First of all, in case you’re wondering what all this hashtag stuff is about, let me break it down:
- A hashtag starts with the # symbol, and it has no spaces or punctuation.
- You can use hashtags on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and many other social sites.
- It was originally used to group together messages about a theme, because the hashtag links to a search for every message that contains the same hashtag. We used the #NSPRASeminar13 hashtag in San Diego to have a useful online conversation.
- Today, people use hashtags for commentary, even if they don’t expect people to click on the link or use the same hashtag to have a conversation. #thesepeoplearetryingtobefunny
How can you use hashtags in your social media outreach? I’ve struggled with this in the Park Hill School District.
At first, I tried using a #parkhillschools hashtag. I thought it might catch on. But two things happened.
- It didn’t catch on.
- I remembered that kids make bad decisions, and they might think it was funny to hijack this hashtag to post inappropriate stuff.
So I stopped.
I decided to only use hashtags that are commonly used and are not specific to my district. So far, I’ve gotten a lot of mileage out of the #tbt hashtag, which is the shorter version of #throwbackthursday.
On Thursdays, we join thousands of people across the web in posting old photos. I post them on Instagram and push them through to Facebook and Twitter. These are fun and produce high engagement. We even found an old photo that tied in to our current district discussion about classroom technology.
How are you using hashtags?