Within the last few days, Facebook became the last of the major social media platforms to implement hashtags. Now that they are darned near everything, I wanted to discussed them. I’ll go over how to use them and why they can be useful. There are also other times you may want to avoid them for privacy reasons.
What is a hashtag?
You’ll see it as a piece of text preceded by the # sign. Each social media site handles creating them a little bit differently, but all start with typing that pound sign.
Why would you want a hashtag?
Think of it as a search term. If someone wants to find every posting containing a specific term, they can search on hashtags. As many of you are CorelDRAW users, an example would be searching for #coreldraw to see all posts with that hashtag. The more popular the search term, the more results you’ll get.
They are also used quite often for events or gatherings. Apple recently held their Worldwide Developer Conference which leds to many posts with #wwdc. The last game of the NBA Finals is tonight and I’m sure the hashtag #nbafinals will be used quite a bit. Just watch what your friends are posting and I’m sure you’ll see several examples of hashtags in use.
If you are the one posting content with a hashtag, it can give your post more exposure as people who don’t follow you can find the post via search. This can be a great way for your post to reach a much wider following. Those of you concerned with privacy will want to use hashtags carefully as the extra exposure may not be what you want.
Sure, there are people who go overboard with hashtags. Those same people probably go overboard with other things as well. Don’t be afraid to use them as they can be a great tool for finding and sharing content.
Who keeps track of hashtags? What if more than one hashtag is used for different things? ex. #apple for apple computers and also the fruit?
If you search for #apple will you get results for both? Just curious.
Bob, given your example of #apple it could be used for the computer company, the fruit, the music label and basically anything else. There is no official hashtag list and sometimes the searches will bring up posts that don’t even seem to fit with a hashtag. That said, often a specific hashtag will be proposed to refer to something in particular. In the Apple trade show listed in the post, Apple suggested to attendees to use #wwdc and sometimes that could have the year appended to make sure searches picked up the current year’s show.
You have no idea how helpful this article was! I so didn’t know what all this hashtag business was all about and, because EVERYONE knows, I’ve been way too embarrassed to ask anyone. Now I don’t have to. Thank you! And thank you for many of your enormously useful articles! I’ve never actually been able to get a comment sent in several tries; we’ll see if this one works.
Glad to hear you found this post on hashtags so useful and your comment came through just fine. 🙂
I have to agree with Anonymous about difficulty posting here… probably the least friendly blog posting experience I’ve had… I’ve only posted a few times but have lost several posts only to have to retype them…
I write a comment (like this one) – hit Preview – I have to complete CAPTCHA… but then there is no submit or Publish button – what to do… so I go back and hit Edit – then hit Publish and with luck the post gets published.
Blog needs a button to press after you fill in the CAPTCHA – right now it leaves you hanging… like “What do I do next”…
I’m going to copy this to the clipboard in case I lose it during the publish phase… Love your posts and suggestions and help… just not crazy about the blog comment set up. 🙂
Bob, we aren’t happy about the comment system either. Unfortunately it isn’t something we can control. If we turn off CAPTCHA, it is easier for everyone and that includes massive amounts of comment spam. So we have to leave the CAPTCHA on. This was described in a post a few months back.
I have no problem with using CAPTCHA (read the old post)… just normally, on other blogs, you fill in CAPTCHA and then under the CAPTCHA there is a button that says submit. On your blog (Blogger) it is the Submit (or Publish) button that is missing under the CAPTCHA. There is no button, so after you fill in the CAPTCHA there is no instruction or button or anything to tell you what to do next.
Maybe add an instruction on the preview page above or below CAPTCHA that says “After you enter the CAPTCHA text, click on the EDIT button to return and then click on the Publish button.” Just a thought.
Bob, as explained in my last comment, we have NO CONTROL over this. There is only one setting and that is to have the CAPCHTA on or off. We can’t add instructions. As I said, I wish Google would fix it. I have lodged complaints with Google. That’s all we can do.
Sorry – misunderstood you. I didn’t realize you couldn’t change the text just above the CAPTCHA box.