What's a Hashtag?

What's a Hashtag?

Hashtags, hashtags, hashtags. What the hell are hashtags?

As social media becomes more and more ubiquitous among small business owners, a new lexicon is being introduced to a segment of society that would often times rather not have that meeting.

Tweets, retweets, posts, likes, shares, analytics, hangouts, and so much more. As you might have already reasoned out, we’re visiting “hashtags” today.

Hashtags were first used on Twitter around 2007 as a way to group and search information. Instead of searching for “Lunch Pics,” which would give you results of anyone that’s used that term, one could search for “#LunchPics,” which gives you results of people that specifically chose to be a part of that particular hashtag.

Hashtags have spread into popular use on several social mediums, including Facebook, Google+, Instagram, and Pinterest, even when those mediums don’t support hashtags per se. Hashtags have also spilled into popular culture, in various online memes and even in speech, where the “#” is replaced by the word “hashtag” (e.g. “Touchdown! Hashtag: for the win!”)

Hashtags can be used to participate in trends and in conversations, to help people communicate during live events, and to express humorous sentiments while conserving characters.

There isn’t a large set of rules for hashtag usage, but when using hashtags, there are no spaces or other punctuation allowed. My best practice is to use the “Hungarian Notation” method.  I typically do not capitalize the first letter, but I will capitalize the first letter of each subsequent word. #justLikeThis

#updateFromTheAuthor – About a week after this post was published, Facebook announced that they would begin implementing hashtag searches. I can only assume that it was in response to this post. #youreWelcome.

Do you have any specific questions about hashtags and their use? Let me know in the comments, and I’ll answer you ASAP! #lookingForwardToIt

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