The Do’s and Don’ts of using #Hashtags:
- When shouting out your blog posts and articles, always #Hashtag them with your keywords.
- You can use a hashtag anywhere in your tweet or post.
- Hashtags should be concise. If you are using a longer hashtag #PutTheFirstWordsInCaps to at least make it readable.
- Always search on a #Hashtag before you use it. Make sure that other tweets using the #Hastag are related to yours.
- Frequently search on your hashtags and respond to others using the same ones. This is a great way to become part of a conversation and pick-up a few followers.
- Define your tweet on a website such as Tagdef.com.
- Use more than 2 hashtags in each tweet.
- Don’t be too #hashtag happy: #Dont #stuff #yourtweet – it looks spammy
- There are some common #hashtags, #caturday for instance. Use a common hashtag and you may not stand out in a crowd.
- Start using new hashtags that no one is going to search on.