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#what #is #a #hashtag #even

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A few weeks ago I posted a funny little picture of two hash browns playing tag… so much pun but also, so many questions!

I asked in the post “would you like to know more about hashtags?” and as if it was embarrassing to admit, my inbox nearly blew up with questions.

In many of our days (c’mon we’re not that old!) the “#” symbol has meant lots of things. They were an all important button on the phone, integral to sheet music, the symbol for ‘number’, they create depth and texture in artwork and make up the battle ground for a game of naughts and crosses.

Yet, children of today will be more likely to be saying “You are hashtag 1” when someone writes “You are #1.”

It’s a sign of the times. Hashtags, it would appear, are here to stay and I am good with that, because I actually happen to think they #rock.

Types of hashtags and why you should use them

To break it down for you, there four different types of hashtags, they are:

Real time events
They help create participation in public conversations
For example, you can engage with people watching a certain TV show, talking about an event or engaged with a particular sports team or brand.

Related to specific topics
Hashtag some of the keywords for your brand and see what types of posts and tweets come up. This is a great way to find new fans and followers for your brand.

– Running jokes
Humour is a great way to get people to relate to your posts. By all means inject your personality into your posts by using running jokes or funny hashtags. Just don’t go viral for the wrong reasons!

– Promotional and PR
A great way to group or catalogue tweets so people can find you by topic or keyword.

Tips on how to use hashtags

hashtag_quote

So now you understand #why you should use hashtags, here’s some tips on making sure you are using them #properly.

Privacy Settings prevail
If you use hashtags to promote a post but your privacy settings are not set to public, your posts will only be seen by your friends. Of course on a “page” all your posts should be public for obvious reasons!

Keep them short
Running jokes aside, when hashtags are too long people won’t use them. If you are just including one for humour then occasionally is okay!

Be unique and keep them on voice with your brand
Find a unique hashtag that explains your brand and is on voice. I use #leadqueen because there is not much of a chance another brand or person will hijack it for their purposes and it is a strong element of my branding.

Promote it
Encourage people to use it. Promote it at events, on publications, merchandise, email communications and through competitions. Hashtags are especially useful at conferences for comment on speakers and discussion.

Use them in sentences
Hashtags don’t have to be kept to the end of a tweet or post. They look good in sentences too! Play around to keep posts shorter or keep to the 140 character limit on Twitter.

Lead with a letter
After the # sign make sure you use a letter and not a number. This is also the one time where punctuation needs to go out the window. Punctuated hashes won’t be tagged!

Finally if you want to track of search hashtags try the following websites to get an idea of the hashtags you should be using:

www.tagboard.com
www.tweetreach.com
www.hashtags.org
www.search.twitter.com
www.hashtagdictionary.com

If you haven’t already, I strongly encourage you to give hashtags a try. Have a play around and see what you can find and who can find you!

“Tag! You are It!” now I’ve shared my knowledge on hashtags, share your experiences below!

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Antonio

    Very interesting reading. I have recently published an article about this topic myself. There’s so much potential in hashtags, but not many are using them correctly…

  2. Umbrella Marketing

    Thanks Antonio, yes I know I saw yours too and mine was inspired from my mother who kept asking what is all this hash-hash stuff about! he he.

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