Friday, May 16, 2014

What's in a #HashTag?

Hashtags are those things you see around the internet that are used to categorize posts. Facebook and Twitter both use the standard # symbol to create hashtags, and Google+ uses a + before the tag (you know, because learning all the intricacies of social media isn't hard enough). The algorithms used by social networks to sort who sees what rely on hashtags, so it's a good idea to use them as much as possible, where appropriate.

HuTerra Foundation's #ImpactInspired
hashtag is used when we talk about
things that inspire people to give, volunteer,
and donate to the causes they care about. 
A couple notes about using hashtags:
  • Please don't go overboard. Not every post needs a hashtag.
  • Don't use too many in a single post. #It #gets #annoying #and #hard #to #read.
  • Stick to hashtags that are relevant to your topic or post. Using irrelevant hashtags is spammy and nobody will like it. 

Now that we have that all cleared up, let's consider how to create your own hashtag:
  • Get creative and be meaningful. You want your hashtag to reflect your organization in a way that resonates with a large audience and conveys something about what you do. 
  • Do your research. Be thorough in checking the internet for other uses of the hashtag. Avoid any that are already in use or that are too generic (unless you have a campaign planned around an existing hashtag, like Water is Life's ingenious use of the #FirstWorldProblems tag). 
  • Tap into your network and ask for feedback. Does the hashtag resonate? Can anybody think of any negative connotations that could be associated with it? We often don't see the other side of what we're trying to convey. Learn a lesson from McDonald's hashtag nightmare
  • Create posts that tell the story of what your hashtag means. Otherwise, you just have a hashtag that won't resonate a message because there is no message behind it. 
Have you created your own hashtag? Share it with us in the comments!