Hashtags can be seen on various social networking sites, most commonly on Twitter for adding additional context and metadata to tweets.
A hashtag can be added by prefixing a word along with the hash symbol: #socialmedia.
The development of hashtags came to in order to create certain ‘groupings’ on Twitter without changing the service.
The hash symbol is a convention borrowed from IRC channels, and later from Jaiku’s channels.
There is a website available for tracking Twitter hashtags; similarly, to have your hashtags tracked, you can follow @hashtags.
There are a number of other services that follow hashtags in real time that are available, the most popular including TweetChat, TweetGrid, and Twitterfall.
Hashtags should be used cleverly, start using them in your tweets preceding keywords.
It’s helpful to research which are trending to gain more reach for your tweet, for example, if the subject you are tweeting about already has an established hashtag, use that.
Tips and suggestions
As hashtags offer useful context and cues for recalls, along with increased utility for the track feature, thus they should be used sparingly and respectfully.
Too many hashtags that are sent out in constant waves can be a nuisance to followers and could cause frustration and confusion which could cost you followers.
Hashtags are best used to add value to a tweet or post, the subject of the tweet and search terms that you believe followers will be searching for to reach you profile.
When writing about:
– Events: The largest greenfield festival is only days away! #Glastonbury
– Disasters: The #ebola crisis is beginning to die down
– Memes: My #themeword for the year is conduct
– Context: There is no plausible explanation for the design of this website. #webdesign
– Recall: Buy some eggs. #todo
– Quote: “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” – Steve Jobs #quote