Hashtags in the digital world allow you to connect conversations together. They are great for searching and categorizing content. However, when you share social content you need to limit your Hashtags so that the whole conversation is not just many Hashtags with the value of the message lost. For example, in Twitter you only have 140 characters so you don’t want your Hashtags to take up most of your message. One or two Hashtags are enough to share your content effectively.
What do Hashtags look like and why would you use them?
- Anatomy of a Hashtag, the pound sign (#) followed by a word. For example, #Business #Work, #SmarterWorkForce
- Use Hashtags to make your content easy to find and categorize
- Search or click on Hashtags to see what other people have shared using the same Hashtag
- Join into a conversation with other people who are talking about the same Hashtag/topic
How do you use Hashtags effectively?
- Use one or two Hashtags to categorize your content. For example, if you are attending a conference you would use the conference hashtag to listen to what other attendees were saying about the conference. You might also consider using a second Hashtag for a particular session within the conference. Or for a world wide event, like the Olympics you might search on #sochi2014 to keep up with the event and medal standings.
- Search on the Hashtag you are planning to use to see what it stands for and what people are saying using that Hashtag. If you make an acronym, check to see how people are using it.
- You can make up your own Hashtags by using upper and lower letters to put words together #LoveToDance #SocialBusiness
- Include your audience. For example, is there an organization you can include in the conversation that is relevant? If I am talking about #InstructionalDesign, I might also include #ASTD (which is the American Society of Training & Development). Note, when using Twitter, you would include specific people with an @ sign, like @adreyzin is my id on Twitter. However, many organizations do have Hashtags you can include as well. For example, #IBM, or #NBC, etc.
This is a very funny video about Hashtag overuse by Jimmy Fallon & Justin Timberlake. I hope we never have conversations like these 🙂