We all know that Twitter has a huge number of users, and keeping track of everything that’s going on, even in your own sphere of followers or people you’re following, can be difficult; but did you know that you can fix that by using hashtags?
Hashtags (#) are a quick and easy way for you to show that there’s a part of your tweet that links back to a larger discussion on the subject. For instance; if you were talking about the subject of hashtags, and wanted people who are interested in the topic to be able to find your tweet, you’d include something like #hashtag in the tweet. Now, when any one does a search for #hashtag, they’ll see your views on the subject, too.
Doing this makes life so much easier when you’re short on time, but still want to get all of the latest gossip on a topic. The hashtag has broken out of the confines of Twitter, and is making its own way in the real world.
The hashtag has started to find its way into emails, chat windows, and even normal everyday conversations. It has become the shorthand of a community that even finds text-talk to be too long and complicated to use. It has also, and probably somewhat inevitably, found its way into some of the advertising that you may have seen recently, and not had a clue about what was going on.
Of course, if you have a Twitter account, you could just login and see what the ad is all about by typing the hashtag and word into the search box; plus you may also see a number of comments by people who have used the same hashtag and word to give their own feelings on the product so it may not be the best strategy if your product doesn’t live up to the hype.
Now that it’s hit the main stream, however, hashtags seem to have developed a few new meanings.
Some people use them as shorthand for what they actually mean to say i.e. ‘this is turning out to be another #BadDay’ or they can use them in an ironic way i.e. ‘government votes for pay rise #GovernmentCutBacks’. Yes, technology is evolving, and so is the language; though it isn’t always getting any easier to understand.
So, while this may be taking on a completely different meaning in the real world, and the advertising agencies may be about to discover that being right on top of social change can often backfire somewhat, there are still plenty of advantages in using this technique in your own tweets and Twitter campaigns.
You’re going to be able to quickly find out what people are saying in any niche that you may be targeting, and you can quickly add your own comments to the discussion, too. You may even discover that trying to come up with a whole tweet to get your idea is no longer necessary if all you have to do is use a hashtag. It can save you a lot of time, and may even help you to connect better with the more tech-savvy of Twitter users; that may encourage them to follow you, and try out your product.
Is using hashtags on Twitter a good thing? Yes, it is a good thing; you just have to make sure that you keep up with developments so that you’re not going to be seen as being that ‘#LoserAdSpammer’.
And don’t forget to follow my hashtag #FunSat every Saturday morning at 10am cst