The Social Media Trend #Hashtags Now On Facebook

The Social Media Trend #Hashtags Now On Facebook
By: Joanne Serrieh

If you are not familiar with social networks such as Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr and others, then you might be wondering why there is a number sign in the title of this blog. In the social media world, the number sign is called a “hashtag.” Hashtags are usually used as an organization tool to make it easier for those interested in a specific topic to browse what others have shared using that same hashtag. For example on Twitter, if you search #JustinBieber,  you will find endless tweets about Justin Bieber. On Instagram, if you share a photo of your favorite football player then an appropriate hashtag to use could be #football or #FavoritePlayer. Facebook has now incorporated the use of hashtags for users to include in their updates and they will have the same result as they do on Twitter, Instagram or other sites that have been using hashtags for a while.

Some people do not know how hashtags are used and nothing is wrong with that.  “Etiquette note for those using hashtags on Facebook… Please, no more than three hashtags per post. This actually applies to Twitter, Instagram, and Google+ as well. #facebookhashtags #etiquette #socialmedia.” This Facebook status update, from business consultant Tony Gates, gives a perfect example of how hashtags are supposed to be used. Gates used hashtags for key terms in his status update that others can click on to view what is being said about etiquette or social media from users all over the world.

Now, if you decide to use hashtags on Facebook or other social networks, #do #not #hashtag #every #single #word. This is really annoying and pointless so just try to limit the hashtag use to short phrases or key terms. In order for a hashtag to work properly you must put the hashtag before the term or phrase. For example, #NewBlog is the correct way to hashtag a phrase, NewBlog# is incorrect. You can separate different hashtags with a space like #NewBlog #InterestingTopic. If I were to write #NewBlog#InterestingTopic no one will be able to click on the hashtag to see what others are saying. Personally, I like to capitalize the first letter of each word in a hashtag phrase like I did with #NewBlog because it is just easier to read; however, this is not necessary. Hashtags will work just fine even if all letters are lowercase.
One more thing to keep in mind, if your settings are set to “friends only” on Facebook, “Protect Tweets” on Twitter or “Private” on Instagram then public will not have access to your posts. So if you try to participate in contest that requires the use of a specific hashtag then you will not be able to do so if your settings are on private.
Technology and the Internet are changing rapidly every day and they are becoming a bigger part of our lives. With every new idea we come across we can make many uses of it. There are many other ways hashtags are used and this blog was only introduction. You may now #HashtagAway!

Joanne Serrieh is a DJ.
Twitter: @JoanneSerrieh

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