So here is what my investigate found on the use of Hashtags in your social media. Bottomline: The people who write the checks that keep the economy rolling are pulling back from using Hashtags in their social media due to spammy content using the same hashtag.
Endless Quest for Knowledge
Hashtags? What the heck are they? And why are so many people using dozens of them in their post?
A hashtag is a type of label or metadata tag used on social network and microblogging services which makes it easier for users to find messages with a specific theme or content. Users create and use hashtags by placing the hash character (or number sign)
# in front of a word or unspaced phrase, either in the main text of a message or at the end. Searching for that hashtag will then present each message that has been tagged with it. (From Wickapedia)
The number sign was often used in information technology to highlight a special meaning. In 1970 for example, the number sign was used to denote immediate address mode in the assembly language of the PDP-11 when placed next to a symbol or a number. In 1978, Brian Kernighan and Dennis Ritchie used # in the C programming language for special keywords that had to be processed first by the C preprocessor. Since before the invention of the hashtag, the number sign has been called the “hash symbol” in some countries outside of North America. (From Wickapedia)
After sifting through a few dozen blogs posted on the concern many people have with the overuse of Hashtags, it quickly came to me that the Hashtag was a virus created on Twitter that now seems to changed to a cancer spreading through all social networks killing off many business people’s interest in being involved with social media.
So Why Use Hashtags?
Granted, being able to bring together all the content written on a subject in to one glance is needed and Hashtags actually make that happen. In the beginning of Hashtags they were a great tool to use to capture a wide range of thoughts on a subject.
However, as is all things that are Awesome go, the dark side moves in to make ‘World of Hashtags’ nearly worthless.
In a search of Google for what comes up for the hashtag… #hashtag. Out of 20 search results listed, the first two were advertisements from questionable social media houses, and then 11 tweets and posts on subjects that had nothing to do with the subject of ‘Hashtag’ but were from some type of ‘ClickBait’ campaign or from a ‘Likes Farm’. Then there were posts from people saying they are getting sick of Hashtags being all people post.
Seems does who love Hashtags need to step back and see how they appear to the general public. I did, and quit using Hashtags.
Is the Game Over for Hashtag?
I found from my survey of my top 25 Social Media providers:
- 65% of them are moving away from using more than one hashtag per post.
- 25% have quit using Hashtags all together, with the exception to make fun of those who do use Hashtags,
- The remaining 10% never used Hashtags and felt they did not serve any purpose for their clients.
Still, there a lot of people who still use Hashtags, WHY?, who knows. From what I can tell Hashtags have turned to another tool for those who feel they need a lot of attention.
One of the Plussers I ran down in my Google+ stream who uses a minimum of 10 hashtags per post said they were using them because their “boss told us to use them so their promotional material would load up be viewed by anyone who search those hashtags”…the new Spam campaign.
Run Away from Hashtags
The overuse of Hashtags is really turning off the business people who are just now entering the world of digital marketing. Many people who are just now getting around to improving their digital footprint see the huge volumes of Hashtags and immediately feel they need to run away. Actually, I don’t blame them.
I don’t see there is any solution for controlling the overuse of Hashtags. The users of too many hashtags have to be treated as if they post too many .gifs.