#Hashtags for Social Media

Some of you have already heard that you can now use hashtags on Facebook.  It was a big announcement for social media and Facebook.  Here’s a few things you need to know about hashtags and how to use them on your personal and college social media sites.

What is a hashtag?  The # symbol, we used to know it as “pound,” is used to mark a word, phrase or topic on social media.  It’s basically a way to organize messages.  Using a hashtag will help others search for social media content that they are interested in.  It groups conversations.  For example, if you are looking for topics, Tweets, photos or articles related to social media, search #socialmedia.  The results will show all the conversations including #socialmedia. (See image from Hootsuite)  You can also think of a hashtag like a keyword tag.  You are tagging that photo or conversation so that is is easily searchable to your audience.  If you want to make sure people see your message, use a hashtag.  This could also result in more followers on your social media site.

hashtags

 

  • When you click on a hashtagged word, it shows other posts or Tweets containing that same hashtagged word.
  • You can put hashtags at the beginning, middle or end of your message.
  • When your hashtagged word becomes popular, it shows up under the “Trending Topics” in Twitter.  This is good if you want more exposure for your message.
  • Try using an established hashtag so that your message is seen in a conversation that is already very active.
  • A hashtag is searchable by anyone, as long as you are using a public account.
  • Make sure not to get hashtag-happy.  In the case of Twitter, it’s recommended you use no more than two hashtags per Tweet.
  • Use hashtags relevant to the picture or topic.
  • Long hashtags are becoming more popular, but you have to be careful when you create a long one.  Longer hashtags can result in misspellings and are harder to read.  It’s best that you create a short one, if possible.  A helpful tip for longer hashtags is capitalize the first letter of each word.  That will make it easier for people to read.  For example, I use #YourGoalsYourCollege as much as possible.  It’s long, but it’s easy to read.

Here are some examples of hashtags to use when referring to San Jacinto College:

  • #SanJac
  • #SJC
  • #SanJacCollege
  • #SanJacintoCollege
  • #YourGoalsYourCollege
  • #StudentSuccess
  • #comm_college
  • #edu
  • #HigherEd
  • #EdTEch

Remember that you create a hashtag for anything.  Just make sure it is relevant to the message you want to convey.