Defining Your Own Social Media Hashtag

Defining Your Own Social Media Hashtag

The hashtag # is one of the most versatile tools within the social media spectrum. It first appeared with Twitter and has gone on to emerge in most other social media platforms. Facebook added the hashtag functionality in the last part of 2013. Hashtags can also be shared across platforms. If you use a hashtag in a post on Google Plus, Facebook, Pinterest etc, then share that post to Twitter, the hashtag will remain responsive and make new content within twitter discoverable. According to David Arnoux from In Communication, the very first hashtag EVER was #barcamp by Chris Messina. Due to this initial successful tryout (against the Twitter boss‘s wishes) we now see hashtags as the first place to find information on the latest news and events on a global scale. However the humble hashtag can also be used to localize information about a particular subject, filtering out the irrelevant global posts. A hashtag search on many platforms can then be embedded in a webpage so that all posts can easily be found in one location.

Broome in Western Australia is a great example. The town is located in Australia's north west and is considered to be isolated. There is a lot of local discussion about business confidence. I wanted to be able to use social media to help promote Broome business and share business information locally.  I wanted to promote a hashtag that no-one else was currently using, so I started to do some searches and discovered that no-one was posting on any platforms using #broomebiz. I developed a poster promoting its use to the Broome business community, then emailed that out to my local business list as well as posting it on all my social media channels. That was on Friday 10 January 2014.  You can see the result in the #broomebiz twitter feed below.

Not only does the # search twitter feed help to bring all the information to one location acting as an aggregator, it also makes the webpage more dynamic, increasing the return traffic. The widget to embed the twitter feed is free, however if you wanted to invest some money you could install a paid widget such as Tintup to aggregate feeds from across multiple platforms on to one page. 

For #broomebiz the free twitter widget was more than adequate.

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