A hashtag is when a word or phrase has # as a prefix. If you’re a regular Twitter user, you’ll have seen them within tweets.
They are quite often created and used by television programmes to engage and interact with the public.
For example when The X Factor is on television they use the hashtag #XFactor which is displayed on the screen throughout the show, to encourage people to use it. A hashtag groups all tweets within a certain topic. So if you were to search #XFactor you would be able to view all tweets from people talking about this topic. They are not case sensitive either, so you could search #xfactor and the same results would appear.
Certain events may have hashtags. For example, The Red Rose Awards held earlier this month had a hashtag of #RRA15. Anyone who was there could then include this hashtag within their tweet and it would group it with all the other tweets about this topic.
Hashtags are also used within a specific time frame. For example #LancashireHour is 8pm – 9pm every Thursday evening. This is an opportunity for companies within Lancashire to tweet and include this hashtag. They will then be grouped within this topic when people search, so you can see every company’s tweet for this topic.
Last week we tweeted:
“#Digital or #print requirements? We can help! http://rootfiftytwo.co.uk/portfolio/graphic-design/featherwing/ #LancashireHour #graphicdesign #webdesign”
So our tweet will be grouped in the topics #digital, #print, #LancashireHour, #graphicdesign and #webdesign.
Twitter is a great way to reach a wider audience, so give hashtags a go!