Inspirations, deep thoughts, surprising insights, or random ideas on how social media intersects PR.
From this week’s reading in the Content Code, author Mark Schaefer discusses the importance of using “Hashtags effectively.” To be completely honest, before I understood why we put the silly little hashtag symbol before the short, descriptive words we add to a photo we post onto Instagram, I was using hashtags! All of my friends would use the hashtag symbol when posting an image or tweet, so I followed the trend. However, after time has passed and since I am no longer an amateur, I realize that if you want to be noticed then you need to use the right content and hashtag or you’ll be left behind.
After some research, I learned that the hashtag “all started back on Aug. 23, 2007 with a tweet by San Francisco techie and former Google developer Chris Messina. He wrote on Twitter, “How do you feel about using # (pound) for groups. As in #barcamp [msg]?” Next thing you know, it became a hit! “Hashtags are used on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. The # symbol goes in front of a word or words to group that tweet or post with other tweets or posts about the same topic. It’s so people can find certain topics or events or things that are popular,” said teacher Stephanie Baldvin from Northfield. Common examples might be #Vikings, #NovemberSnow or #WorstPickupLinesEver.”
The hashtag can become incredibly helpful to start a career, advertise a product, promote a campaign, or just simply get noticed. Some of the most popular hashtags currently are, “#instadaily,” “#selfie,” “#craycray,” “#beastmode,” etc. For those who want to become “Instagram famous” are usually aware of the most popular hashtags, that way their posts will come up more frequently. This will generate more viewings and hopefully more followers as well.
Reading about the hashtag from the Content Code, and then researching about it on my own regarding just how it began, made me think – how would a product/service or person get noticed or generate an audience? Aside from TV commercials, advertisements online or through paper billboards- it was difficult to get noticed. In addition, through Instagram or Twitter, by using the hashtag and having the ability to post up pictures, products/services, and people can brand themselves and wear a personality they are trying to have their targeted audience perceive. Did I mention it’s all for free, as well? The hashtag is a great tool, and I am very glad to be entering the advertising/marketing/sales industry being able to use it because it opens up another world/media outlet that I will be able to use.