A hashtag is a word or phrase prefixed with the symbol #. It is a form of metadata tag. First rolled out on Twitter, hashtags created a way to group tweets with similar topics to gauge feelings about a certain something.
On personal profiles, hashtags help keep family and friends abreast of what’s going on in your life and the things in which they are most interested in knowing about. While status updates are a means of doing this, hashtags are a means to group certain aspects of your life. In other situations, corporations have been extremely successful in creating some of the most popular hashtags. As content under these hashtags begin to grow, individuals can not only jump in the conversation, but they can create new dialogue within a specific conversation.
How Can You Properly Use Them?
There’s no ‘one size fits all’ method when it comes to #hashtagging. However, when tweeting, instagramming, facebooking [etc.], remember to think about the audience that will be reading the content under that hashtag. Remember to use appropriate language and professional signage. Make sure there is value behind your hashtags – they should mean something and add to the social conversation.
Tips for Creating Hashtags
The shorter, the better. A hashtag should be short so it will not use up the 140 characters Twitter allots for each tweet. The more unique, the better. Using a unique hashtag for your Twitter conversation means that when people search on your tag, they’ll likely only find related tweets and no off-topic ones. The narrower the focus, the better. Narrowing the focus of your keyword allows conversations around your hashtag to be more useful. If you’re talking about hot dogs, use #hotdogs, not #food. The more memorable, the better. Try to find a catchy phrase or abbreviation for your topic.