I confess—readily—that I don’t know the first thing about tagging or hashtags. Blame it on my “sheltered” time-constrained life. <LOL>
It’s okay. My lack of knowledge is our gain. It got me to research the basics of tagging and hashtagging, and this I happily share.
A tag, for the record, is a word/phrase that is preceded by a hash mark (#), and is used in a message or post to locate a keyword or topic of interest, and then expedite a search for it. When you add a # to your message or post, social media/networking sites will index it; it then becomes searchable (“findable”) by others. In simple terms, hashtags categorize content.
I’m a Facebooker, so let’s look take a look-see at FB—where you can tag a person, someone in a pic, and somebody in a post.
To tag a person (by name), start a post or comment on another post, pic, or vid. Type the person’s name anywhere in that post or comment (FB offers suggestions when you’re typing, by the way). Another option: type @ before you enter the name. This informs FB that you intend to tag someone in your post or comment. Select the name you want to tag when it appears and then select “Post”. Ta-da. Your post/comment will be posted and the “tagee” will be notified he/she has been tagged.
To tag someone or a page in a pic, click it to expand it. Hover over the photo and type the person’s name. Use the full name of the person or page you want to tag when it appears. Click “Done Tagging”. Be aware: when you tag a pic that wasn’t uploaded by a Friend, the person who uploaded it must approve the tag.
To tag somebody in a post, begin a fresh post by going into the box where your personal pic/icon is—where you see “What’s on your mind?” in faint gray font. If you look beneath the post box, beside “Photo/Video”, you’ll find “Tag People”. Next, you’ll see “Who are you with?”. Type the name of someone (add more if you wish). Write something and hit “Post”. The person you tagged will be notified that you tagged him/her in a post.
What about hashtags? You can make anything into a hashtag by adding # in front of a word or phrase. (Seen it, not done it.) Add the # and then start typing—you’ll see the #xxx highlighted in pale blue. Once completed, post. The now bold tag will be in your status update; click on the status bar to have that hashtag automatically added to an update. Sweet.
Once the post is up, you can click on your new tag to see who’s using that same phrase and what they’re saying.
The thing about a hashtag is to create one that serves a purpose—one that will be of use several times over. As an FYI, you can learn which hashtags are trending (check out Hashtagify, RiteTag, and # hashtags.org, among others). It’s advised, depending on the site, to avoid using several in one message or post. Keep them simple and don’t use too many words.
Let’s end with a bit of trivia. Did you know the first hashtag used in social media is credited to Chris Messina (a former Google employee)? It happened in a Tweet—in 2007. The word “hashtag” wasn’t added to the dictionary (Oxford, to be precise) until 2010.
. . . #happytagging.