In my post “Don’t steal hashtags” I cover the proper way to avoid stealing someone’s hashtag. In this post, I’m going to expand on that, and explain why you really should do your homework before using a hashtag for your own purposes. <-Click to Tweet!
Firstly, a hashtag is the “#” symbol in front of a word, to make it searchable, and “tag” the tweet for a specific topic. When clicked, Twitter, Google Plus, and Facebook will open a search for anyone using that hashtag, and you will be able to follow along. This is the basis for a tweetchat on twitter.
Now, lets say you are about to kick off an awesome fundraiser and you want people to talk about it all over social media. You want to be able to track those conversations, or at least see them so you can respond. You decide creating a hashtag for your event will easily allow people to discuss the event, and you want it to be easy so you choose #fundraiser. Unfortunately, that’s just not specific enough for your event (or anything really) so let’s begin narrowing it down;
1) Think about the name of your event. The event name is pretty much always a safe bet, but not everytime.
2) Think about if this is a one time event. Will it happen again in two weeks? A month? A year?
3) Think about your events purpose. Why are you there? What’s the topic?
The name of this imaginary event is “Drink Coffee and Help The Children”, but that is way too long for a Twitter hashtag, so after you have thought over the previous questions and have a few ideas, it’s time to research.
Go to Twitter.com (and Google Plus and Facebook) and search for the desired hashtag. (Note: Facebook’s hashtag feature is still relatively new, and there may not be any organized hashtag use, yet.) Let’s say your top three ideas are #DrinkCoffee, #DrinkCoffeeJun13 and #DrinkCoffee2013.
#DrinkCoffeeJun13 – For our example, your fundraiser is an annual event held in June. Since it’s annual, the month is really superfluous, so the second idea is scratched out.
#DrinkCoffee – Although your fundraiser is selling coffee for its purposes and is named “Drink Coffee..”, it’s a very popular hashtag that many people use for various purposes, so we’ll scratch this one out, too.
#DrinkCoffee2013 – This one seems to be the best out of all three of your ideas because 1) It adds the year, marking the conversations for this year and every other year you hold the event. 2) It’s not too long. 4) It’s easy to remember. 3) It’s the name of your event.
So there you have it. A very simple run-down on how to create your own hashtag. <-Click to tweet this!
What are your favorite hashtags?