#SocialMedia is an idea which stands too far from ground-breaking where concepts and notions have amalgamated to formulate a network for billions of users to interact. Nevertheless, it has been 7 years since Facebook began in 2009 and still people are confused on what triggered such a platform called social networking. Yet, the era of interaction and engagement began years earlier with the foundation of Twitter in 2006. This microblogging – social network combo introduced a completely inventive approach to exchange of information and user engagement which has been the fondest spot for users and marketers as well.
Transformation has been the key to building a strong and intelligent social network which encompass some back end interactive processes. Out of those numerous changes, #hashtag has been a tag to the trending whisper within the noise of the mass.
#Hashtags – How it Started
Symbol for Pound or tic-tac-toe, all resemble the (Shift + 3) sign on the computer keyboard. Yes! It is hash, commonly symbolized as #. Until the early use of hash by Internet Relay Chat (IRC) in 1988, the sign simply used to be an unimportant mark which was seldom used by computer users in denoting Pound or by the folks as they scribbled a piece of art to play Tic-Tac-Toe. But 1988 was the mark when IRC began using hash for categorizing messages, images and videos for users. Though this glinted the beginning of hash, it took time for users to implement in real time.
Until 2007 when Twitter started using hash for tagging important news and events, the symbol was completely out of focus for users except those who also used it as the short form of serial number. Though it was set so early in 2007, Twitter in 2009 formally announced the use of hash symbol before any word(s) to tag them as a token of information relevant to the microblog called tweet. Why?
Tweeting on a topic was generic and used to be a basic piece of information which needed some enhancement for filtering on the basis of category of information. Though it was much similar to IRC’s strategy, Twitter stepped ahead to narrow down the pipelines of information by allowing users to tweet and represent their topic by using hashtag. By 2010 almost all trending topics came under #hashtags and the time had changed when people understood the appropriate use of hashtags.
The Purpose of #Hashtags
As the era of social media glimmered, almost all social networking sites including Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Google+ adopted the use of hashtags in their engagement modules. The motive behind such an eccentric revolution where every user wanted to use # was to draw attention of users, organize the data and present an aid of promotional add-on for marketers.
As the idea broadened with numerous development of technology based on data analytics, social media engines identified the main purpose of hashtag and it was to drive engagement by letting users join conversations, notify people with content based on similar interests and help users filter content based on their interests for better knowledge.
This was just another aspect of how social media uncovered the real canopy of hashtags and was later directed to users for their own creativity and enlargement of possibilities.
How #Hashtags Help Businesses on Social Media
With every possibility taken in by marketers to grow businesses online, some keys exist which are creative and can be used for building brand engagement and influence the audience in turn. Out of those many keys, using hashtags has been on the top that help businesses engage their audience in the real time.
Harnessing hashtags, businesses can run awareness campaigns on social media, boost engaging information by specifying the category and build credibility online. Hashtags help businesses drive engagement between users holding similar interests and help finders reach the business more easily. Even some businesses in the past have tried starting unique conversations creating hashtags and the