By in Writing

Hashtags: What We Need to Know to Use Them Effectively

The hashtag is a very important little symbol, at least if helping other people find your content is important to you. That being said, I have more questions than I do answers about the most effective use of hashtags, not just at Persona Paper, but in social media.

The Persona Paper community came to my rescue the previous time when I was Seeking Input on Website Choices , so I thought we could hash out some ideas on hashtags as well. (I heard you groan at the play on words. It's okay, I groaned as I typed it.)

My random ideas and questions follow. I value your input and hope the information here will help others, too.

  1. Would there be value in placing user name hashtags here or on social media. For instance, today when I shared one of tinamarie 's recipes elsewhere, I added the hashtag TinaRoberge. My thinking is that this would be yet another way for someone familiar with a writer to find that writer's "stuff." Is this useful or just clutter?
  2. The hashtags that we use here on our posts -- do they automatically transpose as hashtags to social media sites or do we need to add hashtags each time we share a post elsewhere?
  3. If including a writer's hashtag at other sites is thought to be useful, how would we know which username to use for that person on a particular site?

That's the sum of my questions for now, but will edit if I think of others -- or if you have one or more you'd like added.

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Image Credit » Nemo Public Domain CCO License via Pixabay

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Donna_Thacker wrote on October 27, 2014, 2:22 PM

All of the hash tags and twitter lingo leave me just plain confused. Sorry I am no help with answers, but sure am interested in others who comment and possibly fill us both in on the mystery.

AliCanary wrote on October 27, 2014, 3:38 PM

I was thinking the tags we use on our posts just link stuff within the site, but wouldn't it be cool if we could tag keywords and it would actually help us show up in search engines?

LoudMan wrote on October 27, 2014, 3:39 PM

For once, I don't have a single answer. Whodathunkit?

Isabella wrote on October 27, 2014, 5:14 PM

All this language is very confusing to me. Even though i see it everywhere it doesn't sink in. I'm from the generation where you call people on the phone and write with a pen or old typewriters. It took me a long time to adapt to computers and cell phones, although i particularly love it now.

Feisty56 wrote on October 27, 2014, 6:01 PM

I'm pretty new to using Twitter -- at least in trying to use it effectively -- thus the questions here. My hope is that some of the enlightened folks here will chip in with their knowledge so we can all be a bit wiser.

Feisty56 wrote on October 27, 2014, 6:03 PM

It WOULD be great, so let's ask elitecodex and/or MaeLou if the system works that way -- do the hashtags we use on our posts at Persona Paper translate over to the Internet in general, or are they just for search purposes onsite?

Feisty56 wrote on October 27, 2014, 6:04 PM

Now this just doesn't happen very often. Do you have a fever? (Okay, I'm being silly)

Feisty56 wrote on October 27, 2014, 6:06 PM

I am likely from an era even earlier than you, so all these details are part of an extremely looooooooonnnnngggg learning curve for me. Now BarbRad who is my senior by just a few years has a tremendous grasp of so many of these concepts. I've always thought myself a fast learner, but evidently not true in this area.

Isabella wrote on October 27, 2014, 6:48 PM

No worries ... we'll learn together. We'll get it eventually and we'll be really good at it.

maxeen wrote on October 27, 2014, 7:49 PM

just to say I read it but will just follow my leader,no idea about any of this...

Feisty56 wrote on October 27, 2014, 8:22 PM

I'm optimistic...just need someone to point me in the right direction.

Feisty56 wrote on October 27, 2014, 8:22 PM

I am guessing there are a fair number of us who could use some help de-mystifying the processes.

AngelSharum wrote on October 27, 2014, 8:27 PM

I add them to my post here but that's about the only time I use hashtags.

bestwriter wrote on October 27, 2014, 9:19 PM

I find no use for hash tags. They have in no way increased my views. emoticon :tongue:

Ellis wrote on October 27, 2014, 10:01 PM

To be honest, I've only recently started to use them here...

BarbRad wrote on October 27, 2014, 10:59 PM

You've asked some very good questions. Single word hashtags are easy, but I never know what to do with multiword tags. i try capitalizing each word for easier understanding, but then I wonder if those tags will get searched. I think they are mostly useful on the sites where they are placed, since that's where people search for then. On Twitter I tag terms I think people might search for or that I want or RebelMouse to pick up under certain categories. I hope someone else has better answers than I do.

