Social media gives us an avenue to share our experiences, memories and valuable tidbits of information with our personal network. Basically, its sole purpose is communication. We currently live in an era consumed by social media and backed by the data gathered by the three social media giants.
Did you know that Facebook revealed its users are uploading around 350 million of new photos each day. While Instagram users also upload an average of 55 million photos and there are 500 million tweets published each day.
Based on the sky-rocketing amount of activities being published each day in these social platforms, a normal news feed would likely be filled with a ton of random posts from friends, businesses, industry influencers and the celebrities a person follows. Given the diversity of content available on these online streams, a person may experience information overload and have hard time finding worthwhile topics or relevant content.
The use of a hashtag, or the pound (#) sign can help a user filter for a specific topic and engage with people who share the same interest as theirs. However, due to hashtag abuse and improper use by social media enthusiasts and ‘spammers’ alike, it created mayhem that somehow decreased its effectiveness. In spite of the negative criticisms about its use, hashtags are probably going to stay a little longer.
The Advantages of Using Hashtags
- Find people or a community with whom you share similar interests.
- Small and medium-sized businesses can tap and communicate with a wider market. A person who searches for a particular hashtag may surprisingly discover a businesses services. A very good example is #lookingfor which actually works!
- A good way to promote and measure a business’ brand awareness.
- Hashtags act as keywords, boosts social traffic, can increase followers and aids in creating a buzz in your community.
The Hashtag Etiquette: The Do’s and Don’ts
- Spam your status or photo uploads with too many hashtags.
- Use unrelated hashtags in your posts.
- Use the pound sign in every word or in every other word.
- Use Long hashtags that are hard to read. Although they are commonly used for fun and jokes, most social media savvy people find it annoying.
- Post several hashtags without separating them. This results to a total fail.
- Do it discreetly and keep it simple. Twitter recommends using not more than two hashtags per tweet.
- Only use hashtags to emphasize and add value to your messages.
- Use capitalization properly or whenever needed.
- Do be sure to spell check.