A hashtag is simply a keyword marked by the # symbol in front of it.
In some geekier circles it’s known as an octothorp, which might be good to know if you’re appearing on Jeopardy.
It is used to help categorize tweets and help you find similar ones using that topic’s tag. This is done by clicking on the hashtag which will show all the tweets using that tag.
They are mainly used as an interactive search function and not for labeling idea they were originally invented for.
Example: Optimize your Blogger post titles for better PR in minutes with one code – http://ow.ly/391af – #blogger #SEO
I use mine on the end of the tweet but a tag could be any word in the tweet itself.
Many of you no doubt use these in every tweet but you may not know of its true potential, especially if you’re not using them regularly.
Here’s some reasons why #Hashtags are great!
1. One obvious reason to use them is it allows people to get a jist of what your tweet is about at a glance. Categorizing your own tweets is a good way for people to find other tweets in that topic. This is good especially if you have an ongoing series or do many follow-up posts.
2. There is always the possibility of your tag going viral and start trending on twitter, which would be too good to be true. Even if it would be a 15 minutes of fame kind of deal.
3. Paper.li is an online user-generated magazine put together largely from hashtags, it’s amazing how many I’ve seen my posts on just because I’ve used the tag. I get a decent amount of hits from these user’s e-zines and not only that you actually get back links while you’re at it.
4. It makes your tweets easier to find and get picked up by social media tools such as Tweet Adder and Tweet Big which will lead to more hits and more followers ultimately. Clients like TweetDeck and HootSuite allow you to follow a tag, for example.
5. Takes boring plain text and adds a layer of interactivity which is what social media is all about. Not using them only stifles your tweeting prowess, tapping into the popularity of the hashtagging phenomena.
6. You can create your own hashtag of course! This is great for businesses if someone wants to follow your business by a category exclusively to your business or product. Take advantage of the #coupon craze perhaps?
7. Thanks to websites like hashtracking.com you can almost must a campaign of sorts and track the popularity, reach, and impressions to see how well a certain tagged tweet is doing.
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