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What the crap is a Hash Tag and why is the # in front of all these words?

By Barry Ricks

What the #?

I have had people ask me recently “Why do people put the # symbol in front of their words on their social media sites?” They are not familiar with it and it’s starting to bug them. But it’s not just annoying the people who don’t understand it. The over-use and abusing  of the “Hash Tag” is getting to a lot of people.

First let’s talk about what a Hash Tag is. I’m going to put this simply and in layman terms so that anyone can understand it. I won’t go into technical terms and all the gobbly goop, because I’ll admit it, sometimes I don’t get it either, but I get the concept and that’s what I’ll talk about today.

What is a Hash Tag #?
Depositphotos_10159093_xs           What it really just comes down to is people wanting their tweets and messages to get to a greater audience. When you put # in front a word your message gets sent to an area where every other message with the same Hash Tag gets sent. So your message gets sent to an area where people generally care about that subject. For example I’m a big geek, so if I use the Hash Tag #geek in my message it is going to be seen by hopefully a lot of other geeks out there that are following that specific Hash Tag.  It’s a great way to get your content out to a greater number of people that may not be following you, yet.

Twitter Chats.

A new way to get your info out there and have a great chance to communicate with your fans, clients, and followers is to have Twitter chats. You can use the Hash Tag to talk within your group so all of you can talk about the same subject. Be warned though, your tweets will still be posted on your wall. If you see your buddy tweeting and it seems he/she is chatting to themselves, see if they have a Hash Tag, then you will understand that they are talking to real people.


So if there are so many great things about hash tags, why do be people hate them?


Don’t abuse the Hash Tag!

NO ONE! And I mean no one likes it when the only content in the message is nothing but Hash Tags and a link. That’s doesn’t make me want to click on the link, it makes we want to pass it over because it’s nothing more than spam to me and to the world. Let me give you an example of a tweet I just copied that is a perfect example of this:

#socialmedia #photography #Canon #Apple #SEO #Digg #kaskus #instagram #bogor #garut #lintasinfo #News #nikon #Android

I didn’t include the link or the person that sent this tweet for obvious reasons, but you get the point. Just look at this, what is the link going to lead you too, I have no idea. Do you? So that’s why Hash Tags are starting to get a bad rap.If you are a Hash Tag spammer, STOP IT! You’re giving the rest of us bad names. Granted, some of these people are actually bots just spamming, but…many aren’t.

So it comes down to the golden rule. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. You don’t want spam and neither do we. If you want some spam go watch some Monty Python. (Anyone get that reference?)

Hash Responsibly.

The Hash Tag can be a great tool for us to use, but with great power comes great responsibility. Use it wisely. Hash tags can really bring you more followers and recognition if you use it right.

If you want to know more about how you can optimize your social media and website come ask and we will be happy you help you out.

About the Author: Barry Ricks works for @netmark, doing social things for them. Barry loves being involved in the social media universe and tries to be involved as much as possible, striving to learn more and more. Barry is a Geek at heart and enjoys being a part of that universe as well. If you’re interested in what Barry has to say on many other things or you want to say hi, go follow him on Twitter @Bricks2312 and also on Google+