Hashtags. You know, those funny things with a hash mark (or 'pound sign') in front of them. Appear on Twitter tweets and other places. Like here, with the #AtoZChallenge. See? That's a "hashtag".
I'm not the only one who's onto hashtags today...the theme over at #AtoZChallenge Headquarters today is "Hashtag the heck out of us!" Lots of good information there. But here, a very basic primer on hashtags AND some information on Tagboard, a site I discovered just yesterday (see below).
But what are they for, and what do you do with them? (Spoiler alert: I'm not the expert, just learning a little bit here and there and have found value in marketing--and other pursuits--with the help of social media). One definition of Hashtags comes from http://www.hashtags.org/ and says that hashtags allow us to "listen, measure and engage in Twitter conversations and gain valuable social media insights".
Ever wonder what "trending" is all about? Read this article and you're on your way. See an example in the graph below.
Why does all this matter? Read this article for information on hashtag tracking and you'll have a great beginning....and then...
Take a look at #LadyGaga, for instance (an example most of us recognise). There is more data there than you'd ever want to know about Ms Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta. Not interested in her? Consider what you can learn if you track a specific issue or company--say #IBM, the #environment or #gaymarriage or #WallStreet or a person, like #BarackObama or #JoeDiffie or #JKRowling. Go one, have a look check it out!
I set up a search in Tweetdeck (a free Twitter application I use) to receive a feed of all the #AtoZChallenge hashtags. Then I can choose the participant blogs I want to read each day based on what they've said about that day's blog in their Tweet.
I knew about http://www.hashtags.org/ and I'd gone there before to see if there was a specific hashtag, for instance, for something I was interested in. But I hadn't understood that, while anyone in the world can use the hashtag, for say, the #CrimeanWar (of interest to me) no one had actually registered that hashtag so hashtags.org wasn't measuring it.
More appropriate for some people could be www.Tagboard.com, which allows users to "see the whole conversation, across networks, making it the perfect hub for social media." It still uses hashtags, though, so it's all a part of the same broader social media whole. It's a lot like Pinterest but built on hashtags.
Kinda fun, I thought, and potentially very useful for my research and eventual marketing efforts. Give it a try!
Comments, corrections and additional resources welcome! As noted above, I am not the expert but only a learner. Thank you for visiting.