Twitter has definitely changed the world we live in today. From its initial launch back in July 2006 to where it is 13 years later, the social media giant has become the ultimate news source, outreach platform, meme supplier, political soapbox, and so much more for users. One of the many results of Twitter and its ever growing popularity was the rise of hashtags. Twitter infamously helped create the hashtag in 2007 when it was first used by Chris Messina. Not only did this new form of keywords change Twitter, it changed all of social media as a whole.
What Are Hashtags?
Hashtags are a keyword index tool written with a # (pound symbol) at the beginning of a series of space-less keyword sets to refer to a specific topic, idea, or trend. Hashtags are essentially metadata tags which consist of letters and numbers – excluding both spaces and punctuation. They categorize keywords and ideas (mostly on social media websites) by turning them into clickable phrases that are indexed with other, related tweets. After making their debut on Twitter, hashtags began to flourish on other social media platforms like Instagam and Facebook. They have now become a staple on most social media networks and are embedded in most status updates for just about any niche. Thankfully, hashtags have actually made categorizing data overload easier than ever before.
How To Use Hashtags
As previously mentioned, hashtags are used to help categorize content among a plethora of information. This makes it extremely easy to scan and sort specific bits of information as they are published across Twitter and other social networks. It’s become a legitimate source for breaking news, official statements, campaign launches, and even photos or videos. There are some basic guidelines you should follow when using hashtags. Creating new ones and hoping on existing ones are different moves which need to be handled in different ways.
Creating new hashtags can be tricky. Like other types of “viral” content found across the web, some of the weirdest ones will find a way to break through the surface and become a trend. Others will fall off the train with very little effort. Three of the most important rules to creating new hashtags are:
Keep It Simple
Keep It Memorable
Use Common Sense
Using Existing Hashtags
When using existing hashtags which are already being used by others, there are some other types of rules you should consider. These would include:
Researching the Hashtag Before Adopting It
Make Absolute Sure That It’s Relevant
Try To Be As Clever As Possible
When To Use Hashtags
Some hashtags trend during specific times of the day/week while other hashtags can be useful anytime. It’s important to know the subject you’re writing about well enough in order to properly determine when you will be posting your status updates. For example, hashtags over a specific television show tend to be trending on the day (and even more specifically in the hours around) that show will be on air. So, if you were going to share content (or links) about that show, it would be best to plan your marketing for that specific time range.
Why Use Hashtags
The main reason behind using hashtags is simply to improve your status updates general visibility on Twitter. In addition to increasing organic views and clicks, hashtags can also increase user engagement on Twitter. That means increased brand awareness, customer feedback, status update likes, and even new profile followers. All of this can be increased just by simply adding new hashtags into your Twitter status updates!