THE #HASHTAG

THE #HASHTAG

What is a hashtag? Also known as an “octothorpe”, “the number sign”, or “pound”, the hashtag is a powerful tool for marketing on social media.  It is represented by this symbol “#”. Its purpose is to link content to a topic. Hashtags categorize keywords. Placing “#” before a term makes it searchable within the platform it is used. 

Here is an example of a TCinc Twitter post, “#Mac now supports #Windows pic.twitter.com/tn0qjemB1D”.  Now users who are interested in searching about Mac or Windows on twitter, would type “#Mac” or “#Windows” and the post from TCinc would show up as one of the searches. Combining a mix of clever tags makes the content more “searchable”.

Most social media platforms support hashtagging, the only difference is how they are used. For instance, Instagram photos can have multiple hashtags because it is more appropriate to do so on that platform. It is not really appropriate to use too many hashtags when posting something on Facebook.  For the most part, you do not want to spam the world with irrelevant keywords. It is important to keep it clean, organic, and clever. For example, if someone posts a picture of a monkey on Instagram, then tags the following,“#dog #cat #water #sports #android”, it is considered spam. More appropriate would be “#animal #monkey …” you get the point.
When creating a Hashtag from a phrase, all of the words within the phrase must be together without spaces.  Only the characters connected without spaces in sequence will become categorized.  If you leave a space between words when placing # before a phrase, the part of the phrase without spaces will be become the tag. Here is a demonstration of how spacing affects the categorization of a keyword. Example: “You only live once”- “#youonlyliveonce” (correct), “#youonly live once” (pointless).  In the second example, the words “you only” became searchable content.  “YOLO” and “you only” are completely different topics; one associated with pop culture, the other with romance. A spacing error can change everything.
Some hashtags are more effective than others. The most important thing to keep in mind when hashtagging is common sense.  Ask yourself what kind of audience might be searching the keyword you are about to categorize. Who do you want to target? For example “#Android” targets Android users, or people who are interested in Android content. Hashtags attract people to the desired content and will directly improve your pages’ SEO if used properly.

~Kamil
Marketing & Sales at Translucent Computing Inc.

By on January 10th, 2014 in Technology


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