Hashtags are a tool that allow users of social media sites to participate in conversations on specific topics. They also allow users to locate subjects of interest to them easily and stay informed as updates arrive.
To create a hashtag you type the character ‘#’, then you follow that symbol with the subject that your post is about.
For instance #NFL or #MichaelJackson. There are no spaces and for ease of use common etiquette suggests capitalizing the first letter of each word. Any word or series or words that you write after the ‘#’ symbol automatically becomes a hashtag. Now when someone reads your post they can click on that hashtag and see other entries that are using the same phrase.
Originally the hashtag was invented for use on Twitter. Conversations surrounding one topic will all include the same #hashtag. Topics may relate to TV shows, or movies, sports teams, news events, really any subject that people are talking about. The practice has spread to include Facebook, Instagram,LinkedIn, Google+, Tumblr and Vine.
Hashtags target the user’s interest and increase the quality of interactions. No more wading through screen after screen of unwanted material when you can click on a hashtag link and find exactly what you are looking for.
Hashtags are indeed powerful. However, they are not recommended to be used in excess. Posts with more than a couple of hashtag links will appear spammy and unprofessional.
Social media is an ever evolving segment of our culture and for better or worse over 70% of people engaged in social media already use hashtags. About half of the people that use them believe they are useful and roughly a third of enthusiasts use them to keep up with brands and businesses that appeal to them.
TagDef defines what the most popular hashtags are so you don’t have to worry about whether it is ok to use for your needs. The site includes ranking tools like terms with the highest usage, popular or trending tags and who is using them. This is a great place to research tags you’re thinking of including in your posts or for finding new ones that you can relate to your message.
Hashtags.org provides deep level analytics to help you gain a better understanding of how your message is being perceived by your audience. The graphs represent Tweets over a 24 hour period in hourly increments. This gives you a much better idea of when your audience is most active and when to focus on other things.
This site is invaluable for keeping your finger on the pulse of social media. The site shows you all of the tags across the major media sites. Facebook, Twitter, Google+ they’re all here. You can even limit your view to one site individually.