It’s not offensive, it’s trendy.
Here’s the scoop. Putting a “#” or “hashtag” in front of a word or phrase allows you to “trend” it on social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook. Trending is a very powerful way to spread information to a targeted audience. On Twitter, if you want to learn about something, you start a conversation….with everyone on twitter. Say you want to know “How can Social Media help my business?”. If you want to attract someone who might actually know how to help you, try trending a keyword or two in your question.
Example: “How can #socialmedia help my #business?”
People who are interested in those topics are likely following those hashtags in a feed or searching it and refreshing often. Do a quick search for each trend on Twitter to be sure people are actually participating in those conversations. If they are, then Social Media being, well…social, someone will likely offer you an answer.
Tip: Sometimes adding too many hashtags and/or mentions to one post can be considered rude or “spammy.” Get to know what behavior is acceptable for each social network and be courteous to the community. You also want to keep your hashtags relevant or risk losing your audience.
It doesn’t stop there.
If you found someone decent to answer your question, they might tell you to start sharing the content of your business on Twitter using hashtags to reach your target audience. That advice is absolutely accurate. If you share your content with the people who are interested in it, they’re likely going to share it with other people they know who share the same interest. Then, the people they know might share it. Then…you get the picture. If you get enough people talking about a particular hashtag, it is considered to be trending and could show up in the “Trends” section of the user interface, reaching every signed in Twitter user in real-time. Just remember, Social Media isn’t all about reaching the most people, it’s about reaching the right people and getting to know them.
How did you find this post? Was it on Social Media? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.