A Basic Understanding Of Hashtags

The Who, What, When, Where and Why about Hashtags in social media and How they work.
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  • Lectures 13
  • Length 1 hour
  • Skill Level Beginner Level
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
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    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
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About This Course

Published 9/2015 English

Course Description

** Course updated October 2, 2015 **

Hashtags are everywhere!

We see them during television shows; on movie trailers; for sporting events and on entertainment programs. They are event printed on shirts and hats!

Although we might see a hashtag, we might not really know what it means and why there is a hashtag in the first place.

In this introductory course, we'll explain the following:

  • What is a hashtag?
  • What does a hashtag look like?
  • What does a hashtag mean?
  • How did hashtags get started?
  • Who uses hashtags?
  • How hashtags can be valuable during a disaster.
  • How hashtag activism and cause marketing works.
  • How hashtags are being used in a negative way...and much more!

This 11-lecture course also includes a simple course review worksheet and a 10-question quiz.

What are the requirements?

  • You should be familiar with Twitter.
  • You should have a Twitter account (which is free).

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Grasp a basic understanding of Hashtags.
  • Understand how and why Hashtags are made and used.
  • Why finding and following Hashtags can be beneficial.
  • How Hashtags can save lives during a disaster.

What is the target audience?

  • This course is ideal for beginners who need a better understanding of Hashtags.
  • This course is probably not for you if you use and follow Hashtags on a regular basis.

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.

Curriculum

Section 1: Course Introduction: A Basic Understanding Of Hashtags
02:59

Hashtags are everywhere.

They are easily spotted while watching television shows and commercials; during movie previews and even at sporting events.

Just so you'll be “trendy” a hashtag is a word with a # (pound or hash) tag in front of the word. Such as #ny or #indy500.

In social media, hashtags are commonly used and seen in Twitter, but they are gaining traction in Facebook, LinkedIn and in other social networks.

In this course, we'll talk about:

  • The history of hashtags
  • How they were first used (before social media)
  • How hashtags are used today
  • How to find popular hashtags
  • How to find and follow entertainment hashtags
  • How to find and follow weather and disaster hashtags
  • What is hashtag activism and cause marketing?
  • Other places and ways hashtags can be used
  • Hashtags for negative reasons
  • Moving forward with hashtags
02:26

Chances are good that you've probably seen a hashtag before, but maybe you didn't know what it was.

After this lecture, you'll not only be a “pro” at spotting hashtags, but you'll find yourself finding more of them…all over the place!

A hashtag is very simple.

It starts with a single word, such as an event for example. Let's use Emmy for example.

To make “Emmy” into a hashtag, we simply apply the # (pound) symbol in front of the word, so it looks like this:

#Emmy

That is a hashtag.

In normal conversations, we would say “hashtag Emmy” to describe the hashtag. In Twitter or in other social media channels, we simple type

#Emmy or #emmy

Now, as you watch television programs; commercials; movies; sporting events and more, you'll start seeing hashtags all over the place.

03:16

Some say Twitter invented the hashtag, but that isn't really true.

Let's back up for just a minute.

Hashtags have been around since 1970 and were originally used in code design and development. But they weren't called “hashtags” then.

Originally, the term “hash tag” was used in a blog post by Stowe Boyd as the term “hash tags” meant “Twitter Groupings”

Now, when it comes to Twitter, Chris Messina proposed that Twitter adopt using the hashtag. They were first used here as “hashtags” during the 2009-2010 Iranian election.

03:07

Hashtags are used to identify specific Tweets about specific topics, news or events.

It's kind of like a label or a “meta tag” or a keyword so people can find it fast in Twitter and in other social networks.

When someone uses a hashtag in a Tweet, for example, other people can find and follow that hashtag, so they can read the Twitter stream on that hashtag and remain in the conversation built around that hashtag.

For example, the 2015 Republican Debate has a hashtag. People in Twitter who want to follow the conversation around the debate can follow the hashtag and read everyone's Tweet about the debate.

07:16

You have a couple of options in Twitter to help you find the most popular hashtags.

The first, is to view the “Trends” section on the left side of the Twitter window. Here, you will find the top 12 Trends based on the location of your Twitter account. Many of the items here be hashtag items.

No. 2, you can change the location of your Trends and look for trends based on a country or another city. The trends list will change, based on the new location you selected and, here, you will see different hashtags.

No. 3, you can search keywords using the Twitter search bar and find Tweets based on the keyword or keywords you searched. Some of these items might include hashtags.

