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December 21, 2009 / jasonpinto

The #Simple Lesson of Hashtags

When it comes to using Twitter, the hashtag can be quite a powerful thing.  Primarily, it is used to unite tweets from across the world to one specific topic.

For example, many events and conferences in 2009 had their own hashtag. If you were attending the On Demand Expo in Philadelphia, you may have entered #ODExpo09 at the end of any tweets you posted about or while at the conference.   Or if you attended a webinar that was hosted by Awareness Networks, you may have entered #awarenessinc at the end of your tweets.

But the hashtag is used for more than just an actual event. Oftentimes, they are used to express the emotion or thought that is associated with your post on Twitter. Yes, while your tweet could be no more than 140 characters anyway, the hashtag may be used to summarize what was in the rest of those 140 characters.

For example, if you posted a news article that is related to the print industry, you may enter “#TwitterPrint” at the end of the tweet. Or if you posted that you just landed a new client, you may enter “#VeryGoodNews” at the end of the tweet.

Yes, that may sound amazing, but it’s true and effective… Sometimes we even need to provide a summary for 140 characters.

That hashtag may be people to read the rest of the tweet, and perhaps click to learn more.

What does this mean for our traditional marketing efforts?

Well, I think it means that we must work even harder to simplify our marketing messages… We need to increase the time and energy that we spend looking for which words to cut from an email or a mailer. We need to search for new ways to ensure that people “get what we do” in seconds, or in some cases, fractions of a second.

Yes, ask yourself this: if you had 15 characters to describe your company in a hashtag, could you do it? What would it be?

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