First of all, this is a #hashtag. It’s the pound sign followed by a number of letters. Simple as that.
A hashtag has no spaces, can be a single #word or it can be a #bunchofwords all stuck together.
You don’t ‘buy’ a hashtag, you don’t register a hashtag, a hashtag is just a thing (like the internet) that just is. The only thing you do with a hashtag is use it.
I’m following a wonderful conference back east called Real Estate Tech South. Everyone there uses the #RETSO hashtag. The people attending are using it to group their messages and conversation better. For those that are not there – we can also ‘listen in’ to the conference by ‘following’ that #hashtag.
When I say ‘following’, I’m talking about Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, Instagram and others. Here’s a bunch of tweets from RETSO. I don’t follow all these people and I might not have met them (yet) but it’s like we’re in the same room together right now. How cool is that?
Notice the blue colored RETSO in each of them? Each of those people tweeted with that hashtag somewhere in their tweet. That’s all they did. We can click on the link that hashtag makes and Twitter, Facebook, or other social sites will create a page for us with just those using that particular hashtag. Here’s a RETSO hashtag stream happening over on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hashtag/retso.
When I ride, I sometimes take a picture and use the hashtags #encinabikes and / or #teamdiablo. That’s so people at my local bike shop, or the race team can participate easily in the conversation.
We can just listen in or even participate in the conversation almost as if we were there. That’s what hashtags are for! Hashtags are #UBERCOOL!
What makes me sad is when people use hashtags in other ways.
Example: Spammers will also jump on popular hashtags and send out their crap knowing if we are listening to a hashtag we’ll also see their crap and might even click on it. (Don’t do it!)
Here’s another sad example of what not to do that I just came across.
Pardon my french but WHAT THE #$%@ is THAT? Seriously!
- Nobody is ‘listening’ to ANY of those hashtags.
- Do we think there’s ANY conversation going on about any of those hashtags?
- Are we confused and we think these are keywords and we’ll get better SEO?
And the really baffling thing is that the link I have blurred out – it goes to Tumblr! Maybe they should read my post on Owning Your Own Content.
For the record: Tumblr is a great platform. I have a number of sites there including “Newsletters I never signed up for“, but that shouldn’t be your HOME BASE.
<soap box rant over>
BONUS: This website (and maybe yours) has each of it’s posts in a single category, this one being in ‘social media‘. If you look to the bottom, you’ll see it’s a link. Click on it and it will create a page for all the posts in that category. You’ll see there are also ‘tags’: clicking on those will do the same (create a page with all posts using that tag). If a particular topic grabs you, sometimes the tag will lead you to other stuff you would also like to read.