Tagging has become a widely used element in social media. Tagging is used to identify the subject of the post, to connect an individual, organization, or event to a specific post, and to facilitate conversation. All social media today has some form of tagging, with the widest accepted form known as the #hashtag. Hashtags can be added to social media posts on platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Google+. Hashtags can be searched and you can see everything on that platform that was posted using a specific hashtag. Now you can even search hashtags in search engines like Google. This can be very helpful for businesses, as they can be used to promote business and events, as well as they can help track what your customers are talking about.
While you can’t control who uses a hashtag, you can register one you created at hashtags.org. This allows you to easily track and follow a hashtag. It also allows you to see who else has used the hashtag, and what it has been associated with.
There are times when the use of hashtags have gone wrong. As they have become more and more widely utilized, some users over tag posts and #getalittlecrazy #hashtageverything #sometimesunrelatedthings. This causes them to be unnecessary and often linked to other posts that are unrelated. There have also been cases where the hashtag when created can be read and interpreted incorrectly. For example there was a hashtag created as #NowThachersDead. When read though people interpreted it as Now Cher is dead, and rumors started circulating that Cher had died.
There are also times when hashtags are “hijacked” with people using them for purposes contrary to what the company promoting them intended. For example, McDonalds created the hashtag #McDStories to create positive PR and encouraged people to tweet positive stories about the company. Instead people went crazy and did quite the opposite sharing negative experiences and opinions of the food chain.
When using tags on social media, it is very important that you do proper research before using them. Look into what the hashtag has been used for in the past. Also, it is very important to remember that tagging is a very organic experience for individuals. You never know what is going to happen after you start tagging.
Some interesting links on hashtags: