What is a hashtag #

I am sure many of you have seen the hashtags on your TV screens when starting to watch a new programme, advert campaign or when listening to the radio.

Many people ask me “What is a hashtag?” “What is its purpose?”

I am going to explain;

A hashtag is a symbol that can be used in front of keywords, subjects and topics, events or campaigns. It looks like this # and when used with a word it should look something like this #ZCSocialMedia. It should contain no gaps. It should be all one word.

So what does it do? Well when you add a hashtag to your tweet it will take your tweet and also put it in a streamline conversation all about that particular topic, subject, keyword, event, TV programme or campaign. Making it easier for people to go into Twitter and to just see the conversation about that topic.

A little exercise for you; go to the Twitter search bar and type in #dragonsden. A search will appear with all the tweets that contain #dragonsden in them, including people you don’t even follow. You can engage with people that are interested in this topic or programme.

Now when you tweet normally your tweet will be shown to the people who follow you in their timeline. If your followers are online at that time they will see your tweet.

If we include a hashtag in our tweet not only would our tweet go out to our followers Twitter timeline but also the streamline conversation for that hashtag, getting in front of more people.

This is a great option for businesses who really want to get in front of more people especially their target audience. You can join in on the conversation where they are hanging out.

How do you know what hashtags to use?

Another question many of my listeners ask.

At ZC Social Media we use a tool called Twubs which is a Hashtag Directory. When you use twubs it has a search bar on the front page, when you start to write your keyword it will drop down all the hashtags people are using on Twitter with that keyword.

It’s a great tool to navigate as to who is using the hashtag, how many contributors are using the hashtag and also to make sure if you start using the hashtag that it’s appropriate to use for your brand.

Give it a try! Send a tweet and include our hashtag #ZCSocialMedia!

In my next blog I will be sharing with you and power of Twitter chats.

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