You may think of Tag as a game or as a place where you find a price or a size, but in tech tags have a very different meaning. Tags, or Hashtags, have become so common that they’re even appearing on Facebook now. While Twitter made Hashtags popular, Hashtags are being used much more widely now.
What are Hashtags?
Hashtags are words, phrases, and acronyms following the # symbol. The words can be invented, such as #WhatMakesMeHappy, but cannot include spaces:
#This is not
Using capital letters in multiple word hashtags can help readers decipher the tag.
Why Use Hashtags?
Tagging makes searching easier and more focused. Searching on Twitter and now Facebook using Hashtags can help you find what others are posting. When you search on Twitter, you see what others are tweeting using that Hashtag. When you search on Facebook, you can see posts according to privacy restrictions from your friends and from Pages.
If you want to see what your friends are saying about the latest episode of Mad Men, search for #MadMen on Facebook. If you want to see what the world is saying, search for it on Twitter.
You can also use Hashtags to make sure others find your posts and tweets. Make your ideas findable by adding a Hashtag at the end.
Where to Use Hashtags
You can tag posts on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram and Google Plus. Google recently announced that it will automatically add Hashtags to posts, though you can add other Hashtags as well.
To see which Hashtags are trending, check the #Discover tab on the Twitter menu. Click on a Hashtag in Twitter to see other tweets using that Hashtag.
Tagging is vital to Twitter Chats. If you don’t use the proper Hashtag, others in the chat won’t see your message. Make sure you’re joining in the conversation by using Hashtags
You can also tag your files to find them more easily. Evernote allows tagging as does the new updated OSX Mavericks operating system from Apple.
The Wonder of Tech uses tags for every article. You can find the Tag Cloud at the bottom of every page to search topics easily.
Facebook is introducing tagging as part of its new Open Graph search. You can search for tags on pages and on posts you’re authorized to see, according to security settings. Facebook tagging is still quite limited however. Unfortunately, you can’t yet limit your searches by who posted it. For example, you can search for #GameofThrones on Facebook, but you can’t search for “#GameofThrones posts by my friends.”
Facebook tagging is being introduced gradually. If you don’t have it yet, don’t worry, you should get it soon.
Finding the Best Hashtags
Finding the best Hashtag can be a challenge. If you want your post, photo, video, etc. to be seen by the most people, choosing the proper tag is important. Many people suggest using no more than two Hashtags per post or tweet so you have to make them count.
Advertisements and TV shows now often suggest Hashtags to make sure that viewers are seeing each others’ tweets and to try to become a trending topic on Twitter. You know when tagging appears on the screen of TV shows that it has become part of popular culture.
Be creative. Make up your own Hashtag. Who knows? Your newly created Hashtag might soon be Trending on Twitter!
#RiteTag is a new service designed to help people find the most popular tags on social media sites so they can maximize the exposure of their posts. Saul Fleischmann, one of the founders of #RiteTag, recently made a video showing how #RiteTag works to help people come up with the proper tags, using The Wonder of Tech as an example:
With #RiteTag you can find popular tags and tweet from the site. You can send out your tweet instantly or schedule a tweet for later. You can also see analytics of your top-performing tags. #RiteTag is still in beta/experimental mode but you can request an invitation to try it out at the #RiteTag website.
Hashtagify.me is a service that can show you related hashtags in a visual diagram that shows you how popular each related hashtag is. You can also see top influencers for each hashtag.
Not every hashtag is covered, but over 15 million of them are so you should be able to find the most popular ones on the site.
Social Mention can show you where Hashtags (and other terms) are mentioned across various social platforms.
Twubs allows you to register Hashtags so you can claim them, for a Twitter Chat for example, and follow Hashtags to see where they are mentioned.
Where do you use Hashtags? Have Hashtags ever helped you located something you wouldn’t have been able to find otherwise? Are you excited about Hashtags coming to Facebook? How do you find the best Hashtag to use? Let us know in the Comments section below!