I get asked all the time to explain what a hashtag is. Recently I asked my Facebook audience how they define the term.
Here’s what a few of them said:
“I always describe it as a searchable term that allows you to connect and be found by others looking for that topic,” my executive assistant Melissa Ceja wrote.
“I typically explain it as a searchable keyword,” Stephanie Nissen of Nissen Media wrote. “The hashtag symbol turns your keyword or tag into a clickable link, enabling others to find all of the posts and tweet with (a) key term.”
Christina Ethridge of LeadsandLeverage.com sees a hashtag as two things: “Keyword and “funword” (meaning comic relief or ‘under breath’ sarcasm). She adds: “Especially saying things like #justsayin to my hubby (he hates that expression).”
I always say that hashtags are a way to filter through the noise.
Twitter can be like a cocktail party with people at one table talking about their kids, another table talking about vacation plans, another talking about the holidays and another talking business, and at any point, you can go up to one particular table and join the conversation. With hashtags, you can locate those conversations and join them more easily.
Additionally, using Twitter’s Advanced Search feature, you can search hashtags based on geography. This can be particularly helpful for people who are #househunting.
There’s also a fun, cheeky side to hashtags. These don’t necessarily have a purpose, but are more of a fun way of saying something. #youknowwhatimean?
I hope that helps clear up the issue a bit!
How are you using hastags? Leave me a comment below or send me a Tweet!