08:39

Many movies, television programs, sporting events and parties usually have their own hashtag.

For example, movie trailers (many of which you can see in YouTube) will show a hashtag for the movie at the beginning or end of the movie preview.

Sporting events almost always have a hashtag such as #superbowland teams will always have a hashtag such as #jets or #orioles that you can find, follow or add to your own Tweets.

Television programs will usually show the program's hashtag at the beginning of the program (or while the program is on), so you can follow and “watch” the program with others in Twitter. A good example of this is the television reality show “The Amazing Race” and the hashtag #amazingrace where each team also has a specific hashtag nickname such as #TheTrackStars or #SweetScientists. Families can use these team hashtags to roof for individual teams on Twitter; predict race outcomes and speed bump challenges.

07:58

While disasters and weather-related events can cause loss of life, injuries and property damage, many take to Twitter to follow updates by searching for hashtags on these events. These would include:

  • Hurricanes, with a hurricane-named hashtag.
  • Earthquakes (country or town hashtag).
  • Tornado (state; county; city hashtag).
  • Storm warnings (state; county; city hashtag).
  • Weather satire hashtags such as #snowmageddon or #snowpocalypse for communities griping about traffic, school closings, etc.
06:21

Many causes and activism causes will create and have their own hashtag in Twitter. They will post their views; beliefs, etc. and ask others to “re-tweet” or mark their post as a Favorite.

Most, who have the same belief, will do so, but it often really doesn't help the “cause.” It might make you feel good; you might feel like you are helping spread the word, or bonding with like-minded people; but sometimes these “causes” are paid promotions created to generate traffic or viral spin.

Before you dive in too deep, you might want to check the original source of the Tweet or hashtag. It might not be real and you'll be the victim of a social prank.

03:24

Although Twitter leads the way in the total number of hashtags created and used, people are using and seeing hashtags in other social networks, including LinkedIn, Facebook and YouTube.

In some cases, writers are using hashtags at the end of the blog posts.

Why?

Just like in Twitter, anyone can use Google or another search engine to search for a hashtag. By using them with other related content, this gives new audiences a chance to find your content.

03:11

Although there are some rules you want to follow with using hashtags, there are some other negatives when it comes to using hashtags.

First, the rules:

  • Make sure that when you use a #hashtag, that it's always relevant to the topic.
  • Hashtag spamming is not allowed. This rule is broken way too often as some businesses or spammers will incorporate a popular hashtag into their post which is usually trying to get you to buy something; click a link or join an e-mail list and harvest personal data
  • Pornography websites are also using Twitter to attract traffic to their website.

Unfortunately, terrorist organizations often use hashtags or they piggyback on seldom-used hashtags and current hashtags using hidden messages or links to terrorist propaganda or sensitive images.

02:33

While you now have a good understanding of hashtags and how they are used in Twitter and in other social networks, you can take them a step further by:

  • Participating in conversations with hashtags.
  • Researching to see if you can create your own hashtag for a group or an event.
  • Discover how businesses create and use hashtags to generate new customers; new Twitter followers and create more sales.
1 page

We thought it might be helpful to include a little worksheet on Hashtags to go along with this course. It is available here for you in .pdf format, so please feel free to download and use it.

10 questions

Test your #hashtag knowledge with this True or False Quiz!

Article

With the recent formation of Hurricane Joaquin - and now approaching the United States (as of this lecture) - now is a good time to update and review how hashtags are used in weather- and disaster-related events to update people on the impending storm and other information.

While most people find and use hashtags to follow sports; stay up-to-date on entertainment, movies and music; the real power of the information that can be distributed to a large number of people is extremely powerful when it comes to using a hashtag in case of a storm or other type of natural disaster.

In this lecture, we'll review disaster-related hashtags and take a closer look at the hashtag #Joaquin and how it's being used for updates on the hurricane.

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Instructor Biography

Steve Phillips, Digital Consultant / Marketing Coach

I have over 15 years of online reputation management and search engine optimization experience working with a variety of local, national and international businesses in helping them improve their online reputation; earn better customer reviews and obtain higher rankings in Google and other search engines.

Previously, I worked as a self-employed, software consultant and trainer helping law firms and lawyers understand new technology and upgrade their network systems and software programs.

My background also includes 13 years as a newspaper sports writer and news reporter.

I am currently the Vice President of Mountain Woods Media, LLC.

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