Let’s take for instance, you want to host a project/campaign with the theme; Beauty of Nature in Akwa Ibom, one of the things you will need to do is create a page on different social media platforms and/or create a hashtag to enhance the conversation on the above project. You may decide to abbreviate the theme or use it in full e.g, BONIA or BeautyOfNatureInAkwaIbom. To turn this into a searchable tag, you will need to add the # (pound or hash sign as it is called) before your already selected words.
The above is the correct way to create or use a hashtag.
This – # BONIA is not correct. Why? No space should be kept immediately after the pound symbol. Spaces defeat the purpose of your tag. Keep your words joined together.
This – #BONIA# is not correct. Why? you don’t need to add the pound symbol at the end again. Just once.
This – #Beauty-of-Nature-in-akwa-ibom is not correct. Why? Nothing should separate the words or phrases chosen. Symbols are a no go area in a hashtag. Only the first word close to the hash will be selected and it defeats the purpose of a tag.
This – ##BeautyOfNatureinAkwaIbom is not correct. Why? You need just one hash, nothing more.
Note: No matter how long your words are, spaces are not necessary.
E.g. #I love this dark guy with a long beard on Facebook. WRONG.
The correct thing will be, #ilovethisdarkguywithalongbeardonfacebook Personally, I like to make the first letter of each word a capital letter so it can be easily read. E.g. #ILoveThisDarkGuyWithALongBeardOnFacebook
Note: This – * will not create a hashtag. An asterisk serves a different purpose on different social media platform. If you add an asterisk to a word on whatsapp, it turns that word into BOLD, like you see on a word document.
This – @ will not create a hashtag. This actually directly connects you with an account name or a person’s social media handle, page etc.
Why do you need to use a hashtag?
1. The hashtag for me is an amazing and engaging way to further and link conversations from different people on the same subject matter.
2. It also serves as a very organised way to reach a large audience outside your primary circle on your social media platforms. You can be discovered or found through a tag. (Instagram actually makes this relatable for me)
4. If you own or run a business, the hashtag can help you reach a larger audience even attracting customers and users.
It can also help you get customer feedback, even serving as an advert or promotion.
5. The hashtag can also link you with like-minded people or people in your line of business/work/field etc. If you are a make up artist, using tags like #MUA or #FaceBeat #MakeUp etc can connect you with people in that industry. Even using the brand name of your cosmetics can connect you with people using same.
6. The hashtag is an effective way to promote a product, brand, service etc. It can even provide a heightened anticipation of your product, creating suspense or fueling longing.
A good example is the work Don Jazzy did a few years ago with the song Dorobucci. One of the ways he was able to make the song viral and really ingrained in our minds was through the #Doro #Dorobucci tag that lingered in different media spaces for months before the release of the song. Today, a lot of artistes have capitalise and effectively engage fan appreciation/relationship through the hashtag (sometimes coupled with a challenge) of their various songs, videos, dances etc. E.g. Falz’ #WehDone
7. Without having to create your own hashtag, you can search for terms related to what you want to do and simply adopt an already established tag for your project, etc.
To avoid turning this into a sermon, the hashtag is a fun and versatile way of communicating on different platforms. It can be hilarious, edgy, purposeful, targeted, etc. It can also be abused. People sometimes sneak in trendy tags just to drive traffic to something they are doing that is unrelated to the conversation. E.g. A lady advertises her hair products but adds at the end #bbnaija. Lol.
Well….tear out your paper for a test.
Thank you for the audience. Wishing you all a very beautiful and breezy weekend