So it was 2008, I jumped on my newly created Twitter account, which I still don't use, and typed in a subject with a # as a prefix. I quickly learned that anything and everything being discussed or shown as an image of that subject was at the tip of my finger tips.
I was preparing to give lecture and I was excited to get to lecture 6, Networking, for my Studio Maintenance class. By this point in time, social media networking was starting to prove to be a very serious contender to traditional face to face networking. I was excited to talk about Twitter and #'s (hashtags) as a way for students to look up the latest news in the design industry or perhaps the industry they would use their design skills in. So, that when networking they would be able to display a sense of business acumen. Hashtags proved to be so powerful then, and now. As we are witnessing that hashtag power being harnessed into a tool for engaging a specific audience the influence of hashtaging is still an exciting topic.
Hashtags are still surrounded by mystery. What are they? What is the proper way to use them? Can they really help me engage my audience?
I had all these questions myself as I started diving into the world of social media design and development. The answer I found is, yes hashtags used effectively can engage an audience directly in the most unique ways. Hashtags can get your content in front of people who want to see it.
I found a talk by designer, Cuore and Madison, social media content manager,"The Hashtag Episode" from the On Target Talks podcast, to be very insightful in the use of hashtags. Check it out if you want to learn how to harness the power of the hashtag.
They discuss the do's and don’ts of using hashtags like this one…
#longdayattheoffice too long!
At time marker 2:45 they get into the subject matter and discuss what should or should be used a s a hashtag. At time marker 6:25 they discuss broken hashtags and what causes them not to work. At time marker 7:41 the benefits of using hashtags is discussed. At time marker 8:00 how to use hash tags with your social media content effectively and what social media outlets to use the with and not use them with.
Some advice I can give you is that you don't always have to jam your post text with #'s.
#'s can be placed into a comment of your post and still be as effective in connecting with our audience and you can place up to 30 #'s into a comment. This is something I have like to use in the past and it worked great.
Let us know if you have any questions or comments on this subject!
Author: Milena Jackson