Even if you aren’t a Twitter user, you may have seen Twitter posts (called “tweets”) which contain this symbol, #. You may have seen it followed by a common, recognizable word such as #cars or #fitness, or perhaps an acronym as in #FBI, or #NBC. Other times, the symbol is followed by a string of words or a saying: #thatjusthappened.
Along with countless other non-users of Twitter and those who are new to this unique social networking phenomenon, you may be scratching your head. What does this symbol mean and what purpose is it used for?
In the real world, the # symbol is known as a pound sign or hash mark.
In the Twitterverse, the # symbol is known as a hash tag and it is used to categorize Twitter posts, or tweets.
According to the official Twitter blog, the social networking giant has over 100 million active users who post over 200 million tweets per day. With that much activity, it is not surprising that a system of categorizing these posts would need to come about. That’s where the hash tag comes in. Twitter followers are interested in what other Twitter users are saying about the same or similar topics. Users can type up their tweet, and then mark that tweet with a hash tag followed by a category name anywhere in the tweet and BAM! their tweet will be found by other Twitter users searching under that hash tag.
How do users know what the different categories are?
Well, it is an imperfect system at best. Some categories are intuitive. If you’re tweeting about a new recipe that you discovered, the tag #recipe should suit you just fine. If you are in a marathon and would like your tweet to reach other Twitter users who are also in the same marathon, head over to the marathon’s official web page and they should have their Twitter account listed along with popular and official hash tags associated with the event.
Sometimes, popular hash tags really catch on. These tags spread virally between users and when they have been tweeted by a certain number of users they are said to be “trending”. Pay attention to these trending hash tags as they are often viewed by a large number of people. You can use these trending tags as an opportunity to promote your business.
If #GoodAfternoon is trending, try composing a tweet that goes something like this:
“#GoodAfternoon Twitterverse, head over to our website today for a special offer at www…”
The more nonsensical trends such as #thatjusthappened are created more for fun, and Twitter users make it somewhat of a game fitting their daily tweets into these so-called categories.
Along that line, there’s no reason why your business cannot also use these more silly trending tags to promote your latest sale:
“WOW! 25% off on any single item all day today with the promo code 25PERCENTOFF… #thatjusthappened”
Buying Twitter followers is a more casual, instantaneous, and often viral way to communicate with your fans and potential customers. So what are you waiting for? Snag your business a free Twitter account, think up a logical user name, and begin composing tweets! You never know, with an especially witty username or tweet, your business name might become the next daily trending tag…