The #NeedToKnow About Hashtags

By: Megan Shire (CBS 62 / CW50 Intern)
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(Credit: Megan Shire / CW50)

(Credit: Megan Shire / CW50)

Just last week, Facebook revealed its new addition to the Social Media world; the hashtag. Those of you who go on Social Media websites like Twitter and Instagram already know #HowToCreate one, but do you know how to properly use it?

#TheHashFacts

The hashtag was born by Internet Relay Chat networks, raised in popularity by Twitter and has grown to define itself as a way to group specific content for easy browsing. It can help anyone search any particular topic, and filter results to show every person who has ever used the same phrase  in the past. It really proves just how small of a cyber-world we have after all. That two people, no matter how many miles apart they are, may become virtually in sync with each other over one key word or phrase.

However, before bringing this social media tool into your Facebook feed, there are some guidelines that should be addressed which could help you to become the ultimate “hashtag guru”:

Trend

If you’re looking to go with the flow, or create your own, #CurrentEvents #CreativeTopics or a #PopularPerson would be the best place to start. They should be topics people actually want to click on. Possibly for #information, for #humor, or for #curiosity. So you click the hashtag, and you see every single time that tag was used in the past. It’s like opening up a filtered chat room that shows how people from everywhere and anywhere in the world have responded to topics you have #SimilarInterests in. When a single tag can reach a large number of people, it can open the door for raw and intellectual greatness. That’s when a simple pound symbol can become a powerful hashtag. However, just like anything, over using the hashtag could ruin its intended purpose.

#Donothashtagthingsthosecantread

What? Exactly. If that was hard to read, then you understand what I’m saying. If you read it just fine, then you have mastered the skill of reading long hashtags. Reading long hashtags is like trying to understand the language of the babbling 2 year old. Nearly impossible. The best ones are those that are #SweetandSimple, contain few words, are creative (show some spunk!), and are something that currently is or could potentially become the next big thing.

#Hashtags #are #not #ALWAYS #necessary

Although using them allows others to search and stumble across a previous post you have written, it is not always necessary. In fact, the more you overuse them, the less value they will have. Constantly using hashtags ineffectively can cause annoyance, confusion or frustration to others. Like a desperate admirer who just won’t leave you alone. The constant smothering for more attention only makes you want to get rid of the annoyance. Which, in the social media world, would be a simple click of the “unfriend” or “unfollow” button.  If you are the culprit of hashtag overkill, you may soon be faced with an increasingly reduced amount of friends.

Sadly, many who use social media are the culprit of hashtag drag, because they don’t know the concept of using #ShortPhrases and #TrendingTopics. This is why you just have to learn how to KISS.

KISS

It’s like my mom always said; “Keep It Simple Stupid”. Hashtags are supposed to be what people can understand. You should make them be what people would want to discover more about. Whether it’s a #Location, a #PopularEvent or a #FunnyPhrase, it should be something that would spark your interest. And would spark others interests too. Avoid making any that are hard to read or impossible to understand. Keep them around 1-3 words, and always keep your use of tags in check so that you don’t wreck your friendships.

So please, use hashtag responsibly. And remember my friends; #KISS.

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