BarbRad wrote on October 27, 2014, 11:04 PM

Thanks for the vote of confidence. I just thought of one more thing. Some hashtags on Twitter are for the use of certain groups. For example, are used to post links to your blog posts, but only on Monday, where people look for them and they are supposed to retweet another post my someone else they see with that tag. I was hoping the tag would work that way there, but someone else was already using it for something else. Now I just use to make links to our posts here easy to find on Twitter.

OldRoadsOnceTraveled wrote on October 28, 2014, 1:05 AM

When I'm doing phrases on Persona Paper, I usually hyphenate them. On Twitter I usually capitalize each word.

OldRoadsOnceTraveled wrote on October 28, 2014, 1:08 AM

I'm just starting to work with tags on social media. I don't know why I don't usually tag my username other than length, but I almost always tag and if room. If I'm doing an article about a thing/place/company, I'll try to include their Twitter handle.

Feisty56 wrote on October 28, 2014, 12:03 PM

Just when I thought I had a grasp on the Twitter tag thing... lol Thanks for pointing this detail out.

Feisty56 wrote on October 28, 2014, 12:06 PM

I use them here and on Twitter...and now on Tsu, although my use of them seems very conservative compared to some folks. I'd like to find a happy medium that is effective. It looks as if some research on this topic is in my near future.

Feisty56 wrote on October 28, 2014, 12:09 PM

I can't say whether hash tags here have affected my views one way or another. One of the reasons I use them here on Persona Paper is for myself -- to be able to search through my posts -- that I hope will soon number in the 100s -- and find a reference, etc.

I don't think it's either right or wrong to use/not use hash tags, but rather each member's preference.

Feisty56 wrote on October 28, 2014, 12:10 PM

I started to use them at that other site, so once I began here, it was second nature. I don't know when/if they will be useful to me -- or useful to anyone who uses the Search feature, but I'm going with the notion that it can't hurt to have appropriate ones on a post.

Bellatricks wrote on October 28, 2014, 4:09 PM

Tagging seems to be popular on many websites. Not every website uses the same symbols though. For an example, some websites will use "& " instead of "@" to tag someone and then a "+" instead of a "#" to tag something. I always need to make sure I'm using the right one on the right website.

bestwriter wrote on October 28, 2014, 8:16 PM

In my case it is more laziness - just between you and me emoticon :grin:

elitecodex wrote on October 28, 2014, 9:01 PM

It is really meant to link to posts that are about common topics. Sort of like a dynamic group. So if many people write posts about football, and they use the football tag, then you could visit to see a bunch of posts about football.

Feisty56 wrote on October 28, 2014, 9:24 PM

Thank you for the prompt response here. : ) This answers the question about Persona Paper hashtags -- there are used internally to group like topics together. Thanks for clearing this up, Will.

Feisty56 wrote on October 28, 2014, 11:47 PM

I don't feel quite so clueless now, as I was feeling certain you would have the answers to the questions here. Maybe we'll figure it out together. : )

Feisty56 wrote on October 28, 2014, 11:49 PM

If I have enough character space on Twitter, I'm going to use the username of the author on the site on which the post was written when I am sharing. I would use the Twitter name, but I really only know a few people from here on Twitter.

Feisty56 wrote on October 28, 2014, 11:50 PM

You're right about that -- trying to keep the symbols straight for tagging on the different sites requires alertness. It's easy enough to get confused.

Ruby3881 wrote on October 29, 2014, 1:06 AM

Until very recently I'd never considered hashtags useful for anything beyond a sort of internal indexing system to link related posts, as Will describes above. But I've been hearing that search engines may be looking at them now too, and at least on G+ they seem to carry some weight with them.

Feisty56 wrote on October 29, 2014, 1:14 AM

Thanks for your input here. If search engines are going to be looking at hashtags, that would give them increased value to use wisely, like key words?

Jayme_Janella wrote on October 29, 2014, 1:26 AM

I am not that familiar with these terms too or the use of it. But thank you for sharing these information.