A hashtag is an important part of Twitter – particularly the conversations that take place. What’s a hashtag? Anything followed by the pound sign (#) on Twitter. Sometimes, hashtags even act like organizations on Twitter. The hashtags are a very important part of Twitter if you want to engage in a conversations or follow topics.
How? They tend to be focused to niches and subjects. Often you’ll find a range of participants – from thought leaders to new explorers. Organizations are even taking an active role in facilitating online conversation by using hashtags for topical items, conferences, webinars and other events.
Think about hashtags that relate to keywords for your organization and its audience. A couple of those examples related to my work are #fundraising, #nonprofit and #college. These hashtags have enabled me to connect with other people on Twitter. I’m able to access and share excellent knowledge on those topics. These big, general hashtags can take you from general conversations to more focused topics. For example, you may be into #socialmedia, but you might also want to have a discussion about social media manners (#smmanners) or measurement (#smmeasure). There are opportunities to get highly focused.
The most active use of hashtags comes during twitter chats (such as www.4sqindy.com/4sqchat and also #smmanners & #smmeasure). Here’s a complete listing of chats. Identify chats that you are interested in. Participate in chats that fit your organization’s mission. This is a great way to find potential members, sponsors, and resources!
Organizations can also capitalize off of hashtags at their events. This is a good way to connect those that are gathered locally to have prolonged contact. I’m likely to follow someone that I was at an event with because they are probably tweeting about things that I’m interested in. In order for these connections to happen, organizations should promote a defined hashtag during registration, communications, and onsite – think about including it printed materials and conference notebooks.
Following those events, chats or conversations you can use wthashag.com to get data about how many people are using the hashtag, most active users, and even run a transcript for future reference.
How do you use hashtags?