Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Importance of #Hashtags in Social Networking

In today’s search engine marketing industry, social networking definitely has a great impact. A lot of people or companies are already part of Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, Linked-in and the like. However, there are still several questions that common people and businessmen ask about social networking and one of the most common queries is about the symbol “#” or as it has recently become popularly known as “hashtag.”

For North American English, the symbol “#” is known as the number sign. It is also sometimes referred to as the pound sign. In the large form that appears on telephones, it is called a square but for those in the music industry, they refer to this as a sharp. In recent years, this sign has gained another name in the social networking context as a “hashtag.” Now we ask, “Is this mandatory? Which words need hashtagging? Does this serve a purpose?”

Indeed, this has a purpose and it is not placed on tweets or posts just to make it look very technical and “in.” These are labels for contents likened to keywords that are used to organize messages on a social network, tying various related social posts to facilitate searching. While some use this simply for fun, others utilize it in their search engine marketing campaign to promote their products, services or their business in general.

Once you hashtag a word, all account users of that particular networking site will see it. Even those who are not following your content or tweets will see your posts. Thus, it becomes a great medium in promoting or sharing something.

Now, if you want to get started on this, here are certain things you need to keep in mind:

1. Make it simple. You do not want your post or tweet to be filled with hashtagged words and look like spam! It is advisable to hashtag about two to three words per tweet. With less hashtags, your readers will be directed to the content you want them to read more of.

2. Be unique. While there is no stopping you on using existing hashtags, this might cause confusion on the part of the readers. Before using one, it is best to first do a search on the social platform you intend to use it on. You might be surprised that some use such lines as their usernames, again causing confusion.

3. You can also make use of already existing hashtags which is usually inserted at the end of your tweet or other posts. This means you would want to enter the same discussion and would want to share something related to the topic that others might be interested in.

4. No space needed. If your keywords are “concrete flooring” then your hashtag should be #ConcreteFlooring and not #Concrete #Flooring as this indicates two different keywords: “concrete” and “flooring.”

5. Be honest. Never include content that is not related to the hashtagged word just to catch attention. Otherwise, people will not respond appropriately or may even report you as a spammer.

Using a #Hashtag is certainly a very useful method not only to share content and facilitate searching and grouping of related topics but also as an effective SEO marketing tactic. May this article have enlightened you on what a hashtag is so that you will appreciate it the next time you see one and maybe even try it out yourself.