Bimbo Banter

Hashtags and Tweetering

  • Trends
  • September 19, 2014
  • by Sally Ann Rivera

“What’s a hashtag?”

My father (who qualifies for the senior discount some places but not most places) asked me in the midst of a normal phone conversation. At first, I thought he was joking. Perhaps he had seen the same PR Daily article as me. No, he was serious.

Have you or someone you know asked this question recently? Are you wondering what’s got everyone “tweetering” and overusing the “pound” symbol? Then, welcome to a new series on the Spaeth blog: Social Media 101.

We’re starting on #FF because you might see this tweet if you head to our @SpaethCom Twitter account:

Love our new website? Follow @peoplewhothink (winners of more than 90 addys!) #FF

— SpaethCommunications (@SpaethCom) September 19, 2014

Lost? Let me translate for you: “If you like our new website, you should follow Innovative Advertising (winner of more than 90 addys!). We’re tweeting this as part of a phenomenon known as ‘Follow Friday’ where users like to share other great accounts to follow.”

Here’s how I got there:

  • Innovative Advertising uses @peoplewhothink as their Twitter handle.
    • Handles are Twitter’s equivalent of a username. Some users pick their own name, a shortened version or a popular tagline.
    • We use @SpaethCom because it takes up fewer characters than @SpaethCommunications. (Twitter limits each tweet to 140 characters.)
  • The symbol that looks like the “pound” or “number” sign is what we call a “hashtag.”
    • Twitter users hashtag words or topics to make them easily searchable. If you click or search #FF, you’ll see all the tweets that use that same hashtag.
    • Hashtags encourage engagement and dialogue at events or conferences.You can also use hashtags to describe or provide some context for your tweet.
    • Pro tip: Hashtags don’t work with punctuation (#winwin not #win-win).
  • In #FF, the two capital-F’s stand for “Follow Friday.”
    • The hashtag originally began as #FollowFriday but that limited how much someone could tweet so it became #FF.
    • If someone mentions you in a #FF, it’s a compliment and you may want to return the favor the next week.
    • Only tweet #FF on Friday or else users might think you’re being ironic.

Stay tuned for more Social Media 101 from the Spaeth team!

P.S. My father now proudly uses hashtags on Twitter to enter contests and share photos from events. He might even tweet a link to this post.

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