by Molly Jo Realy @RealMojo68
It’s one of those “notice me” thingies. It says, “Yo, I’m over here!” It leaves breadcrumbs and helps you pay attention.
No, it’s not a selfie, Rocky Balboa or your Aunt Edna’s rendition of Hansel and Gretel.
It’s the hashtag.
Now, in your parents’ days, they might-a called it “the pound sign” or “the number symbol”.
But technology has changed and brought a vocabulary all its own.
This isn’t your mother’s shorthand any more.
When you’re a creative trying to attract other creatives, it’s almost like a not-so-secret handshake. And once you learn the lingo, it can definitely draw others in.
Most effective on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, a hashtag is simply the internet’s way of highlighting. Let’s say you want people to know you like coffee. So, you type the hashtag symbol and your word or phrase. But there’s one caveat, and it’s very important. You can’t have any spaces or other punctuation. So if you want to highlight coffee, it would read #coffee. But if, for some example, you don’t like coffee (I know, crazy example, but I hear tell there are actually a few of you out there), then you could write #dontlikecoffee.
On the flip side, using a hashtag helps you find what you’re looking for. Now, most search engines will automatically pull up links and files based on the words you type. “Red ruby shoes” is bound to get quite a bit of action. But what if you’re looking for something a little more personal, or relating to a book?
For instance, when the faux bro and I are challenging each other to keep writing, we might add #gameongansky to our tweets. Or when Honeyvibe releases another song, they tag me and add #goodvibes.
You can add the word “am” and whatever you’re doing, and search other like-minded people. #amwriting #amediting #amblogging #amsinging #amdrinkingcoffee #ambaking . . . You get the picture.
Here’s another bit o’ honey from the Social Media Bee Zebra: Don’t use too many at once. Twitter is limited to 140 characters total so tell your message and highlight/hashtag one or two points. On Instagram, write your message first, tag your people second, then add all the hashtags you want.
Finally, don’t go crazy making things up too much. Of course you can have fun now and then, but the object is to be found and recognized, yes? For example, here’s a screenshot of one of my favorite IG (Instagram) posts from last week:
#NOLA and #CitySeries are the title of my novel and my series, of course. Everything else helps direct traffic for and from people searching New Orleans and the like. [And also, just for fun, if you click on the IG photo above, you can read the blog post it references!]
What are some of your favorite hashtags?
With a keystroke and attention,
And Frankly, My Dear . . . That’s all she wrote!